Takamatsu: The Castle Town of one of Japan's 3 "Water Castles", Takamatsu Castle

Takamatsu City is located in Kagawa Prefecture, facing the Seto Inland Sea. Historically, it flourished as the castle town for Takamatsu Castle. There are also many shops that offer the famous Kagawa specialty, "Sanuki Udon", and there are plenty of dishes that make use of the seafood taken from the Seto Inland Sea.

About Takamatsu

Takamatsu City is the location of the Kagawa Prefectural office and the central city of the Shikoku area. In the southern part of the city is a naturally rich area, with the Sanuki mountain range and hills, and in the north is the urban area, on the plains facing the Seto Inland Sea. Takamatsu City also includes remote islands, such as Ogijima and Megijima Islands, which are popular as sightseeing areas.

Takamatsu Climate and Tourist Seasons

Takamatsu City has a relatively warm climate, with little rainfall throughout the year. Because of this, you can go sightseeing there year-round, but we especially recommend going in the spring. There are many popular places to see cherry blossoms in the city parks and on Megijima Island, so you can see the beautiful view of the cherry blossoms with the background of the cityscape.

Things to Do in Takamatsu

Most of Takamatsu's main tourist attractions are concentrated in the northern urban area. There are many attractions, from historic spots to modern tourist facilities, but we will introduce some of our favorite spots here.

Historic Spots: Takamatsu Castle and Ritsurin Garden

Takamatsu City has historical sites, such as the ancient mountain castle "Yashima Castle" ruins, and Takamatsu Castle, which was built in the 16th century. Takamatsu Castle, which faces the Seto Inland Sea, is a historical site that retains many of its original features. In the grounds, there are many historical buildings, such as the "Yagura", which was a defense and watchtower, and the castle residence, the "Hiunkaku."

There is also a Japanese garden, the Ritsurin Garden, that you should take time to see. This is the place where the feudal lord of Takamatsu had his second residence, a sort of vacation home if you will, and the garden is one of the largest feudal gardens in Japan. The garden offers many spectacular views of the pond, artificial hills, boulders and a wooden bridge.

Yashima Shrine and Other Takamatsu Shrines and Temples

There are many shrines and temples in Takamatsu, such as Yashima-ji Temple, which is one of the "Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage" sites, Yakuri-ji Temple, Tamura Shrine, and Yashima Shrine. 

Amongst these, Yashima-ji Temple is especially famous. Built in the 17th century, the main hall is majestically traditional in style and has been designated as an important cultural property. Other highlights include the "Homotsu-kan" treasure hall, which holds the precious temple treasures, and the "Minoyama-Daimyojin", which houses a huge stone tanuki statue that is said to bring luck.

Takamatsu City Museum of Art

Takamatsu has many tourist facilities, such as art, history, and folk museums. For example, the Takamatsu City Museum of Art displays Japanese contemporary art and traditional crafts, such as Shitsu-gei lacquerwork and Kinko metalworking.

There is also the Kagawa Prefectural Museum, which has a unique mixture of art and history. Not only can you take a journey through the history of Kagawa, you can also see the art of local Kagawa natives Genichiro Inokuma and Isamu Noguchi.

Takamatsu Food and Restaurants

There are many shops in Takamatsu where you can eat the Kagawa Prefecture specialty, "Sanuki Udon." Also famous are the dishes made with seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, such as "Sawara no Oshinuki-zushi."

Most of the restaurants are located in the northern urban part of the city, near JR Takamatsu Station and the Kotohira Electric Railway Kawaramachi Station.

Takamatsu Hotels, and Ryokan Inns

The hotels and ryokan inns in Takamatsu have different characteristics in the northern and southern parts of the city. In the north, the hotels, inns, and guesthouses are centered around JR Takamatsu Station. There are many economy hotels that cost about 3,000 - 5,000 yen per night, so it's a great area if you're looking for inexpensive accommodations.

However, the southern part of the city doesn't have nearly as many lodging options, there being just a few hotels and inns in the mountainous Shionoe Hot Springs area, but they all offer a quiet and relaxing hot spring experience.

Access to Takamatsu

If you want to visit Takamatsu, the first aim for JR Takamatsu Station, which is the base for tourism in the city. From Okayama Station, which is a Shinkansen Bullet Train stop from both directions, it takes about 1 hour on the "Rapid Marine Liner." Otherwise, it is also possible to take express buses from various major stations.

From JR Takamatsu Station to the various tourist attractions, you can use local buses or the "Machinaka Loop Bus." About a 5-minute walk from JR Takamatsu Station is the Kotohira Electric Railway "Takamatsu-Chikko Station", which is also useful for getting around. 

There is a tourist information center at JR Takamatsu Station, with staff who speak English, Chinese, and Korean. You can also use tablets to search for information for free, so be sure to stop by!

Spot information

  • Spot name:Takamatsu (JR Takamatsu Station)
  • Street address:1-20 1-20 Hamano-cho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture (Zip code 760-0011)
  • Access:[JR Rapid Marine Liner] About 1 hour → Takamatsu Station
  • Wi-Fi:Available(KAGAWA Wi-Fi)
  • Language:English, Chinese, Korean
  • Credit cards:VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners Club International


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