02
Getting to Know the Art,
Architecture and
Traditional Crafts
in Takamatsu
If you like art, architecture, and traditional crafts, Takamatsu is the city to visit, not just once but again and again. There are museums, works by famous architects, and traditional Japanese crafts all over this compact city. No matter how many times you visit, you will find something new each time.
Experience the history of arts and architecture while discovering various traditional crafts that flourished under the Takamatsu Domain during the Edo period (1603 - 1868), as well as the works of architects and artists who gathered in Takamatsu after WWII.
「Watch Tower」
John Kormeling
「Waiting for / Mr.Inland Sea」
Jun Homma
「Banker,Nurse,
Detective,Lawyer」
Julian Opie
7 things you can do in Takamatsu
Liminal Air -core-/OHMAKI Shinji
The Source
of Art
in Takamatsu
#01
The image of art in the Setouchi region has been firmly established as a result of the Setouchi Triennale, a contemporary art festival. Nonetheless Kagawa Prefecture, where the City of Takamatsu is located, had developed its own art culture even before this notable art festival began. In the 1950s and 1960s, many world-renowned architects and artists were active in Takamatsu under the former governor Kaneko Masanori, who was called the "Design Governor." You can still see the famous architecture and art created during that time around the city.
In Takamatsu, there are museums such as the Takamatsu Art Museum, the George Nakashima Memorial Gallery, the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan, the Nagare Studio (Masayuki Nagare Museum), and the Takeshi Kawashima Art Factory, where you can thoroughly enjoy first-class art.

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7 things you can do in Takamatsu
Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium/TANGE Kenzou
Must-See
Architecture
in Takamatsu
#02
If you come to Takamatsu, you just can't miss some of the outstanding architecture. Just to name a few, the Kagawa Prefectural Government Office East Building and the former Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, which is now closed, were designed by Tange Kenzo, the representative Modernism architect of postwar Japan. The prefectural office’s spacious grid of pilotis, or support columns, and the flowing roof of the old gymnasium are his signature style, and have long been loved as local landmarks. The lobby on the first floor of the Kagawa Prefectural Government Office East Building is open to the public, so feel free to visit! While there, you don't want to miss the mural created by Inokuma Genichiro, as well as the interior that retains the appearance of its original 1958 construction.
The Shikokumura Gallery, located in Shikokumura Open-Air Museum at the foot of Mt. Yashima, was created by Ando Tadao, a prominent contemporary architect known for geometric construction using concrete. You can also take in the view of the city from the terrace on the hill, which takes advantage of the elevated terrain. In addition, there are many notable buildings, including long-established traditional stores and public facilities scattered throughout the city.

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7 things you can do in Takamatsu
Experience
Traditional
Crafts Rooted
in Local
Communities
#03
It's wonderful to explore the traditional crafts unique to this area. Wasabon is one of the Sanuki Sanpaku, the three quality white products of old Kagawa. Incidentally, two other products are salt and cotton. Wasanbon is a sweet confectionery made using wood molds intricately carved by craftsmen. Many people fall in love with the lovely color and shape of Wasanbon, and it’s very popular as a souvenir too. Moreover, you can actually learn how to make Wasanbon from an artisan. This might be a fun hands-on activity to add to your next trip itinerary!
The Mure and Aji areas in the eastern part of Takamatsu are the production areas of the high-grade granite known as Aji Stone. The rich stone culture has been deeply rooted in their community as advanced stone processing techniques have been developed by skilled artisans. In the past, there were many large-scale projects using Aji Stone. In recent years, smaller works suitable for souvenirs, accessories, and interior products have been made available so that people can become more familiar with it. Even in a tourist spot like Tamamo Park, the historic site of Takamatsu Castle, there are places where Aji Stone is used if you look carefully. Feel free to check it out if you are interested.

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7 things you can do in Takamatsu
The Much
Talked
About Home of
Takamatsu Bonsai
#04
Did you know that Takamatsu is the biggest producer of pine bonsai trees in Japan? There are many bonsai fields in the Kinashi and Kokubunji areas. In recent years, bonsai has quietly become the latest craze for younger generations. Bonsai lovers from Japan and abroad spread the charm of Takamatsu bonsai by visiting many local bonsai gardens, such as the Home of Takamatsu Bonsai. Opened in April 2020, this new base facility offers a workshop on how to make Kokedama, moss ball bonsai. They can be easily made by anyone, so it's perfect for bonsai beginners. The Kokedama may bring back the wonderful memories of your trip!