I didn't quite believe my ragged old copy of Lonely Planet Japan when it said 'Even if you have spent months or years in Japan, Ritsurin is one of the places where it just hits you and you go - woah, I am REALLY in Japan'. Takamatsu, capital of Kanagawa prefecture in Shikoku, is pretty much off the tourist track - for Westernern, other East Asians and Japanese alike. Yet, the prefecture is in easy reach from the urban Kansai area (Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe) and home to many more sights - if you have some extra time, don't miss it!
|prolific and giant koi!|
Ritsurin Garden was developed during the Edo period and was never of any great importance, which is why it apparently annoyed a lot of officials in Kyoto and Tokyo that is was so much nicer than their own gardens.
The pictures ended up being more scenic than my visit, though, as I had to keep finding somewhere to seek shelter from the rain!