The city by the sea, Takamatsu is a pleasantly urban prefectural capital kissed by the refreshing winds that awaken the senses of its visitors. Start from the well-appointed train station and make your way to the ruins of Takamatsu Castle. Part of the castle ruin complex is Hiunkaku, which features an expansive 142 tatami mat room that is still used for events.
What will strike you about Takamatsu is that it is quite urban and cosmopolitan for a city of around 440,000 people. The shopping possibilities are just one example. The Tower and Hall buildings near the station are filled with trendy eateries and fashionable shops. Takamatsu Central Shopping Mall is purported to be the longest shopping arcade in Japan. Refurbished in 2006, it is well worth a look and is certainly a great place to people watch.
Kitahama Alley is a classic example of what urban renewal is all about. This former warehouse district has been transformed into a posh area with shops, restaurants and cafes. Be on the lookout for Sanuki udon, a simple noodle-based dish for which Kagawa Prefecture is known nation-wide. The comfort food of Kagawa, the best udon shops have long lines of customers during the lunch hour.
For temple buffs, Kokubunji Temple is on Shikoku’s 88 Temple Pilgrimage route. It hosts a statue of the Goddess of Mercy and features and exquisite stone pagoda.
If you are looking for local fun, the summer festival in August coincides with the Obon holiday which commemorates the ancestors. Fireworks are the finale of this annual event. The winter festival is held towards the end of December and is characterized by a magical display of lights that serve as a backdrop for a variety of performances.
One of Takamatsu City’s most storied areas is the Yashima district. This formerly independent town is famous for its volcanic table-top Mt. Yashima and is home to the incredibly beautiful and scenic Yashima Temple.