Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan when it comes to the land area. It is located between the mountains of Shikoku and the sea. It is popular for its udon noodles, particularly Sanuki udon, which has been named after the prefecture’s old name, Sanuki. Not only that, there are many historical places to visit and explore. Here are some of these.
Kotohira Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Kotohira town of Nakatado District. It is popularly known as “Konpira-san” in Japanese or “Konpira shrine” in English. It is said to have been founded in the 1st century. Many pilgrimages to the shrine are done since the Muromachi period. There is a total of 785 steps to the main shrine and 1,368 steps to the inner shrine. The shrine houses many important cultural properties including a Heian period statue of the eleven-faced Kannon Bosatsu and the four-ink paintings by Maruyama Okyo. If you’re on your way to the shrine, you’ll be able to see a sake museum, stores and stones with carved names of donors in kanji.
Marugame Castle is situated on the hill of Marugame in Kagawa Prefecture. It is also known as Kameyama Castle. It used to be the residence of Ikoma Chikamasa, the lord of Sanuki Province. He was a Japanese daimyo around the 17th century. However, in 1597, Chikamasa turned the castle to his son, Ikoma Kazumasa, and constructed the Takamatsu Castle as his new location. In 1615, Marugame Castle was dismantled due to a decree but was then rebuilt and completed in 1644. Currently, the castle is preserved in Kameyama Park and its museum is housed in the tenshu.
One of the most famous historical gardens in Japan is Ritsurin Garden. It is located in the city of Takamatsu and is regarded as the main attraction in the place. The garden consists of folk arts and craft exhibits, a tea house and many other craft items for sale. You can have a tour around the place which usually takes about 2 hours.
Kagawa will surely live up to your beautiful scenic expectations! It has so many historical places to delve into. So if you get the chance, immerse yourself with Japanese culture and make Kagawa as your next travel destination.
For more information on sightseeing in Kagawa, please check out this website.