The Kanagawa Capital of Takamatsu

The Importance of Takamatsu Japan tourism

Takamatsu is known to be the core city of the Kagawa prefecture in Japan. It is the largest city center on the Japanese Island of Shikoku and it is also the capital city of the Kagawa prefecture. This particular place also played an important role in the earlier times as it served as an important home to the feudal lords of the region, during the Edo period.

This city has established in the late 1800s even though there had been strong records of civilization as early as the 1500s. It was a strategic location for many feudal lords as it has its own port – an important means of travel and trade.

What is interesting was that amidst the bombing during the war, Takamatsu was one of the cities which are most devastated. This is so that infantries from the Allied forces can easily enter the country through the ports. As a result of this, a large majority of the island has been destroyed.

Things to know about Takamatsu in Japan

Takamatsu Japan Map

The city of Takamatsu is located in the central region of the Kagawa prefecture. This prefecture is located at the smallest Island of Japan - Shikoku. This region is located on the south side of Japan and is home to subtropical temperatures and seasons.

Since it was located in the south region, many Allied forces targeted Shikoku during the Second World War. This has caused a majority of the island to be destroyed, taking with it castles and other historical structures which now lay in ruins.

Takamatsu Japan Weather

Since this portion of Japan is located nearest to the Equator it is expected that the daily average temperature in this city is much higher than those in the north. Takamatsu is known to have a very humid subtropical climate. This means that summer temperatures are more severe and winter temperatures are much milder. This means a lot of people enjoy longer times frolicking in lakes and beaches in this town. This is especially true since one of the Islands of Takamatsu is best known for their pristine, white-sand beaches.

Because of its proximity quite close to the sea, the area is generally humid and can experience a huge amount of rainfall on a yearly basis. This humidity can make afternoon temperatures very thick and heavy. In fact, the city does not experience dry months and it rains even during the summer time.

Takamatsu Japan Population

Although it is comparatively smaller than bustling cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, Takamatsu is still considered as the largest city in Shikoku. This may mean that it is an important financial hub in the region, attracting headquarters and offices of both local and international brands.

It is said that Takamatsu has a total population of almost 420,000 people. This large sum may be attributed to the role that Takamatsu plays in Japan’s society and commerce. As of the latest census, two of its islands are both only inhabited by a total of 200 people each.

This makes the population density in the area to be quite high, compared to other destinations in Japan. When visiting, avoid high seasons because there are only so many people the town can accommodate.

Takamatsu Japan Guide

Takamatsu Japan Hotels

There are a number of hotels and lodgings in Takamatsu city which are very affordable but luxurious at the same time. One of this would be the APA Hotel Takamatsu airport, an easy to access the hotel from the airport. The problem with this is that it is quite far from the city center.

Another nice hotel would be the JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu which can be quite costly but the stay is impeccably luxurious. The rooms are state-of-the-art and very comfortable. It is also placed in a great location which can access many of Takamatsu’s tourist destinations.

An interesting place to stay would be the Hotel Dormy Inn. This is one of the only hotels in the area which has its own in-house onsen and spa. There is a division for men and women, so relaxing in the onsen is a great way to end an exhausting day. It is said that the water used in this onsen comes from Mt. Yashima near Takamatsu.

Super Hotel Takamatsu Tamachi is located very near both Tamachi and Takamatsu castles. It is a great hub to enjoy a simple, yet relaxing stay. People who go here enjoy the food and the proximity to many of Takamatsu’s tourist spots. On top of that, it is quite affordable as well.

For those who are truly after the luxury, a stay at the Royal Park Hotel might be the best deal. From the lobbies to the rooms, the hotel provides an exquisite harmony with western style and traditional Japanese style. The rooms are minimalist but exude great luxury, fit for a royal.

Takamatsu Japan Transportation

Many people who travel to Takamatsu from a different part of the world enjoy the simplicity and accessibility of the town.  This is because of the fact that some of its tourist destinations are only walking distances from each other.

Kotoden (Kotoden Kotohira Line)

This particular bus line is the best means of traveling around Takamatsu. It serves almost as a tourist spot and each bus station is the near or walking distance to a certain travel destination. Its route maps are also designed with super cute characters to show which route takes an individual where and what spots can be visited at every station.

There is one day passes for the Kotoden which usually costs 1230 Yen for adults and 620 yen for children. This kind of ticket is good for multiple rides in an entire day and will bring an individual to different points around Takamatsu, regardless of the number of times. This is a super good deal especially for those who really want to saturate all tourist destinations in Takamatsu. This is also a great deal for those traveling by groups because the route is so easy to follow.

