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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Kagawa Area

  • Kotohira-gu Shrine
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    4.0
    5 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.

    Most visitors pass by this shrine, labouring upwards (or downwards). The other places are free, here you have to pay a (modest) entry fee. But oh so worth it. Stunning art by Maruyama Okyo. For me...

  • Marugame Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Marugameshi Ichibanchou
    Marugame Castle is a flatland-mountain castle built in Kameyama at a height of approximately 66 meters. It is also called Kameyama Castle. This castle has won fame as a fine stone walled castle; various methods of stacking stones can be seen in this castle such as using stone worked on by a mason which is stacked up and implanted with Japanese clover, stacking natural stone which has been joined together and stacking the unworked surface of quarried stones. The castle tower is enshrined by a stone wall and is said to be the highest in Japan, which is one of the castle towers out of the 12 remaining castle towers in existence and even now conveys a characteristic beauty of form which is harmonized with nature. In 1957, the Ote Ichino-mon Gate and Ote Nino-mon Gate were designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan.
  • Marukin Soy Sauce Museum
    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.
  • MIMOCA (Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art)
    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.
  • Uchiwa no Minato Museum (POLCA)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Marugameshi Minatomachi 307-15
    The Uchiwa no Minato Museum (POLCA) is a museum dedicated to the history of Marugame uchiwa (traditional paper fans). During the Edo period, it became customary to buy Marugame paper fans as souvenirs of a pilgrimage to the Kotohira Shrine, and fan-making became an important local industry in Marugame. The making of Marugame uchiwa fans has been designated a National Traditional Craft. The exhibits in POLCA include examples of different types of Marugame uchiwa fan dating from the Edo period to the present day, as well as the main regional fan styles from other parts of Japan, and mannequins showing the fan-making process, etc. There is also a demonstration area where visitors can see traditional fan-making techniques being demonstrated. POLCA is located around 15 minutes’ walk from JR Marugame Station.
  • Kinryo-no-sato Sake Museum
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    4.0
    61 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...

  • Sanuki Folk Craft Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Ritsurinchou 1-20-16 In Kuribayashi Park
    This folk craft hall preserves and exhibits approximately 3,900 artisan works not only of historic Kagawa, Sanuki, but from all over Japan, including craftwork, household items, furniture, and Japanese roof tile, kawara. Opened in 1965, the exhibition hall is divided into the new crafts hall, the old crafts hall, and the kawara tile exhibit, each with their own permanent exhibits. (The furniture exhibit is closed currently.) It is just a two-minute walk from the JR Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi Station.
  • Temple No. 84, Yashimaji Temple
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    4.0
    144 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.

    As a long-term foreign resident in Takamatsu, I have often come to this temple to visit. There are a variety of ways to get to the top, and the hiking paths can be a bit challenging. With kids in...

  • Shikoku Mura open-air museum
    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.
  • Seto Ohashi Commemorative Hall and Exhibition Space
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sakaideshi Bannosumidorichou 6-13
    Seto-ohashi Bridge is one of the largest scale bridges in the world. In the commemorative Hall and Exhibition Space located in the Seto Ohashi Memorial Park, the techniques and construction of the bridge from beginning to end are showcased using images and models. The bridge has a depth of 50 meters below sea, a height of 200 meters and span of 9.4 kilometers. Don’t miss the bridge theater where you can enjoy the whole picture of the Seto-ohashi Bridge in high-definition. Audio guide is available in English, Chinese, and Korean.

    Looks a little creep from the outside (reminds me of the bombed dome structure in Hiroshima). Inside, it’s bigger than I thought. Should be really informative if you can read Japanese - English...

  • Kagawa Prefectural Higashiyama Kai Setouchi Art Museum
    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.
  • Zentsuji Temple
    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.
  • The Kagawa Museum
    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.
  • Jinnein Kannon-ji Temple
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    3.5
    35 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Kanonjishi Yahatachou 1-chome 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...

