Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Ashizurimisaki 足摺岬

Visited 19.11.2014

Southernmost tip. Decided to hire a taxi to bring us from Nakamura to Tosa Shimizu (土佐清水), where Ashizurimisaki (otherwise known as Cape Ashizuri) is located. At this southernmost tip of Shikoku island, the terrain is made up of weathered granite cliffs, standing at 80 m high, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A 18 m tall lighthouse here has been in operation since 1914, and the strong illumination emitted from the structure can be seen as far as 38 km away. Was fortunate to be blessed with good weather on the day of our visit; greeted by the cooling sea breeze as we stood at the observation platform to admire the glittering blue waters and clear horizon. Being able to view this spectacular scenery made the long and winding journey worthwhile.

Marker for the southermost point of Shikoku island.
A statue of Nakahama Manjiro (中濱 万次郎) erected here at Cape Ashizuri, who played an important role being a translator to foreigners in the final years of Edo period. 
Ashizurimisaki is actually part of the larger Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park (足摺宇和海国立公園). Other attractions in the vicinity include:
- Kongofuku-ji (金剛福寺), the 38th temple of Shikoku Pilgrimage.
- Hakusan Domon (白山洞門), a well defined hole (16 m tall by 17 m wide) penetrating through a huge slab of granite cliff, created through prolonged erosion by seawaters. Wanted very much to visit this natural formation but did not manage to do so due to some miscommunication with the taxi driver. If you are taking the same bus from Nakamura Station heading for Ashizurimisaki, alight at Shirao Jinja (白皇神社) which is one bus stop prior the terminus at Ashizurimisaki. If it is too taxing on the body to climb all the way down to view Hakusan Domon, you can head down to Manjiro Ashiyu (万次郎足湯), which is an observatory equipped with footbath!
- In fact, Ashizuri is a hot spring town discovered more than 1,200 years ago. Apart from the above mentioned Manjiro Ashiyu, there are a handful of hotels with hot spring facilities established in this area.
Ashizuri Onsen: http://www.ashizuri-onsen.com/


Ashizurimisaki 足摺岬

How to get there? 
(1) Kochi Seinan Bus. From Nakamura Station (中村駅), take the Nakamura/Shimizu/Ashizuri/Sukumo line (中村・清水・足摺・宿毛線) bus heading for Ashizurimisaki, and alight at the last stop. Bus journey takes 1 hr 40 mins and cost 1,900 yen.
Bus schedule: http://www.kochi-seinan.co.jp/obj/pdf/local_sukumo-simizu.pdf

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