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Gaijin Bikers in Japan
The continuing adventures of a couple of American bikers
in the Land of the Rising Sun

Shikoku is the smallest of Japan's four main islands. Located across the inland sea from Okayama and Hiroshima, Shikoku is prodominantly rural and not very densely populated. Long ago, a tradition was established of making a pilgrimage to the 88 temples of Shikoku in honor of the Buddhist Priest, Kobo Daishi, otherwise known as Kukai. Well, Big Ben and The Stinger once made their own pilgrimage of Shikoku, the biker way.

Yashima-temple (pictured below), on the outskirts of city of Takamatsu, is the site of a famous battle that took place in the 1100's between Japan's famous warring clans, the Minamoto (or Genji) and the Taira (or Heike).

The Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu ranks among the finest three traditional gardens in Japan.

One of the remaining turrets of Takamatsu Castle.

Ah, that's more like it. Here, The Stinger stands in front of the regal Marugame Castle, further west of Takamatsu, built around 1597.

One of Shikoku's main claims to fame is Dogo Onsen (pictured below) in Ehime Prefecture, the very first onsen bath house in Japan

Sadamisaki Cape, the western most tip of Shikoku, stretches almost to Kyushu, and the nearby waters, as this sign indicates, are often visited by sharks. Not really recommended for swimming.

This may look like a castle, but it is in fact Yamaide Ikoi no Sato Onsen, a great place to take refuge for the night, nestled in between the mountains of Shikoku's Ehime Prefecture. You can relax in the onsen bath, and stay in either the indoor lodgings or pitch a tent.

The Ashizuri Cape, located in Kochi Prefecture, is a popular destination with bikers for its breathtaking view. Another amazing feature is its unusual tropical climate. This is the only place in Japan that we know of that has Spanish moss hanging from the trees!

Ah yes, the ubiquitous white-clad desciples of Kukai, on their pilgrimage to the 88 temples.

The Shimanto River is one of the most picturesque rivers in all Japan, and is one of the few remaining without dams.

One often sees these carp kites blowing in the breeze in May in Japan, but not always in such size and number as they are here.

First tropics and now what's this, the Scottish highlands? No, believe it or not this is still as part of Shikoku. Known as the Shikoku Karst, this amazing area, located 1000 meters above sea level, is a grassy plateau riddled with islands of limestone jutting out of the earth.

One of the trademarks of Shikoku, the Kazura-bashi, a vine bridge over the Iyadani Gorge in Tokushima Prefecture.