History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kagawa Area

  • Kotohira-gu Shrine
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    4.5
    1092 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Prefecture Nakatado-gun Kotohira-cho 892-1
    Kotohira-gu Shrine is a Shinto shrine located halfway up Mt. Zozu (which is 521 meters high) in Kotohira Town; it is commonly known as Konpira-san. There are a number of legends concerning the origins of the shrine, all of which suggest a mixture of Shinto and Buddhist influences. Besides the principal kami (deity) of the shrine, O-mono-nushi-no-kami, the spirit of the Sutoku Emperor is also worshipped there. O-mono-nushi-no-mikoto is worshipped as the guardian deity of seafarers. Besides the Homotsu-kan (Treasure Hall) and the Omote Sho-in hall, there are many other fascinating things to see, including the Takahashi Yuichi Hall, where oil paintings by the renowned artist Takahashi Yuichi are on display.

    I went during momiji (red leaves) time so it was very beautiful. Some said its very hard to walk up, but because there are areas for stops throughout I didnt find it bad

  • Tamamo Park (Ruins of Takamatsu Castle)
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    4.0
    360 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Tamamochou 2-1
    Takamatsu Castle was the residence of the Ikoma family, the lords of Sanuki Province, and subsequently of the Matsudaira clan, the rulers of the Takamatsu domain. Tamamo Park has been created around the Castle ruins. Takamatsu Castle was famous as one of Japan’s three great “water castles.” The Castle’s Ushitorayagura Tower and Tsukimiyagura Tower still survive, along with the Hiunkaku villa and garden, which has been designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty. With beautiful cherry blossom in the spring, a chrysanthemum exhibition in the autumn, etc., there is plenty to see and do at any time of year.

    The Takamatsu Castle is known as one of the only three castles which has a moat that is directly connected to the sea. The castle is unfortunately not around any more but there a few surviving...

  • Zentsuji Temple
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    4.5
    192 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Zentsujishi Zentsujichou 3-3-1
    Zentsuji Temple is the grand head temple of the Shingon sect Zentsuji school, located in Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture. It is the 75th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The area where the temple stands is known as the birthplace of Kobo Daishi (Kukai), and he himself built the temple over a period of six years from 807 with the aid of donations from his father. The temple is noted as one of the three holy sites linked to Kobo Daishi and has drawn worshipers since the olden days. Within the vast temple grounds are housed National Treasures relating to Kobo Daishi and numerous Important Cultural Properties. Saiin, or the Western Temple, is called the birthplace temple and it is here where visitors will find the ordination platform revered as the place of Kobo Daishi’s birth.

    Beautiful Temple and surroundings. You can learn so much from this visit. The birthplace of Kobo Daishi and Temple number 75 on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage on Shikoku.

  • Shikoku Mura open-air museum
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    4.0
    173 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Yashimanakamachi 91
    Shikoku Mura (“Shikoku Village”) is an open-air museum located about 20 minutes’ drive to the east of JR Takamatsu Station. The exhibits include traditional farmhouses from various parts of Shikoku (dating from the Edo and Meiji periods) that were moved and re-erected here, as well as traditional public buildings such as a village kabuki stage, and several traditional industrial facilities that have been designated as Important Cultural Properties, including a traditional sugar-cane processing facility. The Shikoku Mura Gallery located on the museum site exhibits a wide range of artworks, from European paintings to Oriental sculptures, etc.

    My husband and I spent a week based out of Takamatsu. This was one of the most meaningful experiences we had on the whole island of Shikoku. The village has many old homes and buildings from around...

  • Temple No. 84, Yashimaji Temple
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    4.0
    171 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Yashimahigashimachi 1808
    The Yashima-ji Temple is an Omuro-sect Shingon Buddhist temple in Takamatsu City. It is the 84th temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and is said to have been founded by the monk Ganjin in 754. The Yashima-ji Temple has several Important Cultural Properties, including the Hon-do hall and the temple bell, as well as a wooden statue of a seated Senju Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) which is the main object of veneration in the temple and which can be viewed in the Homotsu-kan (Treasure Hall). Other artifacts on display in the Homotsu-kan include an illustrated scroll of the Genpei Josuiki (an extended version of the Heike Monogotari, or “Tale of the Heike”), a white banner of the Genji clan, and a folding screen painting of the Battle of Yashima.

