Is it November or early December when you are reading this article? If yes, the time for fall colors has come again in 2019.
Everyone loves fall colors or autumn foliage in Japan, and every city has a famous spot or two for fall colors in Japan.
I’ll show you top 5 popular spots for fall colors in and around Takamatsu.
If you are in Takamatsu or Kagawa this time of the year, I’d recommend you to visit one or two of these spots to enjoy the colored leaves.
So, Let’s dive into the detail!
Ritsurin Garden is the most popular spot for fall colors in Kagawa Prefecture.
The Ritsurin Garden holds an autumn night illumination every year, and lots of locals look forward to this yearly event.
This year, the autumn night illumination takes place every night between the 23rd of November and the 2nd of December.
Address: 〒760-0073 香川県高松市栗林町１丁目２０−１６
Opening Hours: 6:00am – 9:00pm.
Admission: 410 yen, 200 for kids.
Okubo-ji temple(大窪寺) is the 88th temple of 88 temple Shikoku Henro pilgrimage.
It’s located in the middle of a mountain called Yahazu-yama(矢筈山).When fall comes, the area in and around this temple becomes very colorful.
Okubo-ji temple is one of the most important temples among the 88 temples because it’s the last one, and it’s where pilgrims make their wish come true after visiting 88 temples.
There is a famous traditional cafe/restaurant called Yasoba-an near Okubo-ji. Not only can you have Sanuki Udon but also Soba noodle in this restaurant.
You can also buy local souvenirs, it would be a good opportunity to buy one for your friends or family back home.
The best time for fall colors at Okubo-ji temple is from the beginning of November to the end of November.But it all depends on the weather of each year.
Address: 〒769-2306 香川県さぬき市多和兼割９６
How to get there: Take a train on kotoden Nagao Line(琴電長尾線) from Takamatsu Chikko station(高松築港) right next to the Takamatsu castle.
Get off at Nagao Station, the last station, and get on a community bus from there that will take you to Okubo-ji temple.
Yakuri-ji is the 85th temple of 88 temple Shikoku Henro pilgrimage.
The temple is situated in the middle of a mountain called Gokenzan(五剣山).
You can either hike up to the temple or take a cable car from the foot of the mountain. You can enjoy the view of the city and the colorful leaves both ways.
There’s a very popular Sanuki Udon shop near the cable car station called Yamadaya(山田屋). The shop has a beautiful garden and its Japanese traditional town house styled building is also worth visiting and eating at.
The best time for fall colors at Yakuri-ji is usually from the beginning of November to the middle of November.
Address: 〒761-0121 香川県高松市牟礼町牟礼３４１６
How to get there: Take a train on Kotoden Shido line and get off at Yakuri station or Take a JR train on Kotoku line(高徳線) and get off at Yakuri-guchi station. You have to walk to the cable car station from the both stations.
Kotohirra-Gu shrine attracts 4 million visitors a year.
“Once in a lifetime” – people in Edo period dreamed of visiting Kotohira-Gu Shrine once in their lifetime.
Even though there are 785 stone steps to the main shrine and 1368 steps to the inner shrine, the custom remains in 21st century and people still love to come to this shrine to pray.
You can find out more about the Kotohira-Gu shrine on my article here. here.
In fall, it’s not too cold and not too hot and hence the best time to walk up 785 steps to the main shrine. And you can enjoy fall colors along the way to the main shrine and the inner shrine.
There is a “first drip” festival called Hatsu-Shibori（初しぼり）at a local Sake brewery called Kinryo(金陵) on 23rd and 24th of November this year.
There are lots of local food vendors and live traditional music.The best thing is you can try the first drip of the year and also buy some limited sake bottles there on the festival days.
How to get there: Get a train either on JR or Kotoden from Takamatsu to Kotohira. There are lots of signposts to show you the way. It’s only a 10-15 minutes walk from each station to the approach of Kotohira-Gu Shrine.
5:Kankakei-Gorge in Shodoshima
Kankakei gorge（寒霞渓）is said to be one of the three most beautiful gorges in Japan. Lots of Japanese tourists come here to enjoy the vivid fall colors every year.
And now, more and more foreign tourists are visiting Kankakei gorge.
It’s located in the biggest island called Shodoshima in Kagawa Prefecture. And it’s only 1 hour away from Takamatsu by ferry.
Not only can you take a ferry trip to a remote island but also you can enjoy the fall colors whilst hiking up to the top of the mountain and burning the carbs you accumulated during your trip in Japan.
How to get there: Take a ferry from Takamatsu Port to Ikeda Port in Shodoshima. There is a bus going from the port directly to the cable car station at the foot of Kankakei Gorge.
Please note: there are 3 sea ports in Shodoshima. So please make sure that you take one going to Ikeda Port(池田港).