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Shikoku facts for kids

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Native name:
The island of Shikoku, Japan
Shikoku Region in Japan.svg
Location Japan
Archipelago Japanese archipelago
Area 18,800 km2 (7,300 sq mi)
Area rank 50th
Length 225 km (139.8 mi)
Width 50–150 km (31–93 mi)
Highest elevation 1,982 m (6,503 ft)
Highest point Mount Ishizuchi
Prefectures  Ehime
Largest settlement Matsuyama (pop. 514,865)
Population 3,845,534 (2015)
Pop. density 204.55 /km2 (529.78 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Japanese
Japan shikoku map small
Map of Japan with the island of Shikoku highlighted in brown

Shikoku (四国) is one of Japan's four main islands. It is the smallest island.

The island lies southeast of Honshu and northwest of Kyūshū across the Kanmon Strait.

Farming is a very important business in Shikoku. Citrus fruits are an important product. Shikoku is the home of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.


Shikoku region covers the entire island.

The name Shikoku literally means "four countries" in Japanese. Shikoku was made of four old "countries" or provinces that are now prefectures. In other words, each prefecture has a modern name and an old provincial name. The old names are still used sometimes, especially for foods, music, or art.


Points of interest

  • Cape Ashizuri – a scenic cape at the southernmost point of Shikoku
  • Iya Valley – a remote but beautiful mountain valley
  • Kotohira – the site of the Kompira-san shrine
  • Mount Ishizuchi – the tallest peak in Shikoku


There are twelve original castles left in Japan and Shikoku is home to four of them.

  • Marugame Castle, Marugame
  • Kōchi Castle, Kochi
  • Matsuyama Castle
  • Uwajima Castle, Uwajima.

Temples and Shrines

The 88 Temple Pilgrimage is a famous but difficult 1,647-kilometer circle around the entire island. Serious pilgrims may choose to complete the 88 Temple Circuit on foot. Other people uses buses.

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