Shikoku: Shimanto River Area
The Shimanto River area is a beautiful part of Kochi Prefecture in southern Shikoku. Originating from Mount Irazu, the winding Shimanto River runs 196km to the Pacific Coast and is considered the most pristine river in Japan. ‘Shimantogawa’ (Shimanto River) is not dammed while use of ‘chikanbashi’ bridges that are designed to be submerged and not obstruct the follow the river; all of which combines to allow the water to move freely and preserve its natural, pristine straight. The overall affect is truly beautiful and can honestly be said to be one of Japan’s most beautiful yet undiscovered landscapes. There is limited accommodation in the area, with a couple of hotels in the small Shimanto City along with the highly-rated Shimanto Riverside Hideaway located around 13km / 20 minutes drive up the river.