The Yashima Plateau

Spend a day exploring historic Yashima

 By Bret de Colebi   Dec 10, 2016

Yashima Plateau is a great place to spend the day. The most popular attraction is the temple, Yashima-ji, number 84 of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. Many tanuki (Japanese Raccoon-dog) statues can be found around the temple and there is even a tanuki shrine within the temple grounds. The temple has a museum which houses a stunning collection of art and is definitely worth the entrance price. From inside the museum, you can see a private garden, which has a unique aesthetic.

South of the temple are the recently rediscovered and restored ruins of the ancient Yashima Castle, Yashima no Ki, which was built by the Yamato clan in the 600s to bolster regional defense. It is a great place to get a good view of Takamatsu city. The castle and plateau played a role several centuries later in the Gempei wars during the Battle of Yashima.

Although not its original name, nearby Blood Pond takes its name from the red color the algae give the water. A local folk legend says that it was given its name when warriors washed their swords in the pond during the Gempei War, but that isn’t substantiated in the historic record. It was originally associated with a legend that the hand of Buddha came out from heaven and placed a green stone deep into the earth creating a depression that filled with water becoming a pond.

There are a lot of little shops, long walking paths, flowering trees, cherry blossoms, maples, and more all around the area connecting the parking lots, sites, and the pilgrimage trail. Nagasaki no Hana, a nearby cape on the north side of Yashima Plateau, is also worth a visit.

Photography by Bret de Colebi
Japan Travel Member

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