Takamatsu Japan Guide
Takamatsu Japan Map
The city of Takamatsu is located in the centremost part of the Kagawa prefecture in the southern Japanese island of Shikoku. It is the capital city of the Kagawa prefecture and has played an integral part of the prefecture’s history. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of the Shikoku region. The entire state has a population of 400,000 people in a small area of about 370 square kilometers. Takamatsu is located near the sea which is why a number of its tourist spots are found along the waterfront.
Takamatsu Japan Weather
Since Takamatsu is located in the south, it experiences a subtropical climate. This means that they experience very moderate winters. Temperatures during the summer months can be as high as 28 deg Celsius. During the cold months, an average temperature of about 5 deg Celsius is expected. Since the general climate in the area is humid, rainfall is experienced most part of the year but it is reportedly heaviest between Jun to September. The heaviest precipitation usually falls during the month of June with a rough monthly average of 160 mm of rain.
It was during the Meiji restoration, in the 18th century, when the city of Takamatsu was officially established. The place played important roles through history and even proved to be a critical target during the Second World War. It was the center of both road and rail systems, for which a strategic attack on this city would temporarily paralyze a great part of the country’s southern troops. This is why more than 80% of the city was destroyed during the war and effectively rebuilt post-war.
Glimpse the Battle of Yashima
The city of Takamatsu was the center of the Battle of Yashima in the 11th century. This was one of the most interesting battles of the pre-feudal era of Japan. What made this particular battle famous was the story that a fan was placed on a pole on the ship’s mast. The leader of one party dared the other to knock the fan off. A man, named Nasu No Yoichi, dared to accomplish the challenge where he rode on horseback to the water and cleanly knocked the fan off in just a single, unwavering, shot. This winning shot is repetitively depicted in many paintings and historical records.
Travel Must-Knows for Takamatsu Japan
Takamatsu Japan Transportation
The JR line has its own station in Takamatsu, aptly named as the Takamatsu Station, which is run by the Shikoku Railway Company. There are a number of tourist destinations which are accessible from the Takamatsu station which makes travel for tourists much easier.
There are different ways to travel around the locality of Takamatsu and one of the most interesting would be via the Kotoden (Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad Co., Ltd.). This is a tram service that provides access to multiple tourist attractions in Takamatsu. It is a great way to go around the city because riding the tram feels like a city-tour in itself.
Takamatsu, as well as other cities surrounding the Seto Inland Sea, are quite popular for cyclists. There are pedestrian lanes on the bridges connecting mainlands to islands in the inland sea that cyclists could enjoy the ride. A bicycle is also a good way to travel around the city.
There are various means of entry to the city for those traveling from areas, such as Tokyo, coming into the Takamatsu city. There are direct bus lines which travel from Tokyo to Takamatsu, there are also JR rails available. For far distances such as in Tokyo, people can opt to just ride an airplane going to the city.
Takamatsu Japan Airport
The nearest airport to Takamatsu would be the Takamatsu airport, it serves domestic flights to and from the central city. The airport can be accessed from the city center via a 40-minute bus ride which usually costs about 700 to 800 yen.
The closest international airport to Takamatsu would be the Okayama airport which is located about 92 kilometers away from the city center. This might be the best means to travel to Takamatsu when coming from places outside of Japan.
Takamatsu Japan Hotels
Toyoko Inn Takamatsu Hyogomachi
A mid-range hotel whose nightly lodge costs about 6,000 yen. What is good about this hotel is that breakfast is included in the fees. The room is comfortable that could provide a relaxing experience for the guest.
Castle Hotel Takamatsu
Also, a budget hotel, a night’s stay only costs 3,500 yen. It is a traditional style hotel with rooms designed with tatami mats, tea tables, futons, and a Japanese bath. There is a complementary yukata available for the use of the guest. On top of that, a traditional Japanese breakfast is served as well.
Golden Time Capsule Hotel
Those who are looking for affordable places to stay but can provide an awesome experience can get that through the Golden Time Capsule Hotel. A nights' stay can cost roughly 3,000 yen. Imagine staying in a one-person space complete with a television, lighting system, and wi-fi for only a fraction of a hotel room’s cost. What makes this hotel much more special is that there are sauna rooms for travelers who are tired from touring all day.
The Highlights of Takamatsu Japan Tourism
Takamatsu Japan Basketball
Among the pride and glory of Takamatsu would be their basketball team known as the Kagawa Five Arrows. It was only founded in 2006 but has been making names in the industry. It is a part of the professional basketball league for men in Japan, known as the B. League. This league is responsible for forming the National Basketball group of Japan. To this day, the Takamatsu city of Kagawa still has no established and professional women’s division. This is due to the fact that there are very few women who play basketball professionally.
