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Shikokumura Open-Air Architecture Museum

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Shikokumura Open-Air Architecture Museum


Historic buildings from across Shikoku and an art gallery designed by Tadao Ando

Kagawa Prefecture



Shikokumura is a 50,000-square-meter outdoor museum located in Setonaikai National Park on the side of Mt. Yashima in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. It contains over 30 traditional and historic buildings gathered from across the four prefectures of Shikoku—Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi, and Tokushima—and the surrounding islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Dating from the Edo (1603–1867) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods, the farmhouses, warehouses, and workshops have been sensitively restored to offer a magnificent showcase of historic Japanese architecture in a parkland setting rich in natural beauty.
Various kinds of homes, with their furniture and tools still preserved, offer a taste of the old countryside lifestyle in rural Japan. Step into a soy sauce maker’s workshop and a sugar mill with a rare example of ox-driven stone mortars for pressing sugarcane. There is also a Farmers’ Kabuki stage, where local people became actors and put on theater performances, and a vine suspension bridge built of wood and vines (and reinforced by steel cables), similar to the ones found in the remote Iya Valley in neighboring Tokushima Prefecture.
At the Shikokumura Gallery, designed by architect Tadao Ando, admire ancient sculptures, images of Buddha, and scrolls from Japan, China, and Iran, and modern European paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Renoir. Also on show are pieces by Nagare Masayuki, a sculptor and garden designer, whose work is in collections at prestigious institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Museum of Art, Osaka. To the south of the gallery extends a sloping Suikei Tei-en waterscape garden surrounded by water and plants.
Time your visit to coincide with lunch to eat the region’s signature Sanuki udon noodles at Waraya, an old, refurbished farmhouse, or visit the Ijinkan Tea House, former residence of Englishman William Down, transferred from Kobe City in Hyogo Prefecture and now serving as a cafe offering coffee, black tea, cakes, and muffins.


How to get there

Located a 5-minute walk from Kotoden Yashima Station or a 10-minute walk from JR Yashima Station.


​91 Yashima Naka-machi, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa-ken


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