(Hotel Guests Only!) A Short Trip Around the Seto Inland Sea! 1-Day Reoma Sightseeing Bus Tour

It's a waste to not explore the islands floating on the Seto Inland Sea (Seto-naikai) when you're actually in the Shikoku region and you can see it right in front of you! Reoma Resort has several 1-day bus tours for its hotel guests. You'll get to travel to the islands by ferry, cycle around them, explore around, and even visit famous spots like Kotohira Shrine (known as Konpira-san) and Takamatsu Castle (Takamatsu-jo). Grab your shoes and set out on your trip!

Kagawa

Things to Do

 

*This article was written in collaboration with Reoma Resort.

The Start of the Bus Tour

After spending a fun day at the amusement park, we decided to join Reoma Resort's 1-day bus tour around the Seto Inland Sea. You can choose to visit the islands by ferry and use a bicycle to get around, or you can decide to take it easy by going and returning by bus. The amazing sights from the bus windows will get you pumped up about what you'll encounter!

I could just see the excitement in our daughter's eyes...

After finishing our breakfast buffet at the restaurant on Reoma Resort's first floor, we finished our preparations and arrived at the lobby around 10 minutes before departure time. Once everyone had gathered, we set off for the Seto Inland Sea tour at 8:00 am!

Mountains, cityscapes... we watched as the beautiful scenery outside the bus windows changed, and then eventually, we arrived at the sea.

Inside the bus, the tour guide gave out explanations, such as what to be careful of and what sightseeing spots there were. Before boarding the ferry, we decided to visit the popular sand coin art at Kan'onji City, Kanei Tsuho.
 

This sand coin art drawn on Ariake Beach (Ariake-hama) has the following dimensions: 122 m from east to west, 90 m from north to south, and a circumference of 345 m. It was created overnight to welcome the feudal lord, Takatoshi Ikoma, in 1633. It is believed that looking at it will ensure you live long and healthy, without any financial worries!

You can get a good view of this sand art from the viewing platform on the hilltop of Kotohiki Park (Kotohiki Koen).

When we returned to where the bus was parked, we noticed a vending machine next to it that sold Coca-Cola with unique designs, such as of cherry blossoms (sakura), as well as special ones that you can only find at the Seto Inland Sea! Both of them were cute, so we bought them as mementos of the trip.

After resting for a bit, we headed to our next destination by ferry: Hon-jima Island, which is the main island of the archipelago, Shiwaku Islands (Shiwaku Shoto).

The Scenery From the Ferry

We were blessed with good weather on the day of the trip, so it was quite sunny. As soon as we got on board the ferry, we walked onto the top deck. It was extremely relaxing to feel the pleasant wind against our faces while gazing at the Seto Inland Sea and the Great Seto Bridge (Seto Ohashi). I overheard my wife explaining to our daughter, "The Great Seto Bridge is a general name for the 10 bridges that connect Okayama Prefecture with Kagawa Prefecture. It is the world's largest bridge!"

The sparkling waves and the comforting salty wind... Before we knew it, our relaxing time on the deck was over. We saw the ferry slowly approaching the harbor, which meant that our cycling expedition - something that we had been looking forward to - was about to begin.

Like a Movie Scene! Travelling on Bike

Explore Hon-jima Island!

After we got off the ferry, the tour guide took us to the nearest bicycle rental shop. This shop carried bicycles for both adults and children. When we finished selecting our bikes, we got on, pushed the pedals, and started exploring!

We had around an hour to leisurely cycle through this island. It felt great to circle around the island's lanes with the wind at our backs. We even spotted a cat from time to time! The peace was entrancing.

Shiwaku Kinbansho Site

Pushing our pedals, we soon arrived at the island's first tourist spot: Shiwaku Kinbansho Site.

This used to be Shiwaku Islands' government office back in the Edo period (1603 - 1868). It is designated as a national historic site. Inside, you'll find a public exhibition showcasing items like the red seal licenses (used to mark people as licensed traders) of Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa, as well as old historical papers related to the Shiwaku Navy who rode the Kanrin Maru (Japan's first steam-driven warship).

Panoramic View of the Great Seto Bridge

We decided to move on, riding our bicycles while digesting what we learned about Shiwaku's history. Before we knew it, we started seeing the Great Seto Bridge, which we had glimpsed from the ferry, approaching our periphery.

Right next to the artwork, Zenkonyu x Tamping Earth, you'll find a small sandy beach. It's a great spot to get a good view of the Great Seto Bridge.

Overwhelmed by the view we were presented with, we unthinkingly stopped pedadling and ended up resting there, fully taking in the gorgeous panorama of the blue sky and sea. Wanting to get closer to the sea, our daughter grabbed my dear wife's hand and started pulling her towards the edge of the embankment.
 

I could tell that our daughter was excited with all the new things that she saw. It was totally different compared to our lives in the city. She even presented me with several small shells that she picked up from the beach!

Before heading to the next spot, we took a mother-and-daughter shot with the Seto Inland Sea and the Great Seto Bridge. Now we definitely had one more thing to remind us of this splendid journey!

Kasashima's Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings

This is Kasashima's Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings. Steeped in history, this harbor town once flourished as the base for Shiwaku's cargo vessels and navy.

Every bit of its retro townscape, which made us feel like we had slipped into the past, told a story of what life was like back then. It was a very moving experience.

Without thinking, I took a shot of our cute daughter and my adorable wife hiding away from the bright sun.

100-Year-Old Former Yoshida Family Residence

Located within Kasashima's Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings, the Former Yoshida Family Residence is an over 100-year-old building that was built during the Taisho period (1912 - 1926). It was constructed by Shiwaku Carpenters (Shiwaku Daiku), which is a collective name for carpenters from Shiwaku Islands, who were renowned for their skills.

