Yashima 屋島 mean “roof island” is a flat-topped mountain 20 mins away from Takamatsu’s city center. We were heading to Yashima to stay a night there. Yashima is famous for its sunset in Shikoku.
From Takamatsu city center, you still need to drive for about half an hour to reach Yashima. You will pass through the famous Yashima Shrine, then drive for another 15 mins to reach Yashima.
The mountain drive is manageable as the roads are wide enough. However when you are at the top of the mountain, there is not much shop open after 5 pm. So you need to buy something up or book dinner at your hotel.
When you approach the tunnel, you are not that far away from Yashima.
After you came out from the tunnel, you see beautiful ocean view of Seto Inland Sea at a glance.
For local Japanese people Yashima is famous because a battle has been fought there between the Taira and the Minamoto-clan in 1185 that influenced domestic politics for the next 200 years.
Yashima has been elected among Japan’s top places to see the sunset.
There is an aquarium at the top of Yashima Mountain but we did not go in as it was about to close when we arrived in Yashima. Closes at 5pm.
Pond of Blood / Chi no Ike
Nearby there is a small pond called Chi no Ike meaning “Pond of Blood” where the victorious Minamoto warriors supposedly cleansed their swords.
What is Tanuki in Japan ? The Japanese Racoon Dog
Have you realised that you often seen tanuki outside of a restaurants or shops in Japan?
Tanuki or Racoon Dog is believed to bring in prosperity and business success. The tanuki role is similar to the Maneki neko/ the cat. Tanuki is commonly depicted with a big tummy, a straw hat and a bewildered cute facial expression.
Where to stay in Yashima? Bokaiso Hotel
Bokaiso Hotel is located at the top Yashima Mountain. The hotel is not big which only has 8 western style rooms with either sea view or mountain view.
There is a mongen “門限” / cut off time to enter the hotel. After 10 pm, the electric auto door is not working so you have to use your hand to pull to the side to open and enter.
Kawara Nage @ 200 Yen / USD 1.80
Kawara nage biscuit was seen selling at the front desk. People throw Kawara nage in the air towards the ocean and make wish, hoping to get good fortune.
Genkan are traditional Japanese entryway are for a house or hotel. It is a place for you to remove your shoes before entering the building. Even though Bokaiso Hotel is a western style hotel, it still has a genkan.
To enter the hotel, you need to take off your shoes and put it in the shoes rack provided.
The hotel does not has a lift so you need to carry your big luggage up. There is only 2 storey. All rooms are at the second storey.
Hotel Room Review
Once you enter the room, there is another genkan for you to leave the common slippers and walk in with barefoot or with socks only.
It has Canopy Bed !
The room is very spacious which can fit two queen size bed with bed curtain (canopy bed) and an additional bed at the side. The canopy bed is really beautiful and romantic which look like the French Palace bedroom.
There is a little dining area but only two chairs available.
Room with sea view
Night sea view
Toilet & Bathroom Review
Toilet and bathroom are separated which is a good thing as it is neat. Japanese toilet are amazing to use as mentioned as it has all the button for you to press on and advance features.
Japanese Style of Bath
Bokaiso Hotel has no public bath but the bath is inside each room. There is a stool for you to sit and shower till clean which is very Japanese style, then go inside the bathtub and enjoy the soaking for 10 mins.
Our Supermarket Dinner
We did not book our dinner in the hotel so we drove out to Takamatsu town get our dinner at Direx supermarket (Click here if you want to see how a local supermarket looks like in Japan neighborhood). There is no shops or restaurants open after 5 pm in Yashima, so make sure you have something to eat while you are up the Yashima mountain. Pre-book of dinner is needed when you made your hotel booking. Dinner course in the hotel is not cheap but I suspect they have a good kaiseki Ryori/Kaiseki meal. (Traditional multi-course Japanese dinner)
What we bought from the local supermarket :
- chuka kurage/season jelly fish @ 131 yen (USD 1.20)
- sushi @ 429 yen (USD 3.80)
- sashimi @ 429 yen (USD3.80)
- ika karage/fried squid @ 278 yen (USD 2.50)
- Gyudon/beef bowl @ 321 yen ( USD 2.85)
- potato salad @ 99 yen (USD 0.90)
- cabbage salad @ 100 yen (USD 0.90)
- kobachi /small dish @ 178 yen (USD 1.60)
- dessert : mochi with kinako @ 99 yen ( USD 0.90)
- Japanese beer Asahi @ 198 yen (USD 1.80)
- soft drink Coke @ 69 yen (USD 0.60)
- Natural spring water @ 69 yen (USD 0.60)
Total : 2400 yen (USD21.30) for 3 pax. And still plenty left over as we could not finish.
We woke up early in the morning to check on the sunrise but sunrise is at the other side so it not that pretty as compared to sunset.
Car park outside Bokaiso Hotel
The parking is free of charge but limited spaces only.
The breakfast is inclusive and the presentation of the breakfast was really beautiful. There are 3 small glass of juice with different colors, orange, red and green. Each is made from fresh vegetable and fruits. There is an instruction on the table to tell you which one to consume first on the table since there are so many small plates on the table.
The usual Japanese breakfast consist of :
- Yakizakana/ grilled fish,
- Miso soup
- Natto or the fermented soy bean
- Tsukemono / pickled vegetable such as daikon & ume boshi/red sour plum
- Ajitsuke nori / Seasoned Dried Seaweed (Nori)
- Kobachi / Japanese cooked side dish in small portion, hikiji/seaweed cook with soy sauce and bean, okura (lady fingers) and renkon (lotus root)
- potatoes and cabbage salad
- eggs on the hot-pot.
Final thoughts :
Yashima mountain is one of the best spot to catch the sunset in Shikoku Island. It is only about 20 mins drive to Takamatsu city, which is a quiet and exclusive place for people who like to stay away from the crowd.
Bokaiso Hotel located at the top of Yashima mountain offer the breathtaking view of Seto Inland Sea. The room is extremely spacious and with sea view facing. The downside is there is no restaurants nearby so you may need to pre-book the in-house dinner or bring your own food up. Bakaiso is good for travellers who are driving so it is super exclusive.