Introduction of Kagawa
Kagawa is situated in the northeastern part of Shikoku. The Sanuki Mountain Range, a chain of 1,000-meter-high mountains including Mt. Ryuo-zan, the highest of all at some 1,060 meters above sea level, runs through the southern part of the prefecture. The Sanuki Plains stretch out to the north, and the Seto Inland Sea is dotted with 116 islands of all sizes, including Shodo-shima Island.Since early times, Kagawa has been known for the production of cotton, sugar and salt, together called "Sanuki Sanpaku," or Sanuki Three Whites. Takamatsu City, which was a castle town in the Feudal Age, prospered as an important center of transportation for these products.
The Bisan-Seto Sea area, with its 690-kilometer-long coastline fronting the Sea of Japan and a variety of islands sitting in the serene waters, boasts of natural scenery so beautiful that it was designated as Japan's first national park in 1934. Kotohira-gu Shrine, intimately nicknamed "Konpira-san" by the local people, drew many visitors as a center of worship for common people from the 17th through 19th centuries. Today, about four million people a year visit the shrine.
Shodo-shima Island, known as the place where olive cultivation started in Japan, has beautiful valleys such as Choshikei and Kankakei, Shodoshima Olive Park that resembles a location along the shore of the Mediterranean, and many other interesting places worth visiting.
Below are the attractive places in Kagawa:
Marugame Castle (Marugame-jo) was completed by the daimyo Ikoma Chikamasa, who governed the present Kagawa Prefecture at the beginning of the 17th century. The castle used to be surrounded by a double moat. The outer moat has now been filled in, but the inner moat near the donjon remains as it was in the old days, and the donjon has been designated an Important Cultural Property. Visitors are greeted by the three-tiered donjon after climbing up a steep incline with a view of the beautifully curved stone walls.
Admission Fee: 200 yen
Closed: Dec. 25-31
Access: JR Marugame Station/On foot/10 min.
Address: 1 Marugame-shi, Kagawa
Ritsurin Koen Park
Ritsurin Koen is a park located in the city of Takamatsu, and covers around 75 ha. Landscaping began in 1642 and is said to have taken 100 years to complete. In the garden are six ponds and 13 artificial hills called tsukiyama. The garden, set against the backdrop of the mountain Shiun-zan, is evocative of a Japanese painting. The technique of using scenery such as mountains in the distance in the design of a garden is known as shakkei. The garden in the southern part of the park is in a purely Japanese style. A small house known as Kikugetsu-tei used for tea ceremony and located by the pond is known as an arbor for enjoying the beauty of the full moon in autumn. The garden in the northern part of the park has undergone major restoration and is now a Western-style garden.
Admission Fee: 400 yen
Operation: Open throughout the year
Access: JR Ritsurin-koen Kitaguchi Stn./3-min. walk
Address: 1-20-16 Ritsurin-cho, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa
Benesse Art Site Naoshima
The Benesse Art Site Naoshima is a series of art projects developed on Naoshima Island, located in the Seto Inland Sea. Its facilities includes the Benesse House, the Chichu Art Museum, the Art House Project, and Honmura Lounge & Archive; their site-specific activities and artworks focuses on contemporary art in harmony with the natural beauty and local culture of Naoshima. The Benesse House was designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The Chichu Art Museum was initially designed to display Claude Monets "Water-Lily Pond" (2m x 6m) in its unique way, and now, Monet's Room, with its white walls, is not to be missed. The works of James Turrell and Walter De Maria are also exhibited.'
Admission Fee: 1,000 yen (Benesse House), 2,000 yen (Chichu Museum)
Operation: The Benesse House is open throughout the year. The Chichu Museum is closed on Mondays (if the Monday is a national holiday, the following Tuesday), maintenance period
Access: JR Takamatsu Station/On foot/5 min./Takamatsu Port/Shikoku Kisen Ferry/50 min./Miyanoura Port/Naoshima Town Bus/20 min./Benesse House Bus Stop/On foot/1 min.
Address: Kotodanchi, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Kagawa
Sohonzan Zentsu-ji Temple
Zentsu-ji, located in the city of Zentsuji, Kanagawa Prefecture, was built at the birthplace of the priest Kukai, who founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism, and was posthumously known as Kobo Daishi. Kukai is said to have built this temple at the residence of his father on returning from his studies in China. The temple ranks in importance alongside To-ji in Kyoto and Koya-san in Wakayama, and is regarded as one of the major memorials to Kobo Daishi. In the temple grounds is a well in which Kukai was given his first bath as a newborn baby.
Admission Fee: Houmotsu-kan (Treasury Hall): 500 yen (regular fee)
Access: JR Zentsu-ji Stn./20-min. walk
Address: 3-3-1 Zentsuji-cho, Zentsuji-shi, Kagawa
Kotohira-gu, located in Kotohira-cho, Kagawa Prefecture, is sacred to Omononushi-no-Kami and Emperor Sutoku. While the date of its establishment is not known, the shrine is known to have been the object of veneration from early times. The guardian deity for navigation and fishing, as well as the headquarters of many branch shrines, Kotohira-gu is known affectionately across the country as "Konpira-san." The Juichimen-Kannon (an eleven-faced statue of a standing goddess of mercy) has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
Free in the shrine precincts
Omote-Shoin: 800 yen
Homotsu-Kan(Treasury Hall):800 yen
Access: JR Kotohira Stn./20-min. walk
Address: 892-1 Kotohira-cho, Nakatado-gun, Kagawa