Nostalgic Home of Shikoku
Shikoku-mura is located at the foothills of Mt Yashima, surrounded by nature. Traditional farmhouses have been re-located and restored here from all over Shikoku in this open-air museum.
The folk houses from Edo to Taisho Period are displayed along with traditional folk tools in an area of about 50,000 square meters.
You can feel the village life from the old days as you walk through the miniature Shikoku.
It is a unique aquarium located 300 meters above sea level on the top of Mt. Yashima, supporting a panoramic view of the Seto Inland Sea. You can see fish locally as well as around the world. There are 500 kinds of fish, 8,000 in total. Don't miss the legendary mermaids (American manatees). Only 6 exist in Japan, two of which are here. The dolphin and sea lion shows are very popular, too!
Here, the history of Takamatsu is introduced chronologically from the ancient primitive to the modern present. Along with numerous displays are Tamura Shrine's votive objects designated as important cultural properties as well as the model of "Hiru-maru", the ship owned by Takamatsu.
There is a song about Takamatsu Castle that goes, "You can see the Takamatsu Castle above the sea in Sanuki." The castle is also called Tamamo Castle because Kakinomoto Hitomaro used the word "Tamamo yoshi" as a pillow word of Sanuki in Manyoshu. Takamatsu Castle was built by Chikamasa Ikoma, the first feudal lord of Takamatsu. Taking several years to build, the castle has outer, middle and inner moats. It is one of only three castles surrounded by water moats in Japan. At that time, Takamatsu Castle had a magnificent view of the surrounding area with a unique Western-style, three-story, five-layered, castle tower. However, it was removed as it became old. The Ushitora tower, Moon-watch tower as well as Mizutegomon gate still exists which reflects ancient times. A recreational area with old pine trees and other beautiful trees attracts many residents and tourists.
Hiunkaku with romantic Taisho atmosphere
Hiunkaku was built as a second house for Yorinaga Matsudaira, the 12th feudal lord of the Matsudaira family. Construction started in the second year of the Taisho period and took about three years to complete. There is a room called the "big study room" (142 tatami mats) and there are seven rooms named after the view each room has. For example: the "cycadophyte room," the "pine tree room" and the "wave room". Nowadays, tea ceremonies and concerts are held with a romantic Taisho atmosphere - a fusion of Japanese tradition and Western skills.
Beautiful cherry blossom of Sakura no baba (turf of cherry blossom)
"Sakura no baba" is located in the southern part of the castle tower ruins.
As its names shows, this was the place used to train horses in ancient times, but now has become one of the best places to see cherry blossoms with as many as 90 cherry trees blooming in spring.
Among the gardens in Japan designated as National Special Scenic Beauty, Ritusrin Garden is the largest. Construction started around 1625 by Takatoshi Ikoma, the feudal lord of Takamatsu, and took about 100 years with successive feudal lords to complete in 1745. The garden has six ponds and thirteen mounds strategically placed to use Mt Shiun as a background. Different flowers bloom all year round, changing the scenery as you walk. "One step, one scenery."
The garden also has an excellent reputation overseas. It was given three stars as the highest-rated, worth-visiting place for sightseeing in the Michelin Green Guide Japan in 2009.
Romantic islands with folktales
Off the shore of Takamatsu, there are two islands with famous stories. Megijima, also called "Demon's Island", is said to be the home of demons and the Japanese folktale "Momotaro". There is a cave where the demons lived and the island is the center for marine activities such as swimming, camping, fishing, cruising and sailing. There are more than 2000 cherry trees planted on the island and it is a popular place to enjoy cherry blossoms in spring.
Ogijima is famous for its role in the movie "Yorokobi mo kanashimi mo ikutoshitsuki (happiness and sadness for many years)"about a lighthouse keeper and his family who lived on the island. Recently, there is a campaign to make Ogijima famous for narcissus. Thousands of narcissus bulbs, which bloom from January to February, have been planted every year along the recreational trail.
Onigashima Oni no yakata
The Onigashima Oni no yakata has a shape of a demon's spreading arms. There are displays of unique demons in Japan and a broadcast of "Nanakiourai" which is the demon legend of Megijima.
The cave from Momotaro's legend is located in the middle of the island on the hillside of Washigamine. With an area of 4000 square meters and a length 450 meters, it is cool even in summer and demon laughter can be heard from the back of the cave.
Stone walling called "oote" which can extend as high as the roof of a house, are used as shelter from strong winds and high tides on the island. They give the island a nostalgic atmosphere which stimulates the creativity of photographers and painters.
Lighthouse Museum on Ogijima
This unique lighthouse museum has a display of panels explaining the locations of the main lighthouses around Japan and the Seto Inland Sea. They also explain the role of the Japanese Coast Guard and the structures of Ogijima's lighthouse. There are a variety of displays and explanations about electric signboards, offshore scenery from a simulated light house, as well as the history, life and sightseeing around Ogijima.
Ogijima narcissus garden
The narcissus garden in Ogijima is located around the recreational trail which was completed in October, 2003. Other sightseeing spots around Ogijima include: the cave named "Hole of Jii" where the vice-general of the demons escaped in the Momotaro legend; and unique stones called tanku stones (columnar jointing and felsenmeer) designated as a cultural asset and natural treasure of Takamatsu city.
The Sanuki Takamatsu Festival is one of the major summer events in Takamatsu, held for three days from August 12 to 14 every year.
