We caught an early morning train to Ritsurin Park.
This was our second visit - both in the fall season. It was so peaceful and quiet that we did not want to leave. This is Japan's largest Cultural Property Garden, with six ponds and 13 landscaped hills. The 400 year old garden was created by the Sato clan and covers 185 acres. It was also declared a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government in 1953. There were hundreds of ducks wintering on the ponds, as well as various birds singing all along the pathways. There are over 1400 pine trees here, many over 300 years old. One looks like a crane standing on the back of a turtle, and keeping with Japanese tradition it is named Tsurukame-matsu.
There are also 70 maples trees, which were showing off their beautiful fall colors. The garden has three tea houses; Kyu Higurashi-tei built in 1700, Higurashi-tei 1898, and the Kikugetsu-tei house which is listed by Michelin Green Guide as two stars. The Garden has a total of nine Michelin stars. This means it is a must see whenever you travel to Shikoku.
Next, we caught a bus back to Takamatsu Station and walked over to Symbol Tower. The 30th floor was temporarily closed so we headed next door to the Takamatsu Port Terminal Building. We took an elevator to the 8th floor observation deck for a scenic view of the harbor. If you walk up the stairway, there is a large map pointing out the names of the islands off in the distance.
As mentioned in my Day 1 article, Sanuki Udon is one of the top three food specialties in Takamatsu. Kagawa Prefecture is the nation's top noodle producer and has over 600 udon shops. What makes them so special is the mixture of salt and water according to the outside temperature and the time of year. They use a special reed mat to roll the dough. You cannot leave the city without partaking of this tasty noodle dish. Around the station area you will find a large selection of udon restaurants.
After finishing our meal, we hit the gift shops and then caught the limo bus to the airport, finishing another great trip to Shikoku.