May 10th, 2012

drinking bird

Ritsurin koen, Takamatsu

My last stop on Shikoku was Takamatsu, where I unfortunately had only one afternoon. I was planning to visit Ritsurin Koen, one of the best gardens in Japan. I was staying at a hotel by the station. From there, it is about 2.5km to Ritsurin. One has the choice of taking a local train, or walking. In the latter case, I suggest going down the shopping arcades, which start near the castle [not far from the station] and finish near the garden. They are over 2km long, and supposed to be the longest in Japan.

I truly liked this garden. Of course, it didn't hurt that it was a nice sunny day!

near the entrance, cypresses and cherry trees

a mass of irises

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a view of the hills

part of the tea house

a couple of bridges nearby

Another bridge. The lake is quite large and free form, so there are a number of bridges.

irises in a stream, which has wonderfully clear water

an unexpected group of sago palms [at least, I think that's what they are]

one more bridge.

This is a really beautiful garden, but it is huge. In addition, I got lost at some point and had to retrace my steps. So, after wandering about for a long time, I was completely exhausted and opted to just take a taxi back. There is a lovely pastry shop in the lobby of the hotel, where I purchased the delicious cakes necessary to recover.

The next day I had the long train ride back to Tokyo, and one last day of shopping before heading home.