Shikoku 88 Introduction


Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of Japan, and is separated from the main island of Honshu by the Inland Sea (north) and the Kii Strait (east) and from Kyushu by the Bungo Strait (west). The island is divided into the prefectures of Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, and Tokushima.


Much of the island’s landscape is mountainous, and the population is concentrated in urban areas on narrow plains along the coast. Agriculture is intensive in the north; rice, barley, wheat, and mandarin oranges are among the major crops. Fishing is well developed, and salt is produced from evaporated seawater. Industries produce petroleum, nonferrous metals, textiles, wood pulp, and paper. Important cities and industrial centres are Matsuyama, Takamatsu, Kōchi, and Tokushima. Shikoku is connected to Honshu by three multiple-span overwater bridges.

The island’s total area is 18,292 km² and the population in 2015 was 3,845,534.


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