Kagawa Prefecture is one of the most popular areas in Japan for “art” now.
There are regular international flights arriving at Takamatsu Airport from Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Hong Kong.
The number of tourists from outside of Japan is increasing year by year, and one of the reasons for visiting Kagawa for many of them is “arts in Kagawa”.
Now, we are introducing you some of the spots for your art trip which cannot be missed!
1. Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa)
Ritsurin Garden is designated as a National Special Place of Scenic Beauty.
This garden was given the highest rating in the world-famous tourist guidebook “Michelin Green Guide” from France, and was recommended as “worth a special journey”.
The garden is close to the city center, so it is very accessible.
We would especially like to recommend that you go there early in the morning.
At that time there are not so many tourists, so you can enjoy 100% the great scenery from the various viewing spots scattered around the park.
Why don’t you get out of bed early to fully taste the beauty and the many highlights of this park?
We can say that it is worth to set your alarm clock earlier than usual.
2. The Kagawa Prefectural Office East Building (Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa)
The present East Building of the Kagawa Prefectural Office is very famous in the architectural world, and a good number of people keep visiting here to see this masterpiece.
This building was designed by Kenzo Tange, one of the representative Japanese architects.
The governor, Masanori Kaneko, who was elected in the first democratic election after WWII, asked Kenzo Tange to design the new prefectural office.
The mural artwork at the entrance by Genichiro Inokuma and the furnishings by Isamu Kenmochi are also characteristic points of the building.
The prefectural office was created and completed by the top architects and artists in Japan.
The building itself was to express “democracy,” the new ideology at that time, as a form of architecture.
This concept was embedded in the building and still remains vibrant in the layout, exterior, interior, and details of the East Building.
3. George Nakashima Memorial Hall (Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa)
The “George Nakashima Memorial Hall” is located in Mure Town, on the east side of Takamatsu City.
“Sakura Seisakusho,” a furniture maker which has been producing furniture designed by the late George Nakashima (a world-famous furniture designer), established this hall in 2008.
The atmosphere inside of the hall is just like a museum of furniture.
About 65 pieces are exhibited here.
They are must-see “artworks” finished by craftsmen piece by piece, and they are not industrial products.
4. Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (Marugame-shi, Kagawa)
The one of the fundamental places for an art trip in Kagawa is “Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art” located in Marugame City, on the west side of Kagawa.
This museum has a lot of fans all over Japan, and is loved with the nickname “Inokuma-san.”
You will be also happy with its location, just on the corner of JR Marugame Station.
*The museum will be closed for renovation until March 31st, 2020.
5. Kagawa Prefectural Higashiyama Kaii Setouchi Art Museum (Sakaide-shi, Kagawa)
“Kagawa Prefectural Higashiyama Kaii Setouchi Art Museum” is in a location that looks out at the Seto Ohashi Bridge.
You can enjoy a tremendous view of the Seto Ohashi Bridge from the café inside, and also the museum shop.
6. Kyu Konpira Oshibai (Nakatado-gun, Kagawa)
“Kyu (Old) Konpira Oshibai,” located in Kotohira Town, is the oldest remaining playhouse in Japan, built in 1835.
Many Kabuki fans from all over Japan come to this theater for “Shikoku Konpira Kabuki Oshibai,” held in April every year.
This performance event is one of the spring features at Konpira.
The inside of the building is gorgeous, and you can feel the history of the theater.
The structure of the building has not changed a lot since it was built, and this playhouse was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1970.
If you visit the nearby Kotohira-gu Shrine, a.k.a. “Konpira-san,” you should also visit this theater.
7. Somesho Yoshino-ya (Nakatado-gun, Kagawa)
Shinmachi Shopping Street (also known as “Konpira Retro Street”) is located on the east side of the front approach to Konpira-san.
“Somesho Yoshino-ya” is a traditional dying shop which has been around for 4 generations. It has been making banners for “Shikoku Konpira Kabuki Oshibai” since its first performance.
You can buy “KONBAGS,” which are made from the same fabric as the banners from “Shikoku Konpira Kabuki Oshibai.” Also, you can make your own one at the workshop.
Every fabric is so colorful, and it can be hard for you to choose the perfect combination…!
Anyway, please try making your own vivid KONBAG here.
Photographs and text by Megumi Yamada
Megumi Yamada Although I was born in Kagawa, after graduating high school I spent time in America, Kyoto, and East Timor, and now live in Kagawa again. I’m currently rediscovering the beauty of my hometown. I love to draw and take pictures.
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