Situated in the north of the island of Shikoku, Kagawa – Japan’s smallest prefecture – has a lot to offer visitors. Kagawa is simply brimming with cultural and natural sights, including the stunning Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu and the island of Shodoshima, which features an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. The prefecture is also well-regarded as a hub for contemporary art, with attractions such as the beautiful island of Naoshima where nature and art blend together.
Takamatsu, situated in central Kagawa, acts as the prefecture’s capital. Due to its size and range of attractions, it’s the perfect place to begin your exploration of Kagawa. Among its many highlights are the Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Takamatsu Castle, and the aforementioned Ritsurin Garden. Built by local feudal lords during the early Edo period, it is considered one of Japan’s most famous historic gardens. In addition to featuring many gorgeous ponds and other natural features, it is also home to a folk museum and a number of teahouses – perfect for when you need a break.
Another major draw of Kagawa Prefecture is its famous Sanuki Udon Noodles. It is often referred to as the “Udon Prefecture” and it’s not an inaccurate description as there are over 600 udon restaurants throughout Kagawa. There are many different types of udon noodles served at these restaurants as well as schools where you can attempt to make the famous dish yourself. Kagawa is also famous for a number of other dishes, with its coastline producing a huge variety of fresh seafood.