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Takamatsu (高松) [1] is the largest city in Kagawa prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Japan. The city has developed as a port town for a long time, therefore, it is called "The Gate of Shikoku". But recently, it is well-known as "The Kingdom of Udon".

Ritsurin Park

Get in

Before the Honshu-Shikoku Bridges were completed, from the mailand of Japan,Honshu,the only ways to get in Takamatsu had been by sea and by air. At the present time, there are various ways of transportation and it is convenient to get in.

By plane

Takamatsu's airport is served by both of Japan's major airlines. JAL offers nonstop service from Tokyo Haneda Airport, Sendai and Kagoshima. ANA offers nonstop service from Tokyo Haneda and from Sapporo Chitose Airport. Asiana Airlines also offers international service to Seoul Incheon Airport.

Buses connect the airport to Takamatsu station (40 minutes, ¥740).

Limousine buses make seven round trips per day between Takamatsu and Kansai International Airport in Osaka, via the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (¥3750; 3 1/2 hours).

By train

The most frequent train services from Honshu to Takamatsu are on the Marine Liner (マリンライナー), a rapid train service which runs from Okayama via the Seto-Ohashi Bridge about twice an hour. The one-way ride takes around 55 minutes and costs ¥1470. (Free with the Japan Rail Pass)

Connections to the Marine Liner can be made from the rest of the country via Shinkansen (Hiroshima, 1 hr 40 mins; Osaka, 2 hrs; Tokyo, 4 1/2 hrs).

An overnight sleeper train, the Sunrise Seto (サンライズ瀬戸), makes daily runs to Takamatsu out of Tokyo Station. The train ride lasts about 9 1/2 hours.

By bus

Takamatsu Express Group operates the following routes of bus services, named Foot-Bus, from the Kansai area.

  • Namba in Osaka to Takamatsu, 3 hours 20 minutes, ¥3600 one way, 16 round-trips daily.
  • Sannomiya in Kobe to Takamatsu, 2 hours 30 minutes, ¥2650 one way, 6 round-trips daily.

The buses of both routes run through the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway including the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and the Ohnaruto Bridge.

JR Bus Group operates two overnight bus services, named Dream-Takamatsu-Go, from Tokyo Station to Takamatsu station via the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge; one bus stops at Shinjuku enroute. The ride on the takes approximately 10 hours and costs ¥10000 one way, ¥18200 round trip.

In addition, the group operates three daytime bus services, from the Kansai via the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge. There are three distinct lines, each serving Kyoto (named Takamatsu-Express-Kyoto-Go, 3 3/4 hours, ¥4800 one way, 6 round-trips daily), Osaka (named Takamatsu-Express-Osaka-Go, 3 1/2 hours, ¥3800 one way, 36 round-trips daily) and Kobe (named Takamatsu-Express-Kobe-Go, 3 hours, ¥3600 one way, 22 round-trips daily).

Daytime buses, named Setouchi, run from Hiroshima via the Seto-Ohashi Bridge (3 3/4 hours, ¥4000 one way, 5 round-trips daily).

By ferry

Jumbo Ferry offers regular services, for people and vehicles, 5 times a day from the Port of Kobe to the East-Port of Takamatsu. The one-way trip takes 3 hours 40 minutes and costs ¥1800. Buses connect the Jumbo Ferry Pier of Kobe to Kobe-Sannomiya Station (5minutes,¥200), and connect the Jumbo Ferry Pier of Takamatsu to Takamatsu Station (15 minutes, fare free). The ferry sails across under the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.

Utaka-Kokudou Ferry offers regular services, for people and vehicles, every 28 minutes (50 times a day) from the Port of Uno in Okayama to the Port of Takamatsu. The one-way trip takes around 55 minutes and costs ¥390. Both of the Utaka-Kokudou Ferry Piers are close to each of the stations in Uno and Takamatsu. The ferry sails among many islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

Get around

In Takamatsu, there are very long and old shopping streets eminent in Japan, called Shotengai. Each streets are named Marugame-Machi,minami-shin-machi,hyogo-machi,katahara-machi,ta-machi and tokiwa-gai. There is a good old feature of Takamatsu which developed as a port town.


Takamatsu is known for its garden, Ritsurin Koen (adult: ¥400), and to a lesser extent, for the ruins of a small seaside castle. It also houses a modest art museum with rotating shows of modern art, and a plethora of small temples and shrines.

Ten minutes by train to the east is Yashima peninsula with Shikoku-mura an interesting open-air museum showing old houses collected from all around Shikoku. (adult: ¥800) Inside the open-air museum there is a small art museum with works of Western artist including Pablo Picasso. The building has a nice garden with a nice panorama and was designed by Tadao Ando.

There are two big festivals in Takamatsu. One is in summer, another is in winter. In summer, they hold the “Sanuki Takamatsu Festival.” The first day is the opening; the second day is a fireworks festival; the last day is a dance festival. Visitors can enjoy the central park, the shopping arcade, and “Sanport.” It is in front of the Takamatsu station, and beside the sea.

In winter, the “Winter Festival” held. People can see beautiful Christmas illuminations at the central park for a month. But it’s good for locals.



Takamatsu has an extremely long Shotengai (shopping arcade).


Speaking of a noted eat of Takamatsu, it is Sanuki-Udon. Udon is a pride of a citizen of Kagawa. The entertainment movie which made udon a theme was produced in 2006. Udon is a kind of noodles, and Sanuki-Udon is different from other udon. Wheat noodles are thick and chewy. Soup is clearer than other ones. The price is cheep; usually people can eat about 100 yen. There are over 700 udon restaurants in Kagawa, especially in Takamatsu. For eating around Sanuki-Udon, many tourists flock from all over Japan to Takamatsu.

A very nice udon restaurant is the tsurumaru (鶴丸), it's not far from kawaramachi station. Since it's quite famous, you can ask around and people will guide you. (it's open after 8pm)



There is a youth hostel somewhere.

There are cheap business hotels around Ritsurin-koen (double/twin room from around ¥7000).

The Golden Time Capsule Hotel is nice, 3000yen per night but men only.

Get out

Takamatsu is the main entry point for Shikoku and from here the entire island is your oyster.

  • Kotohira, site of the famed Kompira Shrine, is an hour away by train.
  • Marugame, the site of Marugame Castle, one of Japan's few remaining original castles.
  • Mount Ishizuchi, the tallest peak in Shikoku, is about two hours away.
  • Naoshima, a small island on Seto Inland Sea with superb contemporary art museums, is one hour away by boat.
  • Tokushima, capital of Tokushima (prefecture), is most famous for its Awa Odori Festival.
  • Kochi (Shikoku), is famous for the beautiful Kochi Castle, which is one of Japan's few remaining original castles.

Easy daytrips to the mainland:

  • Kojima, famous for its Jean Factory, as well Washuzan Hill, which offers an excellent view the Seto Inland Sea
  • Okayama, home to the beautiful Korakuen Garden, one of Japan's Top 3 gardens, as well as the beginning of the Kibiji District Trail
  • Kurashiki, famous for the Bikan Historic District, one of Japan's largest and best preserved historic neighborhoods.
  • Tsuyama A wonderful little town famous for Kakuzan Park, which contains the ruins of Tsuyama Castle and thousands of cherry blossoms within its precints, the historic Joto Street, and the beautiful Shurakuen Garden.

Notes from Shikoku

Notes From Shikoku

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