Ritsurin Kōen, located in Takamatsu on the side of Mt. Shiun, is my favorite Japanese garden in Japan. I don’t invent anything, it’s the case of many Japanese. The garden is gigantic (75 hectares), divided into several parts, each offering a unique spectacle. It will take you over an hour to walk through it in its entirety !
The garden dates from the 17th century, and in 1953 it received the title of “Special Place of Scenic Beauty“. It is a National Treasure of Japan.
The diversity of the garden is unlike any other. By taking the different paths, you will find two magnificent ponds, each with their own point of view to admire them from above. From here, we can understand the extent of the park. With the Mt Shiun in the background, it seems endless.
Also, you can take a ride on the lake in a traditional boat. Then, take advantage of the tea houses in the garden to experience the Zen culture. You can even eat your meal there: Takamatsu‘s famous Udon noodles.
It is magnificent in any season. In summer, the green brings freshness to the heat of Shikoku. I would like to discover it in the fall to admire the color change of the leaves. To the north of the park, you’ll find an area with western influences. It brings a new atmosphere to the garden.
The garden is open everyday from 05:30 to 18:30 (entrance fee of 410 yen).
Access : the closest stations are Risturin Station (Kotoku Line ; Uzushio JR Line) or Risturin-Koen Station (Kotohira Line).