Kagawa, whilst the smallest prefecture in land mass, has a huge amount to offer. From delicious udon to magnificent scenery, Kagawa is a destination with something for everyone.
#1. Sanuki Udon
Photo Credit: yoppy@Flickr
Kagawa is known for sanuki udon. It’s the number one reason people from all around Japan travel to this prefecture. Named after Kagawa’s previous name, Sanuki, this particular udon is characterized by the square edges and the very elastic texture. Come lunch time, locals and tourists form long queues at popular restaurants. Enjoy a simple bowl to appreciate the quality of the noodles and broth, or try it with the variety of delicious toppings on offer.
Created by volcanic activity 13 million years ago, the magnificent Kankakei gorge is part of the Setonaikai National Park on Shodoshima Island. It is one of Japan’s Three Most Beautiful Gorges and is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty. It has been selected as one of “100 Landscapes of Japan”. Immerse yourself in nature and take in the amazing scenery from the numerous lookout points.
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Address: 168 Kankakedori, Shodoshimacho, Shozu District, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 5 minutes by Ropeway from Kouun Station
Hours: 8:30 – 5:00 PM
Website: Kankakei (Japanese)
#3. Angel Road
Angel Road can only be seen twice a day when the tide pulls out. It’s a strip of sand that connects up Benten Island and Nakayo Island. It is said that two people who walk this path hand in hand will find happiness. A place not to be missed for romantics!
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Address: Ginnamiura, Tonosho, Shozu District, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 10 minutes by bus from Tonosho Port
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Website: Angel Road (Japanese)
#4. Watch a Kabuki Play at Kyu Konpira Ooshibai
Photo Credit: Tzuhsun Hsu@Flickr
Originally built in 1835, Kyu Konpira Ooshibai is Japan’s oldest kabuki theater in existence. Every spring, fans flock from all around Japan to watch “Shikoku Konpira”, a kabuki play. Filled with Edo period detailing, the building itself also has architectural significance.
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Konpira Grand Theater
Address: 1241 Otsu Kotohiracho, Nakatado District, Kagawa Prefecture 琴平町乙１２４１
Access: 5 minutes by car from Kotohira station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
500 yen (Adult)
300 yen (Junior high and high school student)
200 yen (Elementary school student)
Website: Konpira Grand Theatre (Japanese)
#5. Sanuki Plains
Visit the Kotohira-gu Shrine to experience the stunning view of the Sanuki Plains. Getting to Kotohira-gu Shrine (nicknamed Konpira-san) can be difficult because of the 785 stone steps leading up to the main shrine. With gift and food shops along the way, the trip is sure to be worthwhile. Be rewarded by a great sense of achievement and the breathtaking view.
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Address: 892-1 Kotohiracho, Nakatado District, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 20 minute walk from Kotohira Station
Hours: 6:00 AM – 5:00 AM
Website: Kotohira-gu Shrine (Japanese)
#6. Zenigata Sunae
Zenigata Sunae is a massive sand art depicting an old Japanese coin from the Edo period. Measuring 122 meters wide and 90 meters high, it actually is oval, but from the lookout on Kotohiki Hill, it appears to be a perfect circle. The view at night is also great when it is illuminated. It is said that those who see the sand art will never have to worry about money again.
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Address: 14 Ariakech0, Kanonji City, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 5 minutes by car from Kannonji Station
Website: Zenigata Sunae (Japanese)
Photo Credit: Jean-Marie Hullot@Flickr
Naoshima is truly “the island of art”. The island boasts amazing modern art galleries including Chichu Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, and even a 007 Museum, devoted to James Bond. Visitors can appreciate the work of iconic architect, Tadao Ando, since many of the galleries were designed by him. Find Yayoi Kusama’s giant spotted pumpkin, or experience “I Love Yu”, a public bath house that is also an artwork.
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Address: Naoshima, Kagawa District, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 50 minutes by ferry from Takamatsu Port
#8. Ritsurin Koen
Ritsurin Koen is a traditional Japanese garden in Takamatsu city. With many ponds and bridges, it is said to be one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. Strategically placed mounds allow Mt. Shiun in the distance to be a stunning backdrop. This breathtaking place has been awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide of Japan in 2009.
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Address: 1-20-16 Ritsurincho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 5 minute walk from Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi Station
Hours: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
410 yen (Adult)
170 yen (Child)
Website: Ritsurin Koen (Japanese)
#9. Saint Angelina Observatory
Photo Credit: my-kagawa.jp
The Saint Angelina Observatory is actually a wedding ceremony hall! Enjoy a panoramic view across the Seto Inland Sea at this romantic observatory. The mood is right especially at night with the view of the illuminated Seto Bridge. Following the tradition in Paris, couples put a “Lock of Promise” on the fence and throw away the key in the ocean.
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Saint Angelina Observatory
Address: 2719−1 Udatsucho , Ayauta District,Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 10 minute drive from Sakaide IC
Hours: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Website: Saint Angelina Observatory (Japanese)
#10. Marugame Castle
Marugame Castle in Marugame city has a history of over 400 years. Listed in the “100 Castles of Japan”, it has been dubbed “The Stone Castle” due to its magnificent stone walls. The stones stack up to over 60 meters from the inner moat, making it the tallest in Japan. The wall is also distinctive for its graceful curved lines, linked to the bend of a traditional Japanese fan.
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Address: Ichibancho, Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture
Access: 10 minute walk from Marugame Station
Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Website: Marugame Castle (Japanese)