A former castle town that was especially important during Japan's feudal period, Takamatsu is the largest city on Shikoku island. It is an excellent base from which to explore the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

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1. Ritsurin Garden

Ritsurin Garden was landscaped for Edo Era daimyo (feudal lords) over the course of a hundred years, reaching its present design in 1745.

Designated a Special Place of Scenic Beauty, this spacious garden features six ponds and thirteen landscaped hills. At Ritsurin Garden, it is said the scenery changes with every step, a characteristic called "ippo ikkei."
Relax with a bowl of matcha (powdered green tea) at Kikugetsu-tei teahouse while you take in the picturesque landscape, and afterward marvel at the intricate beauty of Sanuki folk crafts on display at the Sanuki Mingeikan Folk Craft Museum. You can also enjoy a ride on a Japanese boat.

Ritsurin Garden
20-16, 1-chome, Kuribayashi-cho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture 760-0073

2. Mamehana

At Mamehana, you can learn the traditional Sanuki confectionery-making process hands-on, using wooden molds to create the unique shapes of Japanese confectionery called Wasanbon.

Carving the wooden molds, which usually take the form of natural objects such as a maple leaf, is itself a traditional craft – the technique of using wooden molds to make the sweets was developed in the Edo period, giving it a history of more than 200 years.
Currently, just one artisan is producing wooden molds in Shikoku, Mr. Yoshihiro Ichihara of Takamatsu City. So at the end of the workshop, you will not only have beautiful wagashi (Japanese confectionery) to take home and eat but also insight into this traditional industry of Kagawa.

1-chome-9-13 Hanazonocho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 760-0072

3. Yashima

Yashima is one of the sites where the Genji and the Heike fought each other during the Genpei War almost a thousand years ago.

Funa-kakushi, a cove where the Heike hid their warships, and Inoriiwa, where archers prayed for their arrows to fly true, are just two of many sites at Dannoura, where visitors can feel a connection with the history of ancient Japan.
From a roof-like lava plateau, you can take in a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea as it blends in with the islands and cityscape of Takamatsu. Yashimaji Temple is located at the summit, and is No. 84 of the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

Yashima Higashimachi, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-0111

4. Bonsai Cultivation area

Bonsai is a traditional Japanese art rooted in kindness toward living trees, and expressed in a meticulous aesthetic sense.

The western part of Takamatsu City in Kagawa (around the Kinashi and Kokubunji areas) is Japan’s top bonsai pine tree producing area, accounting for 80 percent of th…

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