    There are many interesting statues throughout the temple grounds. We were particularly taken by the tanuki statues. On the side of the main hall there is a small pathway through red torii beside...

  • Marukin Soy Sauce Museum
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    4.0
    162 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Shouzugunshoudoshimachou Nouma A 1850
    This museum was constructed in 1987 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the founding of Marukin Shoyu. The gassho-zukuri (a traditional style of Japanese architecture with a steep thatched roof) building has been designated as a National Registered Tangible Cultural Property. Inside the museum are panels that introduce the soy sauce manufacturing process and displays of tools that were actually used in the production of soy sauce since the company was founded. Visitors can try soy sauce soft cream in the adjacent production building and this unique flavor can only be had here. Tours of the press factory that is currently still in use are also possible.

    Interesting place. You can see here the old advertisement posters of the Marukin soy sauce and various tools and processes used in making soy sauce.

  • Kagawa Prefectural Higashiyama Kai Setouchi Art Museum
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    4.0
    81 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Sakaideshi Shamijima Nantong 224-13
    This art museum overlooks the Seto-ohashi Bridge and Hitsuishi-jima Island, the birthplace of Higashiyama Kai’s grandfather. It stores more than 270 lithographs donated by the Higashiyama family, and holds exhibitions of various themes. The view from the cafe overlooking the Seto Inland Sea and the Seto-ohashi Bridge is a magnificent.

    This is a very select collection of incredible paintings, drawings, displays dedicated to the famous artist, Kai Setouchi. If you are a fan of his art, you will be quite pleased with the gallery. If...

  • Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum
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    4.5
    91 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Murechoumure 3519
    This art museum lets you bask in the world of Isamu Noguchi, a leading 20th century sculptor. He worked on an enormous range of projects like landscape design involving monuments, gardens, and parks, interiors with furniture and lighting fixtures, and stage art. He was a singular artist, and this cosmopolitan space has a universality that transcends genres.

    To visit the garden museum you have to reserve a date and time in advance. It is an expensive visit, large group and nothing much to see in the garden (lawn with few stones arranged by the...

  • MIMOCA (Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art)
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    4.0
    76 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Marugameshi Hamamachi 80-1
    MIMOCA (Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art) is an art museum in Marugame City. The museum was established to celebrate the artistic career of Genichiro Inokuma, an artist who grew up in the Marugame area and who later became a leading figure in international art circles, as well as to help reinvigorate culture and the arts in the Marugama region. MIMOCA’s location was chosen to make it easily accessible from the nearby railway station, giving it a more convenient location than more or less any other museum of its kind in Japan. The permanent exhibitions showcase the roughly 20,000 artworks that have been donated to the museum; in addition, several special exhibitions are held every year. The museum café has won acclaim for its “limited-edition” desserts, which are changed frequently to accompany MIMOCA’s special exhibitions.

    The museum is 2min from JR Marugame Station. The building is beautiful and contemporary. Inside is spacious and many exhibits on each floor. It was interesting to know that Mr. Inokumas art changed...

  • Kinryo-no-sato Sake Museum
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    4.0
    85 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kogaira-machi Nakatadogi-gun Kagawa Prefecture 623
    Located around 10 minutes’ walk from JR Kotohira Station, the Kinryo-no-sato Sake Museum is operated by the brewers of Kinryo Sake, Kotohira’s local sake brand. The museum is directly opposite the entrance to the avenue leading up to the Kotohira-gu Shrine. Situated in a converted sake warehouse, the museum’s History Hall shows how sake was traditionally produced, using displays of authentic implements. The Culture Hall, situated in a former malthouse, presents displays about the history and culture associated with sake-brewing, and has interesting exhibits such as tokkuri (traditional earthenware sake bottles), sake cups, etc. Visitors to the Kinryo-no-sato Sake Museum can also enjoy tastings of Kinryo Sake.

    The shop and museum by KInryo, the largest Sake maker in town. Kinryo produces different kinds of Sake as well as some other products year around. At museum, you can see the process of making Sake...

