Day 46: Takamatsu

After a sound nights sleep at Goshikidai hut I woke with the sunrise to a much-improved weather situation and was feeling good.

Goshikidai hut

At 6.30am Noguchi-San and myself went our separate ways; him back towards Kokubun-ji (讃岐国分寺 – 80) and me down to Ichinomiya-ji (一宮寺 – 83).

Henro headstones

A short distance later I came across a row of headstones lined up at the side of the trail. I think they were for henro who had perished on their journey.

View towards Takamatsu

Whoever they were, they had a fine view out over the valley towards Takamatsu City.

Kinashi Bonsai Nursery

Descending 400m, I passed Kinashi Bonsai Nursery. Apparently, Takamatsu grows 80% of the bonsai trees sold in Japan.

Nearby children were steaming into Takamatsu-nishi High School. I noticed some reading their textbooks as they walked up the hill!

Friendly locals

Having crossed over the Yosan train line, just past Iwata Shrine I heard a voice call out Ohenro-San. Turning around I saw a group of older folk sitting beside what turned out to be a rest space for pilgrims.

Inside they served me a glass of cold water and picked ume plums. They asked the usual questions and I tried to translate some of the comments people had left in English for them.

Takamatsu Ichinomiya hut (24)

Next to Ichinomiya Junior High School I passed Takamatsu Ichinomiya hut (24), another nicely designed one in a quiet spot.

Ichinomiya-ji Temple

Ichinomiya-ji (一宮寺 – 83) was deserted when I arrived and it was nice not to have to negotiate any tour groups for once. I sat for a while just enjoying the peace and quiet.

For the next 1.5 hours, I was walking along route 172 which goes straight to Takamatsu City. Not the safest of roads since the hard shoulder is almost non-existent but there wasn’t too much traffic.

View from Hiraiho

Arriving noon at the Parkside Takamatsu Hotel I dropped my pack off before wandering into Ritsurin Garden (栗林公園) which sits opposite.


Immediately after buying my ticket a volunteer walked up to me and offered to guide me around. He was so enthusiastic that I couldn’t turn him down and we set off together to explore the 17th-century garden using a mix of broken English/Japanese.

Higurashi-tei Teahouse
Higurashi-tei Teahouse Garden

The garden was built by the feudal lord of Takamatsu in order to take advantage of the beautiful greenery of Mt. Shiun (Purple Cloud Mountain) as a backdrop.


It features a number of teahouses, carefully cultivated pine trees (hakomatsu) and various lakes with elaborate bridges, islands and viewpoints.

Fukiage-tei stepping stones

My guide, Shoji-San, had created a notebook in which he had made careful drawings of different aspects of the garden in order to illustrate things like the shapes of rocks and how the artificial waterfall worked.

Heron in Ritsurin Garden

The tour lasted about an hour and afterwards, I stopped at one of the pavilions for ice cream. It was another seriously hot day at nearly 30°C.

After checking into the hotel at 2 pm and having a shower, I headed out to explore downtown Takamatsu which was more lively than some of the cities I’d passed through recently.

Umie cafe/restaurant

For dinner, I ended up at a cosy cafe/restaurant called Umie in an industrial area by the port which is slowly being gentrified.

Yashima Plateau from Umie

The food was great and it had a nice view out over the Yashima Plateau which protrudes into the Seto Inland Sea.

I have a big day ahead tomorrow with temples 84 through 87 lined up and fair weather if the forecast is to be believed.

With the end in sight, my mind has begun to wander towards what life will be like back in the “real world”. I think I’m going to have to ease myself back in gently but after this experience, nothing feels insurmountable.


Distance walked: 28 km / 37,400 steps
Temples visited: 83
Overnight lodgings: Parkside Takamatsu (パークサイド高松) – Business Hotel

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David avatar

3 responses

  1. Margaret avatar

    Good going David – so much enjoying following your journey and having wonderful glimpses of the landscape, views and people in your great pictures!

  2. Arnold Smith avatar
    Arnold Smith

    Well done David. You will soon be at Temple 88. Don’t forget to stop at the Maeyama Ohenro Koryu Salon Museum (on the bottom of Map 91-b). They will take your name and give you a free certificate and ohenro pin. It will have the ohenro number on it (the number of ohenros who received the certificate this year). It has a very nice display as well.

    When you get to Temple 88 you can buy another certificate, where they will write your name on it, if you wish. They have a sample hanging in a frame above the stamp window. They will provide it rolled up in a tube.

    Enjoy the journey into nirvana and thanks for sharing your ohenro-san experience.

    1. Thanks for all the tips Arnold, despite the forecast rain I’m really looking forward to reaching 88!


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