  • IKUNAS g
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Hanazonochou 2-1-8 Mori Building 2F
    This general goods gallery shop is located in Hanazono Town, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture and focuses on Kagawa artwork and folkcrafts. You’ll find Kagawa products listed in the “IKUNAS” magazine for sale here, along with plenty of other items that combine tradition with a modern sensibility. There’s lacquer ware, Sanuki-type temari balls, decorative roof tiles, Hota woven fabric, and many other items that showcase the craftsmanship of their creators, making them a hit with tourists looking for souvenirs.
  • Ogijima no Tamashii
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Ogichou
    This is the first work of art you’ll see when you arrive at Ogijima Island. The roof is made from a combination of letters from various languages, producing a number of shadows depending on the light.
  • Yakuri-ji Temple
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    4.5
    72 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Murechoumure 3416
    The temple is the 85th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage in Mure Town, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. It is located half-way up Mt. Goken and is of the Shingon sect Daikakuji school. Legend has it that when Kobo Daishi, a Japanese Buddhist priest, was completing Gumonjiho training, a method where a person chants the Shingon or “True Word” one million times over 50 days or 100 days, five swords fell from the sky. Daishi buried the five swords as the guardian of the mountain and in 829 he built the temple. It is said that the name of the temple comes from the eight grilled chestnuts Daishi planted that grew. In front of the approaching path where the Shotendo Hall stands, a Buddhist Ganesh Kangiten is enshrined, and it is thought that it brings luck for a prosperous business, academic achievement, and marriage.

    Yakuri is unusual because it is laid out as an X that can be approached two ways:from one direction you enter a Shinto shrine, and from the other, you enter a Buddhist temple. Take time to explore...

  • Motoyamaji Temple
    rating-image
    4.0
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Mitoyoshi Toyonakachoumotoyama Kou 1445
    This is a Koyasan Shingon school temple in Toyonaka-cho in Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture and is 70th temple of the 88 sacred places on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. It was built in 807 by Kobo Daishi at the behest of Emperor Heizei. It is legend that the main hall was built in one night. The principal object of worship is the Hayagriva which is said to have been made by Daishi. The current main hall was reconstructed in 1300 with a tiled hip roof and is designated as a national treasure. There are many things to see in the grounds including a five-storied pagoda, a guardian god hall and a hall with an enshrined statue of Kobo Daishi. It is famous for its Cucumber Blessing held every year in July on the day of the ox.

    Motoyamaji was built in the year 807 is considered a National Treasure. There is also a legend that the temple was protected by a huge swarm of bees when Chousokabe Motochika (1539-1599), a daimyo...

  • MeiPAM
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Kagawa Pref. Shouzuguntonoshouchou Kou 405
    Complex intricate alleys remain in Tonosho Town, the “Town of the Maze,” in Shozu County, Kagawa Prefecture, which were once used to escape wars and pirates. “MeiPAM” is an art project making use of the old buildings and things remaining in the town, to encourage people to visit. There are a variety of stores throughout the town to be enjoyed leisurely, including art galleries in restored former soy sauce shops warehouses, and cellars from the Meiji period. Cafeterias using Shodoshima Island and Setouchi (Inland Sea) produce, books and sundries shops, and fashionable cafes are popular for meals and breaks when exploring the town.
  • Okuboji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Kagawa Pref. Sanukishi Tawa Kanewari 96
    Okuboji Temple located in Sanuki City, Kagawa Prefecture is a temple of the Shingon sect Daikakuji school and the 88th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is the place for completing a Shikoku pilgrimage, and the kongozue (sticks) and hats which belonged to pilgrims who completed the pilgrimage are dedicated next to the main hall. It is said that Gyoki established the temple in the Yoro period (717 to 724), and Kobo daishi built an edifice and enshrined a statue of Bhaisajyaguru carved by him later. It was popular for the principal image of Bhaisajyaguru which is said to blow away calamity and sicknesses, and also as a Nyoninkoya where women can access the mountain. The main hall and a two-story tahoto pagoda line up are backed by Taizogamine Peak, and it is said that you can receive the same fortune as with the pilgrimage of the 88 sites when you walk one lap around the Osunafumidojo (sand stepping field) of Daishi hall. It is also well-known for fall foliage.

Kagawa Main 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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