Takamatsu Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Takamatsu!

This buoyant port city boasts many attractions, including Takamatsu Castle, regional culinary specialties like Sanuki-udon, and one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Koen. Takamatsu also serves as the gateway to the many beautiful islands in the Seto Inland Sea, making it a perfect base for exploring the region.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a four-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
* Duration: 6 hours
* Starts: Takamatsu, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Cultural Tours




This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Takamatsu!

This buoyant port city boasts many attractions, including Takamatsu Castle, regional culinary specialties like Sanuki-udon, and one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Koen. Takamatsu also serves as the gateway to the many beautiful islands in the Seto Inland Sea, making it a perfect base for exploring the region.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a four-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Ritsurin Garden, 1-20-16 Ritsurincho, Takamatsu 760-0073 Kagawa Prefecture

Ritsurin Koen (栗林公園) is a landscape garden in Takamatsu City, built by the local feudal lords during the early Edo Period. Considered one of the best gardens in Japan, it is often suggested that Ritsurin Koen deserves a spot on the list of the “three most beautiful gardens of Japan” alongside Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen, Mito’s Kairakuen, and Okayama’s Korakuen.

The spacious park features many ponds, hills, historic trees and beautiful pavilions divided into a Japanese style garden in the south and western style garden in the north. The gardens are set in front of wooded Mt. Shiun which serves as a wonderful background and great example of borrowed scenery.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Takamatsu Castle, 2-1 Tamamocho, Takamatsu 760-0030 Kagawa Prefecture

Takamatsu Castle (高松城, Takamatsujō), also known as Tamamo Castle, was built in 1590 adjacent to the Seto Inland Sea. It is one of the few Japanese castles built along a waterfront, and features saltwater moats that draw directly from the sea. The Ikoma Clan ruled from the castle for 54 years before their fief was given to the Matsudaira Clan, relatives of the Tokugawa Shogun, who kept the region for the remainder of the Edo Period.

Takamatsu Castle’s keep was destroyed during the Meiji Period, but there are plans to reconstruct it in the future. A first step towards this goal was achieved in 2013 when the restoration of the castle tower’s foundation was completed after many years of work.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Takamatsu Marugamemachi Shopping Street, Marugamemachi, Takamatsu 760-0029 Kagawa Prefecture

Within Takamatsu’s city center is a long, covered shopping arcade, stretching from Takamatsu Castle to Ritsurin Koen. Made up of various stores, restaurants and two department stores, it is claimed to be the longest covered shopping arcade in Japan with a combined length of nearly 2.7 kilometers.

The northern end of the shopping arcade near Takamatsu Castle and Mitsukoshi Department Store has recently been redeveloped into a large plaza and shopping center with upscale stores like Louis Vuitton and Coach. Lion Dori, a branch street running parallel to the main shopping street, contains mostly restaurants including those serving Sanuki Udon.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Yashima, Takamatsu Kagawa Prefecture

Yashima (屋島, lit. “roof island”) is a flat topped mountain just outside of Takamatsu’s city center. It was the site of an important 12th century battle during the Gempei War between the Taira and Minamoto Clans. Here the Taira were defeated in what was to be the last battle before their final destruction.

Around the flat summit are some attractions related to the mountain’s history as a battleground, including a Monument to the Battle of Yashima and Chinoike (“blood pond”), a pond which is said to have turned red with blood after the victorious Minamoto washed their swords in it.

Yashima offers great views of Takamatsu and of the Seto Inland Sea. Near the many viewpoints around the mountaintop are shops where you can buy small clay discs, which are thrown off the mountain for luck. This is meant to symbolize the victorious Minamoto warriors throwing off their headpieces after defeating the Taira.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, 3519 Murechomure, Takamatsu 761-0121 Kagawa Prefecture

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a prominent Japanese American artist, sculptor and landscape designer. Although born, educated and based in the United States, Isamu Noguchi maintained a workshop in Japan and spent months at a time working there towards the end of his nearly 65 year long career. Noguchi’s major works include bridges at the Hiroshima Peace Park, Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, the garden at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and an influential line of modern furniture designs among others.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Shikoku Mura Village, 91 Yashima-naka-machi, Takamatsu Kagawa Prefecture

Shikoku Mura (四国村, lit. “Shikoku Village”) is an open air museum situated at the base of Yashima. This pleasant hillside park preserves and exhibits traditional buildings and structures that have been relocated here from all over Shikoku Island.

Among the exhibited buildings, which mainly date from the Edo and Meiji Periods, are a number of farmhouses and storehouses, as well as various traditional workshops that produced goods such as sugar and soya sauce.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Sunport Takamatsu, Sunport, Takamatsu 760-0019 Kagawa Prefecture

Sunport Takamatsu is the name of the recently redeveloped business and shopping district around JR Takamatsu Station and Takamatsu Port, and not far from Takamastu Castle and the terminal station of the Kotoden Railways, Takamatsu-Chikko Station.

Takamatsu Port used to be the main entry point to Shikoku until the opening of the Seto Ohashi Bridge in 1988. Today, the port continues to offer ferry connections to several nearby islands, including Shodoshima, Naoshima, Megijima and Ogijima.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Kurashiki Folkcraft Museum, 1-4-11 Chuo, Kurashiki Okayama Prefecture

If you want to know more about the local handicrafts and folk traditions in Takamatsu then you need to head to the Sanuki Folkcraft Museum.

The museum is located in the gorgeous Ritsurin Park and you will find galleries that will take you back in time to the Tokugawa Dynasty.

Some of the exhibits include items such as jewelry, textiles and other local arts and crafts.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Kagawa Museum, 5-5 Tamamocho, Takamatsu 760-0030 Kagawa Prefecture

The Kagawa Museum is a great spot to visit if you want to learn more about wider Kagawa Prefecture of which Takamatsu is a part.

Here you will find a number of galleries and exhibits which tell the story of the prefecture and you can also see items such as weaponry and ancient textiles.

One thing to note however is that much of the signage is in Japanese.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Takamatsu Symbol Tower, 2-1 Sunport, Takamatsu 760-0019 Kagawa Prefecture

The Takamatsu Symbol Tower has the claim to fame of being the tallest building in all of Shikoku and it was built in 2004. It is blessed with a number of observation platforms and from these you can look out over the harbor and out to sea.

Also located within the building is a shopping mall which has a number of restaurants, cafes and shops.

Even though this is a rather touristy attraction, it is still worth visiting as it offers you some of the best vistas around Takamatsu.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Takamatsu City Museum of Art, 10-4 Konyamachi, Takamatsu 760-0027 Kagawa Prefecture

This impressive inner-city gallery is testament to Takamatsu’s quality art scene. The light and spacious refitting of a former Bank of Japan building is a stroke of curatorial genius, well served by interesting exhibitions on rotation from across Japan and the world. It’s often open until 7pm during special exhibitions.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ogijima Island, Takamatsu Kagawa Prefecture

Ogijima (男木島), brother island of nearby Megijima, is found in the Seto Inland Sea, a slow-paced 40 minute ferry ride from Takamatsu. Home to around 150 people, the island is just two kilometers long and one kilometer wide.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Megijima Island, Megicho, Takamatsu 760-0092 Kagawa Prefecture

Megijima (女木島) is a small island just off the port of Takamatsu, less than four kilometers long and one kilometer wide. Reached in a short ferry ride from Takamatsu, the island is home to about 140 people and besides two small villages and some fields consists mostly of forested mountains.

Duration: 1 hour