Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride – Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園  Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

3 Star Michelin Tour Guide

One of Takamatsu (in Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku) top attraction is Ritsurin Garden, the Japanese style garden built by the local feudal lord during the Edo Period. It also gained more popularity after the garden was awarded with three stars as a place worth visiting by Michelin Tour Guide in 2009.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Chrysanthemum Means Autumn In Japan

There are Chrysanthemum flowers widely decorated in front of the park, garden or even home in autumn. According to my host mother in Japan, Chrysanthemum also mean longevity. Chrysanthemum flower also known as “kiku” in Japanese is the symbol of autumn in Japan. In fact, every season there is a flower representing it, such as sakura/cherry blossom in spring and ume/plum flower in winter.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

6 ponds & 13 hills

This park also called as Daimyo Garden which consists of 6 ponds and 13 hills with Mt Shiun in the backdrop. Daimyo refer to great lords in Japan.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Kimono Rental

At the entrance, you are welcome to rent kimono costume and walk around in the garden and shoot picture with the Daimyo Garden which only allowed to enter by the elite in ancient time.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Shoko Shoreikan (Commerce and Industry Promotion Hall)

Not far from the entrance, you see Shoko Shoreikan, which is an information hall for Ritsurin Garden’s history and local traditional crafts.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Yellow Cap Students

I spotted few groups of school children with yellow hats having excursion in Ritsurin Garden. This is one of the most recognizable feature for primary school children. The yellow color usually are for first grader as yellow can stand out more and boost public awareness to be extra careful when they walk or cross the street.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Best time to visit – Spring & Autumn

Cherry trees are planted in the north garden and south garden. In spring, the park is famous for cherry blossoms.  Trees at the park and the scenery of autumn leaves on Mt. Shiun are worth seeing in autumn but we are here too early so we missed the red maple leaves.  Mid of November would be a great timing to see the red maple leaves in Ritsurin Garden.

A Baby Waterfall in Ritsurin Garden

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Red Bridge in Ritsurin Garden


Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Pine Tree Garden

Ritsurin garden have the word “chestnuts”/Ritsu 栗 in its name, but you see more no chestnuts  and a large number of pine tree in the garden. The over 1,400 pines attract visitors to the garden year round and make Ritsurin Garden Japan’s foremost pine garden.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

A beautiful cloud was seen in the reflection of the lake.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Kikugetsu-tei teahouse

You can experience the tea ceremony with the green powder matcha here with a piece of Japanese wagashi/Japanese traditional snacks.  Additional fees are needed.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Arch Bridges

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Wasen Boat Ride

Wasen Boat Ride is another way to see Ritsurin Garden with a different perspective from walking on the path in the garden.  Passengers are all seen wearing the traditional straw hat  which make the whole place even prettier.

Ticket for boat ride :

  • 610 yen/USD 5.40 for adult and 300 yen/USD 2.70 for children.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Dango on Fire @ 300 Yen /USD 2.70

Dango on stick are grilled over on small fire sold in the little souvenir shop in Ritsurin Garden.  There are 3 flavors, the original is white color, pink is sakura flavor and the green is yomogi (mugwort) grass flavor.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

“Anko paste”/red bean paste are added on top before serve.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Entrance ticket :

  • Adults 410 yen (USD 3.65), Children (Elementary & High school) 170 yen (USD 1.50).  Even you are a foreigner you are entitled for elementary or high school price.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Parking in Ritsurin

There are parking lots outside Ritsurin Garden.  100 yen /USD 0.90 for 25 min.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

  1. Before you leave, find the pay meter.
  2. Check the car space number – my is number 22 (refer to picture below)
  3. Key in number 22 in the parking machine
  4. Machine will tell you how much to pay
  5. Most machine accept 1,000 note and coins.
  6. Get your change or receipts if you want it to be printed out
  7. Go to your car space and make sure the flapper at the bottom is down before your drive.
  8. Drive away promptly as you don’t want to have the flapper up again, some machine has their flapper time based.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

Final thoughts :

Ritsurin Garden is Japan’s largest Cultural Property Garden that has been handed down since 400 years ago. It is truly a leisure to walk around these ponds and hills which were constructed beautifully. A wasen boat ride is another interesting way to explore Ritsurin Garden, you got to see a total new perspective from walking the park’s path. No wonder this place is named as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government.

If I was here two week later, the whole backdrop would be even more stunning with the maple leaves turning yellow and red.

Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride - Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園

39 Replies to “Japan Shikoku : Takamatsu Pride – Ritsurin Garden in Kagawa Prefecture 栗林公園”

  1. I’ve never gone to Japan but its so high on my bucket list. Maybe for honeymoon! This looks like a truly beautiful Japanese garden/Park, and such a detailed post. Amazing!

    1. Dear anythingrad,

      Best time to visit Japan is during Spring and Autumn. In spring you get to see the cherry blossom all over parks and streets. In autumn, you see forest leaves turning red.

    1. Dear Supermomlife,

      Ritsurin is one of the best scenic place in Japan showing Japanese style garden. This garden used to own by the Daimyo lord few hundred years ago and only open to the elite society.

  2. I love botanical gardens. They typically are so peaceful and beautiful. This one seems to be just that. I had no idea about the yellow caps. How adorable.

    1. Dear Alison,
      The yellow cap show a distinctive feature of the primary 1 school children in Japan. It mean to show to the public these are primary 1 school children and please pay attention to them, especially on the road.

    1. Dear J teem,

      The Japan that you pictured are mostly like in Tokyo and Osaka. The rest of Japan are pretty countryside and 70% of Japan are covered by forest. Majority of the population stay in Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka

  3. If I go to Japan, I definitely have to go visit these places. I love nature and the outdoors so this would definitely be right up my alley

  4. I don’t really use the phrase picture perfect very often – but this place is gorgeous! I absolutely love gardens like this!

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