The Great Seto Bridge

SHIKOKU Kagawa Modern art, ocean views and delectable noodles

Japan's smallest prefecture has plenty to offer with an ancient spiritual pilgrimage route and islands dedicated to contemporary art

Kagawa Prefecture is situated in the north of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands. Kagawa has Shikoku’s largest city, Takamatsu, and many small islands on the Seto Inland Sea. Naoshima and its surrounding islands are packed with internationally renowned modern art installations and museums, while Shodoshima is famous for olive production and sandy beaches. Kagawa Prefecture is perhaps best known for udon, with many of Japan's best noodle shops located in the prefecture.

How To Get There

Kagawa lies within easy reach of several of Japan's major cities, with Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima just over two hours away by train or plane. Takamatsu Airport is served by both domestic flights and international routes from Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Hong Kong.

You can easily reach Kagawa via train or plane from Tokyo. Bullet trains run to Okayama, a major shinkansen station between Osaka and Hiroshima. Transfer at Okayama for the express JR Seto-Ohashi Line to Takamatsu, Kagawa's capital city. Domestic airlines serve Takamatsu from Narita and Haneda in Tokyo and Naha Airport in Okinawa. Naoshima and Shodoshima are reachable by ferry from either Takamatsu or Okayama Prefecture.

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Don’t Miss

  • Contemporary art at Naoshima
  • Sampling local noodles at the prefecture's udon restaurants
  • One of Japan’s most famous gardens, Ritsurin Koen, in Takamatsu
  • Walking in the footsteps of pilgrims at 23 of the famous 88 Temples of Shikoku

Local Specialties

  • Shodoshima Somen

    A delicate noodle made from a dough of wheat flour, salt water and locally-produced sesame oil that is lovingly pulled apart by hand and dried in the sun. On Shodo Island at Furusatomura, you can catch and eat these noodles as they flow down angled bamboo chutes, making this a true fast-food experience.

    food-craft
  • Sanuki Udon

    One of the many varieties of udon, Sanuki udon originated in Kagawa, but has since spread throughout Japan. The noodles are characterized by their thick, square shape and flat edges. Comes with a variety of toppings, and is often served in a dashi soup with green onions and tempura flakes.

    food-craft
  • Marugame Round Fans

    Originally a religious souvenir, Marugame uchiwa are Japan’s most popular traditional fan, and Marugame produces 90 percent of them. Designed from a single piece of bamboo, these rounded fans can have flat or round handles.

    food-craft
  • Kagawa Olives

    Shodo Island in Kagawa Prefecture has been growing olives for over a century, and produces more of them than anywhere else in Japan. An array of olive snacks and oils are available on the island. The olive oils have won awards in international competitions.

    food-craft

Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    The prefecture's many cherry trees come into bloom, and the first pilgrims of the year embark on the Shikoku 88 Temples route.

    ritsurin koen park
  • Summer

    Kagawa’s beaches are the place to be during summer. A lack of crowds, low humidity, white sand and clear, warm water are big draws to the Seto Inland Sea.

    yashima area
  • Autumn

    Photograph vibrant autumn leaves at Ritsurin Koen Gardens in Takamatsu or ride a cable car and admire the changing foliage at Kankakei Gorge.

    kankakei gorge
  • Winter

    Kagawa's weather turns mild, and visitors can view winter illuminations, soak in natural hot springs and visit local festivals for a taste of rural Japanese life.

    kotohira-gu shrine

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