  • Tennoji Temple
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sakaideshi Nishinoshouchou Emperor 1713-2
    This temple is 79th of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is said to have been founded by Gyogi Bosatsu then revived by Kobo Daishi. As a miracle was performed at the time, it is said to have flourished for a long time. Its ingo temple title was Shoko-in but as the mausoleum for the Emperor Sutoku, famous for having turned in to a vengeful spirit, was built and memorial services were held here, the name was changed to Tennoji (The Emperor’s Temple). It is famous for its rare design that looks like the three gates are joined together.

    Tennoji Temple shares its grounds with a Shinto shrine, so it is a kind of two-in-one for visitors coming to check out this very lovely site. History says that this is the site where the body of...

  • Ichinomiyaji Temple
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    4.0
    44 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Ichinomiyachou 607
    An old temple located in the center of Ichinomiya Town, Takamatsu City, Ichinomiyaji Temple is the 83rd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The Sho-Kannon bodhisatva placed in the main hall as the primary deity worshipped is thought to have been carved by Kobo Daishi when his visited this area during the construction of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The best sight may be the camphor tree-focused garden built along the worship road. It was created by Kyoto’s famous gardener, Minoru Fujii and it gives you deeper healing and more varied emotions each time you visit.

    This temple is really quite lovely. Rebuilt in 1701 it still is old enough to enjoy and feel the tone and mood of the ohenro (pilgrim) experience. Noted for it being the place of the Medicine...

  • The Kagawa Museum
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    4.0
    49 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Tamamochou 5-5
    This prefectural museum combines an art museum and a history museum into a single facility. The large interior features materials on Kagawa Prefecture’s history and life-size restored models, as well as permanent exhibitions on Kagawa-born authors such as Genichiro Inokuma and Isamu Noguchi. Visitors also have the chance to wear ceremonial court lady attire and battle armor and participate in other fun activities, and there’s also a reading corner and other facilities to give them a chance to immerse themselves in Kagawa’s history, art, and culture.

    Kagawa features exhibits of modern artwork from around the world, so, be prepared to see a little of this and a little of that from other cultures.

  • Jinne-in Kannon-ji temple
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    3.5
    46 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Kanonji Yahatacho 1-2-7
    This rare holy site features two temples that share a single temple gate. It is located halfway up Mt. Kotohiki in Kotohiki Park, Kannonji City, Kagawa Prefecture. Jinnein Temple is the 68th temple on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, and Kannonji Temple is the 69th. It was established by Nissho as an adjunct to Kotohiki Hachimangu, and afterward Kukai built a complete seven-structured temple compound and made Sacred Avalokitesvara the principal image, renaming the temple to Kannonji. In the first year of the Meiji period, the split between Buddhism and Shintoism led Kotohiki Hachimangu to be split into Kotohiki Shrine and Jinnein. Jinnein was relocated to the Saikondo hall of Kannon-ji Temple, situating both on the same grounds. The garden on the slope of the mountain is known as a famous rhododendron spot. There’s also a treasure room that contains many of Jinnein’s precious items and other sights worth seeing.

    Here you will get two temples for the time of visiting one. One temple, Kannonji is really beautiful and gorgeous. The other temple, Jinnein, is an attempt to modernize a temple but sadly did not do...

  • Nagao-ji Temple
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    3.5
    42 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sanukishi Nagaonishi 653
    The Nagao-ji Temple is the 87th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. There are several different stories regarding the Temple’s origins, but the most widely-quoted story is that the Temple was founded when the bodhisattva Gyoki carved a statue of the bodhisattva Kannon and built a temple to install the statue in. Subsequently, when Kobo Daishi was preparing to travel to China to study Buddhist teachings there, he spent a period of seven days at the Temple, starting from New Year, performing the Gomakito fire ceremony to pray for a successful journey. A Daieyo ceremony is still held at the Temple every year on the seventh day of January in commemoration of this event. During this event, there is a competition in which participants compete to see who can carry a huge rice cake, which weighs 150 kilograms and is decorated with the Three Jewels, for the longest distance.

    Here you can see the tomb of a woman named Shizuka Gozen. She was the lover of Minamoto Yoshitsune, and after he died she entered the religious life here. The grounds are very compact and beautiful...

