Opened in 1972, Marugame City Archive is the museum companion to Marugame Castle, which sits on an adjacent hill. Located on the castle grounds, its the perfect starting point on your journey into the history of the city.
The building itself is attractive from an architectural point of view in that it is an excellent example of a post-war public space, with the straight lines of modern Japanese design rendered in concrete and steel.
The entrance to the archive building has a broad plaza that makes the perfect gathering place or meeting spot when you arrive in the area. You will often see visitors use the spot to get their bearing before beginning a stroll around the park.
The garden around the archive is a well-manicured repository of dozens of stone objects that have been transplanted from various locations around the city. These would have stood portside, serving decorative and practical functions.
Both the first and second-floor display historical artifacts and equipment that goes back as far as the history of the castle. The intrigue and struggles associated with the warlords who vied for control of the region come to light through the documents, illustrations and implements of war exhibited behind the glass cases.
Keep in mind that the exhibits change from time to time and this is also the case for the onsite art gallery on the second floor.
There are many pamphlets, leaflets and brochures with information regarding the history of the city and upcoming events placed around the archive, with some literature available in English as well.
Access: Take the Marine Liner from JR Okayama Station to JR Marugame Station. Marugame Museum is about a 15-minute walk from JR Marugame Station.
About the Area
Kagawa Prefecture is often referred to as the gateway to Shikoku because it hosts one of the footholds of the Seto Ohashi Bridge in Sakaide City. The bridge, which is the longest in the world to carry both passenger cars and trains, stretches across the Seto Inland Sea like a dragon in flight before touching down in Shikoku.
The capital of the prefecture and the largest city in all of Shikoku is lovely seaside Takamatsu City. It is a castle town which is famous for its port area and long shopping arcade.
Marugame City, like neighboring Takamatsu City is a renowned for its castle. However, as Marugame Castle rests at a high elevation, it commands an impressive view of the region. From the castle, there are panoramas of the cityscape, Mt. Iino (Sanuki Fuji) and the Seto Inland Sea.
Kagawa Prefecture is a champion of the arts and plays a large role in the Setouchi Triennale Art Festival, which as its name suggests, takes place every three years. There are art installations and museums throughout the prefecture.
The beating heart of the art scene in Kagawa is on several of its islands, namely, Shodoshima and Naoshima. There you will find an intriguing world dedicated to beauty and creativity.
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