Ritsurin Garden, the only Japanese feudal lord (Daimyo) garden which remains in Shikoku, has been a garden beloved by the rulers of Takamatsu, the Matsudaira clan, for many years since the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, it was designated as a Japanese National Special Scenic Spot (quasi-National-Treasure) in 1953.
Kikugetsu-tei, the most iconic teahouse within the garden, is the largest of its kind in the park. This beloved teahouse has been handed down from generation-to-generation of Daimyos (feudal lords).
The architecture is a sukiya style representative of the early Edo period, with 3-4 sides of each room left open, its openness and use of space allows for different panoramic views of its natural surroundings.
"When I scoop up the water, I hold the moon in my hands" - inspired by this line from a Classical Chinese poem, the teahouse was constructed in a way that emulates the feeling of touching the surface of the lake, hence a low platform is utilized for the flooring. So why not enjoy this feeling of unity with nature by relaxing here with some matcha and Japanese sweets? In fact, the scenery of Ritsurin Koen is often said to be its most beautiful when viewed from the Kikugetsu-tei teahouse.
Other than the luxurious Kikugetsu-tei, the garden also includes other teahouses such as the rustic Higurashi-tei, a thatched-roof teahouse built in 1898, and the smaller Satsuki-tei.
Ritsurin Koen and Kikugetsutei
Access :20-16 Japan, Ritsurin-cho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture
Operating hours :Generally, from sunrise to sunset * Please check the website as it varies from month to month
How to get there :From Shin-Osaka Station, take either the Tokaido or Sanyo Shinkansen for about 50 minutes to JR Okayama Station. Then, transfer to the JR Seto Ohashi Line and get off at JR Takamatsu Station after about an hour ride. Finally, transfer to the Kotoku Line and get off at JR Ritsurin-koen Kitaguchi Station after about 5 minutes.