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Shikoku Mura Open-Air Architecture Museum

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


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

Kagawa Prefecture



Shikoku Mura is an outdoor museum displaying over 30 traditional and historic buildings gathered from across the four prefectures of Shikoku - Kagawa, Ehime, Kochi and Tokushima – and surrounding islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Dating from the Edo (1603-1867) and Meiji Periods (1868-1912), the farmhouses, warehouses and workshops have been sensitively restored offering a magnificent showcase of historic Japanese architecture in a parkland setting.


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 makers workshop and a sugar mill, offering a rare example of ox-driven stone mortars for pressing sugarcane. There is also a Farmers' Kabuki stage where local people become actors and put on theater performances.


Located in Setonaikai National Park on the side of Mt. Yashima in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, the 50,000-square-meter site is rich in nature. Make your way across a vine suspension bridge, made out 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 Shikoku Mura 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, who’s 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, and now serving as a cafe offering coffee, black tea, cakes and muffins.


How to get there


5 minutes walk from Kotoden Yashima Station or 10 minutes walk from JR Yashima Station.



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