Yashima is a 292 meter flat topped mountain. It’s famous for its unique shape of the summit because it looks like a roof when seen from a distance.
Some locals say when they have guests from outside Takamatsu, they will take them to Yashima.
Yashima offers a lot of attractions, for example,
- The 84th temple of 88 temples on Shikoku Pilgrimage…
- A over-50 years old aquarium on the mountain…
- One of the best views of Takamatsu city and Setouchi islands from the summit.
- One of the top 10 Sanuki udon shops at the foot of Yashima in a traditional town house.
- Shikoku Mura – open air museum park exhibiting traditional store houses, structures, Kabuki theatre and a thrilling bridge from all over Shikoku region.
It’s only a 20 minutes train ride from the city centre, and it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Takamatsu.
Short History of Yashima
Yashima is famous for the battle of Yashima that took place in 1185 to determine the fate of the country between two prestigious clans: Taira and Minamoto.
Yashima mountain used to be a remote island. But people reclaimed the sea to make more land for salt fields in Edo Period(1603 -1868).
So now, Yashima is connected to Takamatsu city by land.
Let’s see what each of the attractions in Yashima has to offer.
Waraya（藁屋） – Sanuki Udon Shop
Waraya is one of the most popular Sanuki Udon shops in Takamatsu, and it’s at the foot of the Yashima mountain.
It’s my most favorite Sanuki Udon Shop in Kagawa so far.
The restaurant’s structure was converted from a old Japanese town house.
I look forward to their Sanuki Udon so much every time I visit Yashima because of their unique Sanuki Udon called Tarai Udon（たらいうどん）.
Their Signature Udon – Tarai Udon
Tarai Udon comes in a massive round-shaped wooden bucket called Tarai.
The soup comes in a big Japanese porcelain decanter. You pour dashi/soup into your cup and pick up the udon noodle, dip into the sauce and eat it.
The portion of Tarai Udon is massive, if you don’t think you can finish all the udon, there are smaller options too.
The atmosphere is great, their udon is very unique and delicious beyond expectation.
I definitely recommend you to try the Sanuki Udon at Waraya.
Opening Hours:10am – 7pm.
Yashima Temple – Shikoku Pilgrimage
Yashima Temple is the 84th temple of 88 temples on Shikoku Pilgrimage. This is a must-come spot when you visit Yashima.
Yashima Temple was founded in 754 by a Chinese monk, Ganjin who founded the prestigious Toshou-daiji in Nara prefecture.
Yashima temple is pretty close, about a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal in the mountain.
Shikoku Mura is an open air museum park exhibiting traditional store houses, structures, old kabuki theatre and a thrilling bridge from all over Shikoku region.
It’s located at the foot of Yashima mountain and it’s on the opposite of Waraya Sanuki Udon Shop.
As you can see in the picture above, there is a replica of Kazurabashi bridge in Iya valley in Tokushima.The bridge is a suspension bridge and it’s made only of vines.
Old Kabuki Theatre
There is also a small museum space designed by Tadao Ando, and you can find lots of traditional tools used by local farmers in the past.
Opening Hours:8:30 am – 5:30pm(6pm in winter).
Admission:1000 yen for adults and 400 yen for kids under 15.
The Sunset from Shishi-No-Reh-Gan lookout deck
It’s a 10 minutes walk from the bus terminal on top of the mountain.From the deck, you have a whole panorama of both the Takamatsu city and the Seto Inland Sea.
Whether it’s in the daytime or at sunset, the view from this place is stunning and you can see the city and lots of islands in the Seto Inland Sea.
There is a tradition to throw a clay disc off the mountain called Kawara Nage(瓦投げ).
You can’t see it in the image above but there is a circle-shaped hoop below the deck on the hill.
If you make your clay disc through the hoop, it’s said you will get luck. Or even if you can’t make it through, you will fend off the evil by throwing the clay discs off the mountain.
You can buy clay discs from the souvenir shops on the mountain nearby.
What’s attracting local kids and sea life lovers in Yashima is Shin-Yashima aquarium.
It’s located on top of the mountain, and hence, it’s a very rare aquarium.
It’s difficult to keep the water pumped all the way up to the mountain, which makes this aquarium very rare.
In this aquarium, you find a west Indian manatee, harbor seals and dolphins as well as different types of fish.
Opening Hours:9:00am – 5:00pm.
Admission:1200 yen for adults and 700yen under 15.