Date: 21st November 2018
Yashima (屋島) is a lava plateau shaped like a roof (thus the name) not far from Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture. It is known for its observation deck and Yashima Temple which is the 84th temple in the Shikoku 88-Temples Pilgrimage.
Yashima is also the site of the Battle of Yashima which took place in 1185 as part of the Genpei War fought between the Taira and Minamoto clans. The Battle of Yashima was the battle before the decisive Battle of Dan-no-Ura which saw the fall of the Taira clan and the establishment of the Kamakura shogunate led by the Minamoto clan. The old battleground can be seen from the Dankorei observation deck. Shishi-no-reigan is another observation deck on top of Yashima which gives a good view of the Seto Inland Sea and is known to be one of the best sunset viewing spots in Japan.
There is also a castle ruins around if you walk far enough, the Yashima no Ki or Yashimajo (屋嶋城), dating back to year 667 built by Emperor Tenchi. The castle was built during the Yamato Period as part of a network of fortifications built to defend against possible invasion of the allied forces of Silla and the Tang Dynasty of ancient China after Baekje and Japan lost to these forces in the Battle of Baekgang.
As I happily headed downwards from the castle ruins, I realised I was on a walking trail which might be a longer route back to the Yashima Sanjo Bus Stop. I was not sure of the route all they way down back to the area around Shikoku Mura, so I went back up on another trail which eventually led me to Yashima Temple which is just right around the Yashima Sanjo Bus Stop.
The driveway is only open from 06:30 to 22:00.
The observation decks and Yashima-ji are always open, though the temple museum and New Yashima Aquarium are only open from 09:00 – 17:00.
Admission is free except for the temple museum and the aquarium.
Kotoden operates an hourly (frequency is increased during weekend) bus that goes all the way to the summit. You can board the bus from JR Yashima Station, Kotoden Yashima Station, or even Shikoku Mura. Timetable is here and it costs only 100 yen.
How to get to JR Yashima Station:
- From Takamatsu Station, take JR Kotoku Line (16 mins, 220 yen)
- From Tokushima Station, take JR Kotoku Line (2 hours, 1,280 yen). The Limited Express JR Uzushio will cut down the travel time from Tokushima by an hour, but would cost 2,980 yen.
How to get to Kotoden-Yashima Station:
- From Kotoden Kawaramachi Station, take the Kotoden Shido line (15 mins, 240 yen)