The team has competed in the second division of the B.League in 2015. Among their most notable players would be Justin Watts, Rintaro Tokunaga, and Babacar Camara. On its first year of establishment, the team has already made its mark by finishing as a runner-up in the national championship cup. Sadly, their rank has been declining over the years. Furthermore, because of the team’s young age, it has yet to make its mark in the international territory and compete for multi-national championship leagues.
The Sanuki Takamatsu Festival
One of the main annual events held in Takamatsu would be the Sanuki Takamatsu Festival. This is the time of year when the city is in full celebration and it is made even more special due to the fact that it coincides with the Obon season.
This particular festival is a festival for dance which is why it is also known as the yosakoi dance festival. Usually, it is held between the 12th and 14th of August where there are dances, parades, and fireworks for almost four days. Dancers wear elaborate period costumes while performing historical and traditional dances on the streets.
What visitors love the most would be the super exciting streets lined with vendors selling local goodies. There are traditional, theme-park-like, games to play. There are stalls that sell all kinds of Japanese street food. Since it is held during the summertime, locals usually wear their thin, colorful summer yukatas as a means of joining in and participating with festivities.
Other than the tourist attractions in Takamatsu, one of the favorite travel spots in the city would be the shotengai or shopping streets. What makes Takamatsu shotengai different from all others in different parts of Japan would be the fact that all of the arcades are fully sheltered or roofed. It claims to hold the title for the world’s longest covered shopping street, totaling to about 2.7 kilometers. The North area is for the lavish and upscale stores while the south area is for budget and value shoppers.
The closing time and dates of the shopping area vary per store. There are stores which open really early while there are others that open late. Most stores are open during Sundays and closed on other days such as Wednesdays when the number of shoppers is lowest.
Takamatsu Japan Things to Do
Visit Ritsurin Park
The Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu is considered as one of the most beloved tourist spots for nature appreciation. It is considered as one of the main tourist attractions in the prefecture. It was originally built in the early 1600s making it one of the oldest thriving gardens in the prefecture. Inside this historical park would be tea house, museum, and souvenir shop.
What makes this garden special is the fact that visitors can do a multitude of activities in the 75-hectare land. There are walking or hiking trails that take tourists to different bridges, hills, and footpaths around the park. There are exhibitions of Japanese flora which provides an impressive scenery at any time of the year. An aspect of the garden that makes it quite popular would be the Hakomatsu which is a kind of cultivated black pine tree – a unique and interesting sight.
The Ritsurin park can be accessed as early as 7:00 AM during the winter season, and 5:30 AM during Spring and Summer. The park is open throughout the year with no closing days. It could be accessed via the Ritsurinkoen Station of the local railway lines. Entry to the park usually costs 410 yen.
Stroll in the Takamatsu Castle
This castle is the pride and glory of Takamatsu because of its place and importance in the local history. It was built in the late 1500s by the first Feudal Lord of Takamatsu, a man belonging to the powerful Ikoma clan. It is one of the very few castles in Japan which are built with saltwater moats, a system which is designed to draw water from the sea.
Majority of the castle remains as ruins to this day but there are still a number of buildings, gates, and turrets which are from the original complex. The castle could be accessed via the Kotoden Takamatsu-Chikko station. Admission to the park usually costs about 200 yen. Opening hours are usually between 5:30 AM until about 5:00 PM with the park usually closed during the New Year holidays.
Learn History in the Kagawa Museum
Known as a prefectural museum, this structure shows the history and art of the Kagawa prefecture. It was established to allow visitors of Takamatsu to appreciate the history of the city and the prefecture. It was originally established in 2008 which unifies three different museums from the area namely, the Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum, Kagawa Prefectural Cultural Hall, and the Kagawa History Museum.
Inside the museum are collections and exhibits of early historical artifacts from the Yayoi and Jomon periods. There are also exhibits showing the Battle of Yashima. There are also exhibits for the modernization and development experienced by the region post-war.
Eat a bowl of Sanuki Udon
A bowl of delicious noodles with warm broth is a great comfort food for people living in Japan. An absolute favorite would be the local delicacy of the Sanuki Udon. In Japan, there are different kinds of udon, depending on the specialty of the locality. The Sanuki Udon’s noodle is made from a kind of wheat species which is specific only to the locality of Takamatsu. It yields chewy and firm noodles which are very enjoyable to eat.
It could be served cold with a dipping sauce, or hot with delicious kelp broth. The Sanuki udon actually gained a title for being ramen’s “cheaper cousin”, attributing to the cheaper cost of making or ordering a bowl of Sanuki Udon. It is very tasty yet absolutely simple, usually topped with raw eggs, chopped ginger, shredded pickled radishes, and soy sauce.
Day trip to the Seto Inland Sea
The Seto Inland sea is, interestingly, located between Japan’s three main islands. One of the places blessed with the sea’s beauty would be the city of Takamatsu in Kagawa Prefecture. People usually go there to enjoy a full day of island hopping and yacht cruising. There are tours and cruises available to take people to different islands located in the Inland sea.