Every corner of the residence was filled with the skills and thoughts of the carpenters who built it. Impressive examples worth staring at were the 12 m long logs that were perfectly smooth and the transom inlaid with the flanges of katanas (a type of Japanese sword) and old coins. There were tons of things that we just had to look at!

The island's stories and history were all etched into this estate. Sitting down, staring at the garden, and feeling somewhat nostalgic about the lives of the people back then... This, too, is one of the charms associated with travelling.

Eventually, we said our goodbyes to the residence and headed back to the harbor.

Help Yourself to Udon at the Udon Prefecture

After cycling around and leaving the island, we were famished. We decided to try some udon (a classic Japanese noodle dish) since we were staying at the Udon Prefecture of Japan, Kagawa! It would be a shame to not try some, right?

The place that we ended up eating at was a self-service udon restaurant that was famous even with the locals. They had 3 noodle sizes to choose from: small (1玉 or ichi-dama), medium (2玉 or ni-dama), and large (3玉 or san-dama). Even a small portion comes with quite a lot of noodles, so you're sure to feel satisfied! When it comes to udon toppings, most people are familiar with tempura. However, in Kagawa, oden (various ingredients stewed in a soy sauce-flavored broth) has remained the classic udon topping! We were amused by this tidbit that we learned from the tour guide.

As soon as we said "Itadakimasu!" (Let's eat!), our daughter started scarfing down the udon. It became a special memory for us, because the deliciousness of the udon was unlike anything we had ever tasted before.

Last Stop: Manno Lake

Finishing our lunch meant that the tour was almost at its end. Before heading back to the hotel, we quickly detoured to Japan's largest resevoir, Manno Lake. It is historically important, as Kukai (the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism, known posthumously as Kobo-Daishi) was dispatched to oversee its renovation, making use of the civil engineering skills that he acquired from China.

Our hearts were lightened by the view of the lake, which stretched out beyond what our eyes could see. We took one more mother-and-daughter shot with this amazing panorama as the background. With this, our short trip to the Seto Inland Sea came to a fulfilling end. We returned to the hotel and decided to take a break by soaking away all the tiredness at a hot spring. Afterwards, we would stuff our faces with dinner!

 

The details of the tour are as follows:

・Go by Ferry! A Trip Around the Seto Inland Sea and its Islands

Hon-jima Island: Home to Japan's Largest Sand Coin Art and the Shiwaku Navy

<<The tour has closed for this year. It will start up again around April to May of 2019. Please check back then!>>
Duration: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from April 10 - May 31
Price: 3,980 yen (plus tax)
Phone: 0570-041267 (Japanese Only)
*Must make a reservation by phone to join the bus tour
*Reservations must be made by 5:00 pm the day before
*Lunch isn't included

 

Reoma Resort offers several other bus tours, which are listed below!

 

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Reoma Sightseeing Bus Tour

・Go by Ferry! A Trip Around the Seto Inland Sea and its Islands

Exploring Megi-jima Island, Oniga-shima Island, and Ritsurin Garden

<<The tour has closed for this year. It will start up again around April to May of 2019. Please check back then!>>
Price: 3,980 yen (plus tax)
Phone: 0570-041267 (Japanese Only)
*Must make a reservation by phone to join the bus tour
*Reservations must be made by 5:00 pm the day before
*Lunch isn't included

 

・History Hunting Around Sanuki and Takamatsu

Exploring Tamamo Park and Traversing the Battlefield of the Genpei War

Duration: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from June 1 - July 13
Price: 3,980 yen (plus tax)
Phone: 0570-041267 (Japanese Only)
Spots:・Tamamo Park: The Ruins of Takamatsu Castle [Free Exploration]
          ・Takamatsu Heike Monogatari Wax Museum [Viewing]
          ・ Yashima, Yashima Temple [Free Exploration, Worshipping]
          ・ Genpei no Sato Mure [Lunch: Purchase Yourself, Break TIme, Shopping]
*Must make a reservation by phone to join the bus tour
*Reservations must be made by 5:00 pm the day before

 

・History Hunting Around Marugame and Kotohira

Unearth the Roots of Marugame's Growth and the Konpira Pilgrimage

Duration: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from June 2 - July 12
Price: 3,480 yen (plus tax)
Phone: 0570-041267 (Japanese Only)
Spots:・Marugame Castle [Free Exploration] *Comes with a travel guide book
          ・Tasuke Lantern [Viewing from Bus Windows]
          ・Shioya Betsuin [Free Exploration, Worshipping]
          ・Nakatsu Bansho-en Garden [Free Exploration]
          ・Kotohira, Kotohira Shrine [Lunch: Included, Free Exploration, Worshipping]
*Must make a reservation by phone to join the bus tour
*Reservations must be made by 5:00 pm the day before
*The whole resort, including any tours, will close on June 7 for a mandatory inspection

・Fall and Winter Tours (Decided & Undecided)

September & October, 2018 *Dates undecided, but it will be going to Kochi
★Undecided
★Kochi
・Katsura-hama Beach
・Katsuo Fune, Straw-roasting Skipjack Tuna (only for those who request it) [Shopping, Lunch: Purchase Yourself]
・The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum

November & December, 2018 *Dates undecided, but destinations are decided
★Tokushima
・Oboke Gorge, Zip Lining (only for those who request it)
・Kazura Bridge

They plan to release several more tours in the future. For more details, check out their official website.

Wouldn't you like to escape from the daily grind and spend your holidays with your loved ones? Perhaps you could gaze out at the beautiful Seto Inland Sea and make some unique memories that you'll never forget!

 

≫ Book using the button below!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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