This will be another fairly short post! Today, I left Kochi for Takamatsu, which is on the opposite side of the island. Luckily, it was only about 2.5 hours of traveling.
To be honest, there isn’t much to see in Takamatsu itself. It’s usually used as a base for day excursions elsewhere, such as the island of Naoshima. It does have one big draw, though: Ritsurin Garden. It is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, as well as being a historic garden – its construction started by feudal lords in the 17th century.
Since I got into the city too early to check in to my hotel, I stowed away my luggage in a coin locker in Takamatsu Station and walked the 2 km to Ritsurin Garden. It was surprisingly chilly, but the walk helped me to warm up.
Inside the garden, there are volunteer tour guides. An older guide, named Mr Yamashita, spoke good English so he led me around and told me about various aspects of the park, including a 300-year-old tea house (no longer in use) and a 100-year-old tea house (still in use!) or an oak tree that grew within a pine tree and killed it.
The park also features some 1000 carp in various ponds and plenty of pigeons. Vendors sell food to feed both. It’s a lot more relaxing than feeding the deer in Nara! I fed the carp for a while and watched some people feed the pigeons (which will land on you in search for food if you hold your hand out).
After the tour, I stopped for some udon and dango since I was pretty hungry. It started raining, though, so I made the walk back to the station to retrieve my luggage and found my hotel.
This being my only hotel stay (as opposed to hostels and the one ryokan), I feel a bit weird! I think I’ve forgotten how to stay I’m a hotel, haha!