As the largest city on the island and location of the main transport hubs for commuting between Shikoku and the mainland, Takamatsu, in Kagawa Prefecture, is the most commonly visited city on the island. What does Takamatsu have to offer the average tourist, looking to get the most out of their tour of Japan?
Situated on the adventure island of Shikoku, Kagawa is also commonly known as the “udon prefecture”. Aside from the vibrant and diverse port city of Takamatsu, there are also many outlying islands which surround this prefecture and each one has its own uniqueness and local specialties.
The fortress was built in a style unique to the island known as Gusuku, incorporating Chinese design with local characteristics and materials. These Gusuku were built across the island between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 14th, in response to both internal island conflict and threats from across the seas.
It was a place I knew nothing about and yet all the major Shinkansen lines stopped there on the way to Hiroshima, so I assumed it must be a place of some significance either historically or economically.
If you’re coming to Yamagata for the International Documentary Film Festival, to go skiing in winter, or cherry picking in early summer, most highlights of the city itself are within a 15-30 minute walking distance of Yamagata Station.
Takeda Castle is now one of the top 100 famous castles in Japan due to its stone walls and spectacular views, despite being in ruins. It is possible to witness a sea of clouds surrounding the castle, making it appear as a castle floating in the sky, commonly referred to as “Castle in the Sky” or “The Machu Picchu of Japan”.
Other than the castle, the city is a nice town expressing Japan's undying love of the once prized fish in Japan: the goldfish. Koriyama being just a few stops away from Kintetsu Nara Station (area of Todai-ji and Nara Park) this city is worth a look.
There are plenty of restorations, but if you want to stand at the castle gate and see the same feudal keep that stood centuries before, you’ll have to make a special trip to one of the twelve. Matsue city, capital of Shimane prefecture, is home to one such castle, built in 1611 by Horio Yoshiharu.