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Shikoku Karst walk 四国カルスト

Shikoku Karst

The Shikoku Karst is a massive limestone plateau extending 25 km east-west along the border between Ehime and Kochi prefectures, with elevations ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 meters. Recognized as one of Japan’s top three karsts, it is also designated as one of the 100 most scenic roads in Japan.

The area features expansive views, striking outcroppings of white limestone, and grassy green meadows. The ridgeline traversing prefectural road 383, known as the “Shikoku Karst Longitudinal Line,” can be explored by car or on foot.

The walk

We started by car from Yusuhara, taking route 197 and turning at Takadoki-yama to the Higashi Tsuno Shirokawa Rindo forest road, which is the best option with its broad, two-lane asphalt. This drive took us approximately half an hour. Upon arrival, we parked at the Hotel Tengu Hoshifuru free parking lot, where we planned to have lunch later.

From the Hoshifuru Village Tengu parking lot, we walked to Mezurudaira, a 4.5 km stretch that took us about an hour. Parts of the walk are pedestrian-only/bike areas, and since there was very little traffic during our weekday visit, it was a pleasant experience.

When we arrived at the Mezurudaira area, we enjoyed a great coffee at the small Kast Coffee stand.

For the return, we chose the alternative smaller path free from cars on the left side. This route is equally nice and primarily used by local farmers.

For us, the Shikoku Karst was a special scenic place, and although you have to walk on asphalt, it’s manageable with comfortable trainers.



Hoshifuru Village Tengu Hotel is open for visitors from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Be sure to arrive on time. The lunch we had was exquisite, with a broad menu and a wonderful view. The service was excellent.

More activities

If you want to spend the afternoon hiking, there are two forest walks available:

  • Therapy Road: A 5 km loop hike through the forest.
  • Keyakidaira Hike: A 1-hour walk, both ways, from the Keyakidaira parking lot that leads to massive horse chestnut trees.

If you have two days, it’s definitely worth spending more time here. Unfortunately, we had to skip these walks due to a day of rain.

Practical Info

We last visited in April 5th 2024.