Ferry Stations

Since Takamatsu is home to small islands and a large port, it is only understandable that there are ferries that would take individuals from the main land to the island and vice versa. A typical ferry boat ride costs about 320 yen and can last 20 minutes. There are boats to and from the two ferry stations on a 2-hour interval.

There are also ferries that travel farther destinations than just the small islands of Takamatsu. There are ferry rides that can take an individual from Takamatsu to Kobe. This particular ride is known as the Jumbo Ferry, the ride costs roughly around 2290 for the adult non-sleeping seat.

JR Line Takamatsu

Japan Rail (or JR) does not have a line traveling around the city of Takamatsu. However, it does have a train line traveling around the island of Shikoku. This train line has a station at the Takamatsu city.

Takamatsu Things to do

Ritsurin Koen

This particular space in Japan is a landscape garden in the center of the city of Takamatsu. It is the most visited tourist destination in the city as it boasts of a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the urban life. The place boasts of a number of large ponds which is home to a multitude of fishes. The park is also home to hills, and other sights. Then, what makes it even more special is the presence of historic trees – some which have been existing even before the city was established.

This particular park or garden was built in the Edo period as a part of a property of one of Takamatsu’s most powerful feudal lords. In the modern times, there are pavilions and tea houses which have been built so visitors of the park can easily enjoy and relax. There are also museums and souvenir shops inside the park.

The garden features a traditional style with pagoda lanterns, stone paved walkways, and more. The Risturin Koen is home to Japan’s most beautiful and exotic flowers that there had been petitions for it to be included in the Three Most Beautiful Gardens in Japan.

Opening and closing hours of this park vary depending on the season. During the winter and fall season, they open much later and close much earlier. However, during the spring and summer time, the park is opened for longer hours as they open earlier and close much later. Entrance tickets cost about 410 yen.

Ogijima Island

This is one of the most important travel destinations in all of Takamatsu as it is a small island with a small community. Its smallness is made up for by the fullness of the experiences it can offer – it can surely make their visitors value the importance of nature and community.

The Island of Ogijima is separated from the mainland Takamatsu city via the Seto Inland Sea. Its area is so small that it is just one kilometer wide and two kilometers long and can accommodate only a total of 200 locals. The island is quite small that visitors will only need to walk from end to end.

The most important destinations inside the Ogijima Island would be the lighthouse at the northern end. It is complete with a small museum which shows pictures of the local community, old photos of the village, important and notable inhabitants and more. The lighthouse gives a spectacular view of the sea and nearby islands. It is also home to two famous shrines known as the Kamo shrine and Toyotamahime shrine.

Megijima Island

The Megijima Island is one of the islands of Takamatsu and it is one of the most valuable tourist destinations in the city. It can be accessed by a short ferry ride from the Takamatsu port. The size of the island is slightly larger than the Ogijima island. It has a length of four kilometers and a width of one kilometer.

Unlike the Ogijima Island as well, there are two villages found in the area. However, the overall population is the same at about 200 locals. It is quite mountainous compared to the hilly Ogijima island which is why it is a popular hiking destination as well. There are hidden beaches and coves to enjoy in the area, just next to the ferry terminal.

Inside the Megijima island is a cave which is home to an amazing variety of stalactites and stalagmites. This is an interconnection of cave and tunnel systems which was believed to be the homes of the ogres living in the islands. The island also boasts of an observation point, located at the highest point of the island. This point is believed to be the fortress of the legendary ogres that was believed by myths to inhabit the islands thousands of years ago. There is also the Nichiren Statue located somewhere near the center of the island. 

Takamatsu Castle

This is one of the most cultural and historic places to visit in all of Takamatsu. Also known as the Sanuki castle, it was built in the late 1500s by the first feudal lord of Takamatsu, the Ikoma clan. More than half a century later, the castle was won by the Matsudaira clan – a close relative of the Tokugawa clan.

This particular castle is considered as a water castle because it is surrounded by a large moat – making the castle look like it is located at the center of a lake. What is special about this moat is that it has the capability of drawing salt water directly from the sea – an automatic feature that has no modern technology involved. This also has an amazing view of Mt. Yashima.

What is sad about this is that the actual castle lies in complete ruins. Only a portion of the wall and the moat remains. Also, the Asahimon gate remains standing as well, the only remnants of the once majestic castle. On a positive note, there are buildings in the complex which were constructed in the early 1900s to replace the palace itself.