the Degree Confluence Project

Japan : Shikoku

2.4 km (1.5 miles) NW of Sakodo, Mikamo-chō, Tokushima-ken, Shikoku, Japan
Approx. altitude: 755 m (2477 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 34°S 46°W

Accuracy: 130 m (426 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: 130 meters from confluence #3: Near track - 610 meters from confluence #4: From Mima IC to confluence #5: Along Road 258 #6: View into the valley

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  34°N 134°E (visit #1) (incomplete) 

#1: View to the south (130m from 34N 134E)

(visited by Fabrice Blocteur)

Japanese Narrative

24-Jul-2004 -- Two months after visiting 34N 133E I decided to go back to Shikoku Island to find the confluence located just one degree east. It was sunny and already very hot when I left Maizuru by motorbike at 8:00 in the morning. I took the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway south to Akashi near Kobe, crossed the first bridge to Awaji-Shima Island at around 9:30 and less than an hour later the second bridge over the well-known Naruto Whirlpools to Shikoku. I then left the expressway and went down the eastern coast of the island to Tokushima to get on the Tokushima Expressway heading west. It took me another hour to get to the Mima Interchange, which is less than 20 kilometers from the confluence.

I crossed the Yoshino River and before going up into the mountain I stopped at a noodle shop for a bowl of Udon, the thick, white, wheat noodles particularly famous in this part of Japan. Shortly after noon I got back on the motorbike and took Road 256 for about five or six kilometers and when I spotted the sign for Road 258 I turned my GPS on. Before making this trip, I had scanned and calibrated a topographical map covering this area with a map program on my computer, marked a route on the screen and transferred it to the GPS. The only thing I had to do now was to select the navigation screen and follow the indications. I was now on a very narrow forest road and thirty minutes later I stopped the motorbike 650 meters from the confluence. This is the closest I could get with a vehicle. The altitude at that point was 550 meters and the confluence was 200 meters higher up in the mountain.

According to the topo map, there was supposed to be a hiking trail nearby going up toward the confluence. But the trail had not been used for a while and it turned out to be an almost invisible track disappearing into the vegetation here and there. I walked along the track and was slowly getting closer. Then the track disappeared completely and I had no choice but to keep going up through the forest. After reaching the correct altitude, which was still 130 meters away from the point, the GPS got kind of stuck. I walked around for a while but the distance remained the same and I had no idea what was going on. The GPS was pointing in all the directions. The vegetation was very dense and there is a possibility that I wasn’t receiving a signal. I could also hear the sound of thunder getting closer and it might have created some interference. I had no rain gear and staying at the top of a mountain during a storm wasn’t necessarily the best idea. I then decided to give up and to go back down. Better safe than sorry. I just made it back to the valley to take shelter before the rain started. The thunderstorm lasted for an hour.

Although it had not been a successful visit I had had a very nice ride to Shikoku and a very nice hike in the mountains. I decided to reward my efforts by going to an onsen to relax for the rest of the afternoon, and went to Kotohira to spend the night in the same minshuku I had stayed three years ago while touring Shikoku Island. I woke up early the next morning and climbed the 800 steps to the Kompira-san Shrine, one of Shikoku’s major attractions, and before crossing the Seto-ohashi Bridge on my way back to Honshu, I stopped at the Zentsu-ji Temple, the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, or “Kukai”, the most revered figures of Japanese Buddhism.

Japanese Narrative

24-Jul-2004 -- 北緯34度、東経133度地点を訪れた2ヵ月後、私は再び四国へ行き1度西よりの交流点を目指すことにした。朝8時、バイクで舞鶴を出発した時点の天候は晴れ。すでに気温はかなり高くなっていた。舞鶴若狭の高速に乗り、神戸近くの街・明石へ向かって南下する。午前9時30分頃、淡路島にかかる橋(明石海峡大橋)を渡り、その1時間後には2つ目の橋、有名な鳴門の大渦巻を跨ぐ鳴門大橋を渡って四国へ入った。ここで高速を下り、徳島県の東の海岸線に沿って南へ向かい、徳島自動車道を目指す。高速にのって西へ走ること1時間、美馬インターチェンジに到着した。ここから交流点までは20キロ足らずだ。




Translated by Yoriko Uemura

 All pictures
#1: View to the south (130m from 34N 134E)
#2: 130 meters from confluence
#3: Near track - 610 meters from confluence
#4: From Mima IC to confluence
#5: Along Road 258
#6: View into the valley
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)