Numerous beautiful and colorful fireworks illuminate the night skies of Takamatsu during the firework festival called "Dondon Takamatsu."
The dancing parade is held on the final day of the spectacular mid-summer festival, with more than 4000 dancers dancing enthusiastically along Main Street, enchanting crowds of people.
[Periods for holding]
12th - 14th August
This festival is the signature winter event in Takamatsu.
During the festival, many joyful events such as children's performance and dance contests are held in Central Park, the event site.
The park is filled with beautiful illuminations and a fantastic atmosphere, enchanting everyone there.
[Periods for holding]
Mid Deoember to Christmas eve
Future urban space as the capital of Seto
Takamatsu was developed as a castle town surrounding Takamatsu castle which is one of the three biggest castles with water moats in Japan.
Sunport Takamatsu was developed as a new water front from a nostalgic harbor town, becoming a popular place to gather, chat and exchange.
Sunport Takamatsu is the gateway to Shikoku; the hub for land and maritime traffic. There is a symbol tower which has a variety of functions including culture, exchange, business; and the world's first glass-made lighthouse, playgrounds and a boardwalk where. Sunport Takamatsu became a recreational place which attracts many people.
Red lighthouse(Seto marker)
The red lighthouse located at the end of a 540 meter pier has a nickname; the Seto Marker. It is the world's first lighthouse made of glass bricks. The entire lighthouse shines red when it gets dark.
Takamatsu Symbol Tower Takamatsu Symbol Tower stands on the north side of Takamatsu Station. Being the center of sightseeing, business, and culture, it is crowded with people. It consists of a tower building where you can see a panoramic view of the downtown area; and a hall building with a variety of shops.
There are Japanese, Western and Chinese restaurants run by prestigious chefs on the 29th and 30th floors. There is also an observatory lobby where you can see the scenery of the Seto Inland Sea and its night views far away.
There are unique restaurants and shops in the Maritime Plaza in the hall building. Being close to the sea, you can have a great time!
New amusement spot where used to be a warehouse town.
Now high sense shops such as cafe & bar, restaurant, general store, and interior shop are gathered.
Takamatsu Central Shopping Mall boasts of the longest arcade in Japan. On the long mall, large shops and shops for mania host shoppers.
The starting point of shopping is Ichiban-gai renewed in Fall 2006.
Trend shops and popular bland shops are lined up.
At the south corner of Ichiban-gai, the arcade is divided by three directions.
Each mall, Hyogo-machi and Katahara-machi in rightleft direction, Marugame-machi, Minamishin-machi, Tokiwa-gai, Ta-machi coming in the front direction, has individual characters.
Shopping time flies like arrows!
A Well-known Genpei Battlesite: Yashima
The peak of Yashima is flat and resembles a roof, which is the origin of the name "Yashima," which means "roof island." There are three viewpoints located along a walking path atop the mountain, named Dankorei, Shishi no Reigan, and Yu-kakutei. From there, the entire Seto Inland Sea National Park can be seen, as well as the island-dotted Seto Inland Sea, and the cityscape of Takamatsu City. A battlesite from the Genpei War can also be seen on the mountain. In addition, the 84th temple in the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, Yashima-ji, is located atop the mountain, as well as the Shin-Yashima Aquarium, which is said to be located highest above sea level of all the aquariums in Japan.
A Place to Encounter a Great Literary Figure
The manuscripts and personal effects of Kikuchi Kan, a local literary legend, are on display here. Images that show his interactions with other literary giants of his time and a reconstruction of his writing room are on display, allowing visitors to get a sense of the magnitude of his literary achievements.
Kikuchi Kan's books, and books that have received one of the two literary prizes founded by Kikuchi, the Akutagawa and Naoki, are available to read in the reading corner.
A Transmission Point for Art and Culture
The Takamatsu City Museum of Art was built in 1988, in the center of the city (Konya-machi). Since then, through a number of activities such as special exhibits and museum concerts, it has become a transmission point for Takamatsu's art and culture. It has also become a place for the citizens of the city to learn together through lifelong learning programs.
At the Takamatsu City Museum of Art, local artworks such as fine lacquerware pieces, as well as modern paintings and sculptures by well-known artists from within Japan and abroad are displayed.
This temple is Temple 82 on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. It houses a Nationally designated Important Cultural Artifact, the Senju Kannon Ryu-zo, a Buddhist statue that is only displayed to the public once every 33 years. It was last put on public display in 2003. There are also two prefecturally designated Important Cultural Artifacts, Godai Myo-o, and Hakkou Keyaki. The grounds have several momiji trees which make a beautiful display of red fall leaves each November, and the grounds are lively with pilgrims taking photographs of the sight.
There are classes for making Sanuki Udon traditionally made in Sanuki climate.
Yashimaji Temple is the 84th temple of the Shikoku Pilgrimage located on the top of Mt Yashima. Passing through the temple gates, there is a beautiful vermillion-lacquered mail hall and in front of the hall, "Minoyama Dimyojin" was dedicated to the Yashima raccoon dog- a messenger to convey the sad story of the Genpei Battle.
Inside the temple, there is a "snow garden" made of white tuff, as well as a treasure museum displaying things related to the Genpei Battle. The main hall was built in the Kamakura period, around the 13th century and has been designated as a national important cultural property.