  • Takamatsu Art Museum
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    4.0
    53 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Konyamachi 10-4
    This museum is located just off of the central shopping arcade in Takamatsu City, about a 10-minute walk from the Kataharamachi Station. The museum stores approximately 1,600 works around the three main themes: “Arts (and Crafts) of Kagawa” prefecture introducing the artisanal lacquer ware and metal crafts, the “20th Century Art and Beyond from Around the World” traces trends through woodblock prints, and the “Post-War Contemporary Japanese Art” introduces the exceptional leading writers influencing each post-war period. The literature corner with approximately 50,000 volumes, primarily on art and culture, is also available to visitors, while the museum shop sells seasonal exhibit related goods.

    we visited japan for a tourist trip in 2019 rather than a working trip. covid hit and its taken me this long to write about our experiences. we explored hiroshima first, to pay homage. and then came...

  • Hakugyuzan Kokubunji Temple
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Kokubunjichoukokubu 2065
    This temple is 80th temple of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It is one of the kokubunji temples that Emperor Shomu built across the country in the 8th century. There are four of these in Shikoku and as some of them are designated in the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, this one is distinguished as Sanuki Kokubunji. It is said to have been established when Gyogi Bosatsu made a giant statue of the eleven-faced kannon there. The entirety of the old grounds has been designated as a nationally important historic site. It is famous for having the oldest temple bell in Shikoku. It is legend that the feudal lord purchased the temple bell and when he tried to install it at his castle, a number of mishaps occurred and he returned it to the temple in the end.

    Very easy to get to, this is the 4th temple named “Kokubunji” on the 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage. In the main hall (which is considered a national treasure) is a 16-foot tall statue of Kannon. It...

  • Gosho-ji Temple
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    4.0
    36 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Ayautagunutaduchou 1435
    The Gosho-ji Temple is the 78th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. Unusually for the temples included in the Pilgrimage, the Gosho-ji Temple belongs to the Ji-shu school of Buddhism. It was originally founded in 725 by the bodhisattva Gyoki as a temple dedicated to Amida Nyorai (the Amitabha Buddha). Subsequently, Kobo Daishi visited the site, carved a statue of himself, and built a monastery. The wooden statue, which came to be known as Yakuyoke Udatsu Daishi, attracted larger numbers of worshippers for many years. Subsequently, many famous monks—including Rigen Daishi and Keishin Sozu—visited the Temple to meditate. In 1288, Ippen Shonin (the founder of the Ji-shu school of Buddhism) visited the Gosho-ji Temple, and established a hall for Odori-nenbutsu (a form of Buddhist incantation that involves dancing, drumming and chanting). As a result, the Gosho-ji Temple became a temple where both the Shin-shu and Ji-shu schools of Buddhism were practiced.

    A very good temple to visit if you want to see one that is not so much on the tourist radar. This is one of the temples on the pilgrimage which is truly inspiring to visit. A bit of a hike up the...

  • Iyadaniji Temple
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    4.5
    29 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Mitoyo-shi Minocho Omi-Otsu 70
    A flight of 540 steps lead to the mountain top main temple of Iyadaniji Temple. It's one of the top three sacred spots in Japan according to some rankings and the 71st temple on 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Known for its difficult access, worshiping there is thought to help ward off illness. These days a shuttle bus is available for those who don't want to make the climb.

    This is the temple you may have seen in your dreams. It is simply ethereal as you travel up the steps through the mountain path to the temple itself. Carved partially into the mountain, there are...

  • Konzoji Temple
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Zentsujishi Konzoujichou 1160
    "Known to locals as ""Okaruten-san,"" since ancient times people have come to pray at this Buddhist temple for luck in conceiving children, easy childbirth, and the protection of children and women. The temple is dedicated to the Buddhist deity Hariti, also known as Kishimojin. Prior to praying at the temple, worshippers purify themselves with pomegranate scented incense. This incense serves as a symbol of the temple; its fragrance is also highly relaxing, and the incense makes a great gift or souvenir."

    Just a 3 kilometre walk from temple 75 or a 5 minute train ride, this small but appealing temple is well worth a visit. Look for the 7 Gods of Fortune tucked away in the temple grounds, ring the...

Kagawa Areas

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Japan's smallest prefecture, Kagawa, may take up just a small corner of Shikoku, but it has grown increasingly popular with the recognition of Naoshima, its "art island" in the Seto Inland Sea between Shikoku and Honshu. Just a stone's throw from the islands, mainland Kagawa's prefectural capital, Takamatsu, holds history in its castle ruins and its pride and joy, Ritsurin Garden, is known as one of the country's best gardens.

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