Shikoku - Kagawa prefecture

Probably the least visited island of Japan's four major islands is Shikoku. Literally "Four provinces", Shikoku was used to be Sanuki, Iyo, Awa and Tosa provinces. These provinces changed to Kagawa, Ehime, Tokushima and Kochi prefectures.


Kagawa prefecture is famous for udon noodles.


Kamaage udon for family

Udon is one of the three major noodles in Japan together with ramen and soba noodles. Although ramen noodle can be found easily in Europe, number of udon diners overwhelm ramen diners in Kagawa prefecture.

People of Kagawa love udon noodle. Many people eat daily and at least once per week. Udon noodle is mostly eaten during lunch and therefore many udon diners closed early in the afternoon.


Kagawa is known as udon prefecture for Japanese but there are many interesting places to visit. Especially Naoshima, an island offshore of prefectural capital Takamatsu, is a art island well known to overseas.


Visitor center of Chichu Art museum, Naoshima

Another place to visit is Kotohira town. The most popular tourist attraction is Kotohira-gu shrine, known as Kompirasan nationwide. One of the important facts of Kotohira-gu is that it is not easy to reach the main shrine. You have to climb up 785 steps to reach the main shrine and another 583 steps to reach the inner shrine. However, you can enjoy the magnificent view from the shrine.


Ichinosaka Tori gate and steps leading to Kotohira-gu main shrine, Kotohira town, Kagawa prefecture

The prefectural capital Takamatsu is archrival of Matsuyama, the prefectural capital of Ehime prefecture. Matsuyama is the most populous city in Shikoku but Takamatsu is the gateway and most of the Shikoku branches of large firms are located in Takamatsu.


Definitely the most popular and must visit tourist attraction in Takamatsu is Ritsurin garden.


Ritsurin garden, Takamatsu, Kagawa prefecture

Although it is not even known to Japanese as Kenrokuen, Ritsurin garden is probably the one of the best gardens must visit in Japan. Nearly 400 years of history, It has 6 ponds and 13 man-made hills, and it was the one of the gardens owned by daimyo; feudal lords who controlled their provinces. Ritsurin garden is the largest daimyo garden and famous for 1000 pine trees.


One of the best thing about Ritsurin garden is that you can hardly see the surrounding buildings, even though the garden is located in the city center of Takamatsu.


Interested in Kagawa prefecture?

Take Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama and change to rapid train "Marine Liner". Or take a domestic flight to Takamatsu airport. Naoshima can be visited by ferry from Takamatsu port. There are two ways to reach Kotohira town from Takamatsu. First, JR Yosan and Dosan lines train(direct train) or Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad(Kotoden) train.


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