The Museum Atop Goshikdai
Teaching visitors about local history, lifestyles and culture through various exhibitions, the Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum is located on the top of Goshikidai, a popular tourist destination.
This is the entrance and admission is free. With 10 exhibition rooms of various sizes surrounding an inner courtyard, the highly acclaimed museum building design was inspired by pirate castles. It has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 Greatest Public Buildings and has won the Architectural Institute of Japan Award.
The museum houses an abundance of fishing equipment and shipwright tools that are part of Japan’s Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties. The items and artifacts are displayed in themed exhibitions, such as “Fishing, Boats and Lifestyles of the Seto Inland Sea”, Maritime Transport and The Faith of The Sea”, “Farming Tools of Kagawa”, and “Festivals and Art of Kagawa”. Visitors can learn about the lifestyles of the area by comparing the different items on display, such as the boats in the photo above. Although both were used in the same Setouchi area, the shape of the boats differ slightly as the actual place of use and the purpose of the boats were different. In order to climb the high waves of the Akashi Straight, one of them has a pointier, upward curving bow.
This is the shipbuilding exhibition. Building plans and tools that shipwrights used are on display here. The Seto Inland Sea has since ancient times been an aorta for marine traffic and cultural exchange, and the development of local shipbuilding technology played a major part in that.
In addition to this permanent exhibition, other themed exhibitions using the many stored museum items are held regularly.
The Amazing Rooftop View
Besides exhibitions, the Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum offers other splendid sights.
This is the expansive panoramic view from the observation platform atop the storage room at the back of the museum.
The scenery to the east is particularly breathtaking. While in the foreground we have Konomine, dotting the sea in the background is the stunning view of some of the many islands of the Seto Inland Sea including Ogijima, Megijima, Naoshima, Teshima, and Shodo Island. I never tire of watching ships pass east and west through here.
To the west, you have a bird’s eye view of the geometrically-shaped museum building – itself a piece of art!
Enjoying A Walk In The Courtyard
This is the museum courtyard. Along with a myriad of seasonal flowers, there are also guideposts and stone markers from the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Some of the guideposts were made by the famous Shinnen, who contributed to the development of the pilgrimage in the Edo Period.
In the spacious square by the parking lot, the old symbols of Takamatsu Harbor beckon visitors to the museum. The top parts of the red and white lighthouses have been used to create this installation called Rekimin-no-Todai.
The red lighthouse stood at Sunport Takamatsu for about 30 years from 1964 to 1994, the precursor to the present red glass lighthouse. Keeping the harbor safe, the white lighthouse stood in the middle breakwater of Takamatsu Harbor from 1966 to 1995.
The Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum was opened in 1973 with the aim of spreading awareness of the cultural assets and history of the Setouchi area through the collecting, preservation, display and research of folklore and historic documents.
The museum building itself is a masonic work of art that is poised in harmony with the surrounding Goshikidai. Admission is free, so if you are coming to see the area, please stop by the museum as well!
Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum
Address: 1412-2 Tarumicho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture (On top of Goshikidai)
Open: 9:00 – 17:00 (last entrance 16:30)
Closed: Mondays (if Monday is a public holiday, the following day is closed instead) and end-of-year.
Parking: Available (free-of-charge)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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