{Shikoku Hachijūhachikasho Meguri}

--PLANNING--
--HOW TO GET THERE--


There are several ways to get to Shikoku, depending on where you are coming from. Here are some suggestions.

From Kansai International Airport (KIX)
• You can take a bus directly from the airport to Tokushima Eki Mae ("In Front of Tokushima Station"), the bus station directly in front of the Tokushima JR train station in downtown Tokushima City.

• If you want to spend the night in Ōsaka before heading to Tokushima, here is the schedule for the bus going from Ōsaka International Airport (KIX) to downtown Ōsaka. It departs from Boarding Area #5 and costs ¥1,300. You can take the JR West train for just a little less (if you take the Rapid Express and not the Limited Express) and trains run every 20 minutes. The Nankai line also has a service from the airport with two trains an hour and is by far the cheapest price, costing only ¥890 to Nanba Station.


From Ōsaka
• Take a JR Bus from either the Umeda Station or the Nanba Station.

• The bus will take you directly to Tokushima City, where the final stop will be at the Tokushima Bus Center directly in front of JR Tokushima Station.

• The trip costs ¥3,600 if you depart from Umeda Station and takes two and a half hours. After leaving Umeda, the first stop is at the Nanba Station, so from there it will take about 2 hours.


From Tōkyō
There are three options for getting to Shikoku from Tōkyō: train (expensive but quick), overnight bus (cheap but slow), and and ferry (cheap and slow, but much more comfortable than the bus).

Train:
• Take the Bullet Train to the Shin-Ōsaka Station.

• Transfer at the Shin-Ōsaka Station to a local JR train and go to Ōsaka Station in Umeda.

• Then as from Ōsaka (above).

Bus
I'll add information on this when i get the time to dig it up. Sorry.

Ferry:
Tōkyū Ocean Ferry departs Tōkyō Port every night. Get to the port by bus from Kokusai Tenjijo Station on the Rinkai train line. The ferry departs at 19:10 and arrives in Tokushima at 13:10 the next day. It arrives at Tsuda Port and from there it is a 15 min bus ride to Tokushima Station. If you don't waste time, there is a bus at 13:20 headed to the station.

The fare for a Standard ferry is ¥8,450. For the Casual ferry, where everyone sleeps in bunks in cabins instead of on carpeted floor, is ¥11,350. There is a discount for henro (except during Golden Week and O-bon). Reservations for the ferry are required.

The Standard (larger ferry) has a restaurant, the Casual has vending machines and they give you cards to get up to five items free. Not that the food is anything you'd want to eat on a regular basis. The only drawback I've been told about is the air conditioning on the ferrys makes it as dry as an airplane and cabins are often overheated. If this is an issue, you should be able to get around it by wearing a mask and drinking a lot of water.


From Nagoya
• Take the Meitetsu train line from Chubu International Aiport to Nagoya Station (if necessary). • At Nagoya Station, transfer to the Kintetsu Line and go to Ōsaka-Nanba.

• Then as from Ōsaka (above).


• You can also take a bus from Nagoya straight to Tokushima City. From a search online, it looks like Tokushima Bus and Meitetsu Bus provide this service. If you can cat-nap in public train stations and can sleep on a bus, an overnight bus is your cheapest option as it saves you from having to pay for lodging your first night in the country.

• Meitetsu Bus shows that they have one early morning bus (depart 8:40am) and one overnight bus (depart 11:00pm). The trip costs ¥6,600 one way. It takes just over 5 hours on the morning bus, but the overnight bus takes over 6 ½ hours. (http://www.meitetsu-highwaybus.com/net/ko-tokushima-j.html)

• Tokushima Bus service seems to mirror the Meitetsu Bus service. Since it departs from the Meitetsu Bus Center in Nagoya, i wonder if they share the same bus? (http://www.tokubus.co.jp/kousoku/untin_jikoku/nagoya.htm)


From Mt. Kōya
There are two options here; which one is better depends on your schedule. I prefer the ferry, love the ferry, but because of train & ferry schedules, unless you are stopping in Tokushima City or near Temple 1 for the night, the bus from Ōsaka is a better route.

Train & Bus:
Get back to Ōsaka by reversing the way you got here. Once in Ōsaka, take the high speed bus to Tokushima Station as explained above.

Train-Ferry-Bus:
• Take the cable car back down the mountain to Gokurakubashi Station.
• Take the Nankai Train Line to Hashimoto Station.
• Transfer at Hashimoto to the JR Line and go to Wakayama City Station.
• Transfer in Wakayama City, if necessary, to another JR Train and go to Wakayama Port.

• Take the Nankai Ferry from Wakayama Port to Tokushima Port.
• Once in Tokushima Harbor, take a local bus to Tokushima City.

Note:   For those henro wanting to go from Tokushima to Mt. Kōya at the end of their pilgrimage, Mak Harada (a Known Henro) shares this advice about connections from the ferry port in Wakayama:

"As for the trip from Nankai ferry port to Kōyasan, I would say it's a toss up between Nankai Express via Nanba and JR via Wakayama. The latter is a few hundred yen cheaper. It's an incredibly bad connection between the ferry port and JR Wakayama Station, which tries your patience. It seems everyone (that is henro) finds out the best way is to take the bus to Nanba and then Nankai Railway to Kōyasan only after he tries the seemingly logical way by using the ferry."

There you go — to get to Kōyasan from Tokushima, take the bus to Ōsaka and then the train to Kōyasan from there.



Once you get to Tokushima City
Once you get to Tokushima CIty, if you need English help finding lodging, the henro michi, information about the local area (or the prefecure, for that matter), transportation, or anything else, stop by the offices of the Tokushima Prefectural International Exchange Association (TOPIA). There is almost always someone there who speaks English during the week. During the weekend, it sounds like it is hit or miss, but definitely worth a try.

TOPIA offices are located on the 6th floor of the Clement Plaza building, the same building that serves as the JR Tokushima train station, and right next to the bus terminal. Once there, besides information, you'll find a library, internet access, a great place to just relax, and friendly people.

Clement Plaza, 6F
1-61 Terashima Honcho Nishi
Tokushima City 770-0831

Phone: 088-656-3303
FAX: 088-652-0616

Office Hours
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Monday - Sunday

e-mail: topia@fm.nmt.ne.jp
web: http://www.topia.ne.jp/e_index.htm



(Click To Enlarge)
TOPIA has provided this nice map of some of the hotels located in the Tokushima JR train station area (located at the top center of the map). Since TOPIA is located on the 6th floor of the train station, feel free to go up and ask about it if you have any questions or want help making a reservation.


From Tokushima City To Ryōzenji (Temple 1)
Once you are in Tokushima City, you have two options:



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