Shikoku is the smallest of Japan's four main islands and is located to the southwest of the largest island, Honshu. The Shikoku region, comprising Shikoku and its surrounding smaller islands and islets, covers an area of about18,800 square kilometers. Shikoku has beautiful scenery, a laidback atmosphere, friendly people and many notable sights. These elements of traditional Japan are hard to find elsewhere. This ancient Buddhist pilgrimage, its historic castles and distinctive arts and festivals are just some of Shikoku's many attractions.