Late Fall in Shikoku - Day Three

A second look at Ritsurin Garden

By Rey Waters    - 2 min read

We caught an early morning train to Ritsurin Park.

Kotoden train to Ritsurin Garden
Kotoden train to Ritsurin Garden

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.

Fu-sho
Fu-sho

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.

View from Port Terminal Bldg
View from Port Terminal Bldg

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.

Udon
Udon

After finishing our meal, we hit the gift shops and then caught the limo bus to the airport, finishing another great trip to Shikoku.

Getting there

From Takamatsu Station you can take a train or the city bus to Ritsurin. Walk over to the Takamatsu Castle Ruins and take the Kotoden Train to with in 500 meters of Ritsurin Garden. Only three stops.

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Rey Waters

Rey Waters @rey.waters

Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company.  In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly.  Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan.   My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor.   I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over eight years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences.   There is so much to see in Japan.

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Kim a month ago
You really got to enjoy some incredible autumn color!
Rey Waters Author a month ago
Yes, it was a little late this year and just in time for our trip.
Sleiman Azizi a month ago
Dreaming about a day four perhaps? Place looks great...
Bonson Lam 4 weeks ago
I love Hokkaido and the inland sea. They are both such peaceful places. I hope to see more of your trips there in the future.
Elena Lisina a month ago
Great shots, Ray! And what a weather! Garden looks gorgeous.
Bonson Lam 4 weeks ago
The cover photo of the winding road and the autumn leaves is stunning.