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Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

Plano, TX
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18 posts
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Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

While visiting Takamatsu, we're considering this itinerary for one of our days there in late March:

- JR train to Kotohira for shrine / town visit, arrive 09:00

- Departing on 13:13 JR train, arriving Ritsuin Koen - Kitaguchi at 14:23, for short walk to north entrance

- Leave before 18:00 close, walking back to Takamatsu hotel .

Are we allowing not enough / too much time? Should the order be reversed for some reason - better to visit the koen in the morning than afternoon?


Ritsurin Garden
Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Scenic Walking Areas
Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad
Mass Transportation Systems, Tramways
5 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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1. Re: Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

It is a good idea to go to Kotohira first thing in the morning. The hike up Kompira-san/Kotohiragu is quite demanding and you won’t want to do it under the midday sun especially if you intend to go all the way up to Oku-sha. To save some energy you can hire a kago for the first 365 steps to O-mon and start hiking up from there.


Back in Takamatsu after the visit to Ritsuin Koen, spare some time to go to the waterfront area of Takamatsu Port which is within walking distance of the train station. As part of the Setouchi Triennale 2013 there will be some outdoor exhibits in the area which are worth a look (assuming you are there after March 20 when the festival officially starts). When we were there for the 2010 festival we saw the façade of a building interestingly wrapped up as one of the art displays.



BTW, if you are not travelling on JR rail pass, note that using the Kotoden Rail to travel between Takamatsu and Kotohira will save you a few hundred yen.

Takamatsu, Japan
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2. Re: Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

Yes, you can do it, although I feel you'll have to rush a little (personally I hate having to look at my watch when I'm in such places).

Also, the light is better in the morning in Ritsurin (although to be honest, I never went in the morning).

And as William said, you may want to take the Kotoden (yellow line) it's cheaper, but also Kotoden Ritsurin Station is on that line, while I believe that you'll have to change trains if you go with JR.

Edited: 18 February 2013, 21:01
Plano, TX
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3. Re: Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

Thanks to both William and David for your advice.

Yes, we will have a JR Pass. Both good and bad I suppose.

Good news on the Triennale. I looked at the links. Between the port and Naoshima, which we were already planning on visiting also, looks like we're getting lucky on the timing of our visit.

Thanks again.

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

It's very possible to do both in a day. In fact if you allocate over 4 hours for Kotohira you easily have enough time to go to the very top to the Oku-sha. which a lot fewer do - the quiet forest walk is a lot more refreshing and quite different than the way to the main shrine.

You can see a great video of the whole trip at:


Ritsurin is a very nice garden as well, and you can take public transportation til you're nearly on top of it. I also would say do Kotohira first - you will get better pictures with the sun behind you in the morning.

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5. Re: Takamatsu - Kotohira and Ritsurin Koen In One Day?

There is also a jitney you can take from the train station up to the spot that William512 mentioned above, but you have to reserve and it's all in Japanese - I managed to do it when I went there two years ago.


William512, thanks for the link to your photos - don't think I saw them before - they are similar to mine... ;-)

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