If you visit Shikoku island during your trip to Japan, and particularly Takamatsu, you have to go visit Ritsurin Kôen Park. This 185-acre Japanese garden has received a large number of awards and prestigious titles, including:
- three stars in the Japanese Michelin tourist guide
- "National Treasure of Japan" since 1953
- label of "Outstanding Landscape"
In many specialists' opinion, Ritsurin Park is one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, by its construction (which started in 1625) and maintenance. All lovers of Zen and Japanese gardens must absolutely spend some time there.
We visited it on our first afternoon in Takamatsu. The park is just minutes away from the main station of the city, by train either JR line or Kotoden. Admission is 400 ¥en and offers two visits, one-hour or two-hours long depending on how long you wish to stay. For those interested, a park map and an audio commentary are available in English.
Ritsurin Park is absolutely stunning, extremely well maintained and very green, even in summer with the hot weather in Japan. A whole border of the park is next to the Mount Shiun, offering a sublime background and a beautiful color palette. For those interested, a tea house is in the heart of the gardens.
How to get to Ritsurin
About 5 to 10 minutes from Takamatsu:
- JR train, Ritsurinkoenkitaguchi or Ritsurin station
- Kotoden rail line, Ritsurinkoen station
Location reachable with the JRP : order your Japan Rail Pass (from ~US$ 281)
Adults: ¥410 (~US$ 3.70) / Children: ¥170 (~US$ 1.60)
Free on January 1 and March 16 (the anniversary of its opening)
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
December / January: 7am - 5pm
February: 7am - 5:30pm
March: 6:30am - 6pm
April / May: 5:30am - 6:30pm
June / July / August: 5:30am - 7pm
September: 5:30am to 6:30pm
October: 6am - 5h30pm
November: 6:30am - 5pm