5 Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Kagawa in the Shikoku Region
Kagawa, situated in the northern part of the Shikoku region, is an area that is overflowing with must-see spots. Below are five of the most recommended spots in this prefecture!
Shodoshima is an island that is floating in the eastern portion of the Seto Inland Sea. It has a flourishing soy sauce and somen (fine white noodles) industry, but it is also famous as a producer of olives. Michi no Eki Shodoshima Olive Park, which has about 2,000 olive trees planted on a hill that overlook the sea, is famous for its picturesque view that might remind you of vistas in Greece. It is filled with many other must-see spots, such as Angel Road – which appears or disappears depending on the tide – and Kankakei Gorge, which is full of strangely shaped rocks.
Kotohira-gu (Konpira-san) is a shrine that worships the long-beloved deity of the sea. It has a famous set of long stone steps. You need to take 785 steps to get to the Hongu (main shrine), or a total of 1,368 steps to reach the okusha (inner shrine)! Its precincts are dotted with important structures, including Important Cultural Properties of Japan. The Homotsukan (treasure hall), for instance, showcases many first-class works of art and cultural assets. It’s also recommended to drop by the souvenir shops and specialty udon (thick wheat noodles) restaurants that are lined up on both sides of the road.
Naoshima is an incredibly popular “art island” that can be accessed from Takamatsu Port in approximately an hour by ferry, or around 30 minutes by high-speed boat. It thrived as an important marine transport point in the olden days, and while the retro townscape from those days still remains, the main attractions of Naoshima now are the local and foreign contemporary art pieces scattered all over the island. If you come here, you will get to see a series of works under the “kabocha” (pumpkin) theme that were created by the world-famous artist, Yayoi Kusama, as well as many other collections that harmonize well with the landscape and nature. This island is also home to several museums, such as the Benesse House and Chichu Art Museum.
Once the villa of the past lord of the Takamatsu Domain, Ritsurin Garden is a cultural property garden (designated as a special place of scenic beauty in Japan) that was completed about 300 years ago after a series of repairs and renovations ordered by successive lords of the domain. It has six ponds and 13 artificial hills that are set against lush mountains. Over 1,000 pine trees live in harmony with various seasonal flowers, painting varied and beautiful scenes throughout the year. One of the recommended activities here is rowing, which was apparently enjoyed by successive domain lords in the past.
Adult: 410 JPY
Elementary/junior high school student: 170 JPY
*Admission is free on January 1, as well as the garden’s anniversary, which is on March 16
Wasen (Japanese boat) ride fare:
Adult: 610 JPY
Children: 300 JPY (children below 3 years old are not allowed to ride)
4. Ritsurin Garden
Marugame Castle is a castle that was built about 400 years ago. The castle’s 3-tiered, 3-storied keep is a precious structure that is counted as one of the 12 wooden castle keeps that still exist in Japan today, which is why it has been designated as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties. From the castle tower, you will get to enjoy a truly open and expansive view. Meanwhile, the stone walls that have been stacked from the moat up to the keep are characterized by their splendid curves. The height of these walls exceeds 60m, making them the tallest in Japan.
Keep entrance fee:
Adult: 200 JPY
Children (elementary/junior high school): 100 JPY
Travel time from Tokyo or Osaka to Takamatsu is about 2 hours by plane and bus or shinkansen (bullet train). It is worth a visit!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.