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.
Aji-cho is located at the northern tip of Shikoku Island and is surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea on three sides. Mt Gokenzan (Five Swords Mountain) stands on the southern part of the town, and the stone from the foot of that mountain is called Aji Stone. It is famous domestically as well as internationally and because of its high quality and scarcity, it is valued as the most expensive granites in the world. Fishing is also popular here and ranks among the top in Kagawa Prefecture. "Ikiiki Sunday Market" is held every Sunday at Aji Port where you can buy cheap, fresh seafood.
Furthermore, a blockbuster movie, "Sekai no chushin de ai wo sakebu (Shout love at the center of the world)", was filmed in this town, and has become a popular spot for tourists and couples.
Aji as a sacred spot for pure love, Tourism and Exchange.
The Amahira photography store in which "Sekai no chushin de ai wo sakebu (Shout love at the center of the world)"was filmed, was restored to include a café where you can enjoy coffee ground with Aji stone as well as a display of filming photographs and autographs.
Shirobana Park is a seafront park sporting a grand view of Mt. Yashima. The sunset is especially beautiful and is popular with many couples and families. There are stone sculptures of famous sculptors as well as a real fisher boat in the park. During the summer, it becomes the main site for "Fureai Festival Aji" with crowds of people for various events.
Hot Spring and Healing Resort
Nestled among the nature of the Asan Mountains, the Shionoe hot spring has a long history dating some 1300 years ago. It is said that a famous priest named Gyoki who was walking around in Kagawa found this hot spring with his wisdom and knowledge. Then Kobodaishi Kukai is said to be trained there and spread about it.
Designated as one of only two "people's recreation and hot spring resorts" by Environment Ministry in Shikoku, this hot spring is surrounded by beauty and recreation. You can enjoy fire flies and camping in summer and Shippoku soba (buckwheat noodles) made from fresh buckwheat and local vegetables in winter. There is even a place where you can stop by to soak your feet for free in the Gyoki hot spring.
Due to its rich nature, Shionoe has many camping sites including Otakiokawa Prefectural Nature Park. Located 1059 meters high, among on Mt Ryuou, it has the only natural beech forest left in Kagawa Prefecture. There are refreshing trekking courses and walking paths where you can enjoy the light falling through the arches of trees and the abundance of nature.
Shippoku Soba(Buckwheat) Noodle
Shippokui Soba Noodles are famous in Shionoe. Buckwheat noodles harvested in Shionoe are topped with boiled white radishes, mushrooms and carrots and served in a steaming broth; an enjoyable dish to make you feel hot during the cold season.
Gyoki no yu
A hot spring facility with calm atmosphere where tourists can drop by.
Foot bath and bamboo lamp pavement are newly arranged near there.
Long long passage leading to the shrine is lined up a variety of shops. Hard to step up but fan to see on the way to famous shrine.
kanemaru-za on the way is the oldest theater in Japan and an important cultural asset.
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.
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.
This temple is Temple 83 on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. It's located next to a popular Shinto shrine, Tamura Jinja. There is a hole in the ground under the stone hut housing the Yakushi Nyorai statue which leads to hell, and it is said that the sound of hell can be heard here.
The 80th hallowed groundof Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage.
The statue of Goddess of Mercy and temple bell are designated as important cultural assets. Whole temple is a special historical place where cournerstone is remain as its foundation(mid 8th century).
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.
This temple, the 85th hallowed ground of Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage, was opened by Kobo Daishi, Kukai. Here is popular for praying prosperity in business.
Goshikidai is a plateau which juts into the Seto Inland Sea, located to the West of Takamatsu City. The name "goshiki" means "five colors" and it was so named for the five peaks which are respectively red, yellow, blue, black, and white in color. From this location, visitors can look out over the Seto Inland Sea and the Seto Ohashi bridge, and the Goshikidai Skyline is a great road for a scenic drive. There are a number of facilities on Goshikidai designed to help visitors get the most out of their encounters with the abundant nature on the plateau.
Furthermore, it is said that a great fire that occurred here over one thousand years ago was the cause of the unusual stone, sanukite, to be produced. This stone makes a beautiful tone when struck, and for this reason it is also known as kankan stone. The stone has been made into musical instruments for its beautiful tone, and is loved by musicians and used in concerts worldwide.