Ritsurin Park – 栗林公園
Ritsurin Park is a must-see garden located in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. Let’s fly to Shikoku!
What’s special about Ritsurin Park?
Mito’s Kairaku-en, Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en, and Okayama’s Kōraku-en Parks are called “the three greatest gardens of Japan”. However, Takamatsu’s Ritsurin park, which will be introduced in the following article, is said to have an equal charm, compared to those, so that in 2009 this park got top marks as “a place worth visiting all the way” in Michelin’s tourist guide.
Ritsurin Park is the epitome of a Japanese traditional garden. Western and Japanese styled buildings and ponds can be found. Also, it is possible to see the close mount Shiun in the landscape from the park.
Ritsurin Park is very popular for hanami (cherry blossoms contemplation during spring), it is also very interesting to see the cherry trees enlightened at night. The park is very wide, its beauty is considered one of the highest among all the gardens of Japan. Due to its huge dimensions, Ritsurin Park is provided with rest areas here and there. Among these, there is a Japanese styled tea house where you can can have a cup of Japanese tea while enjoying the beautiful view.
How to get to Ritsurin Park
Click here to know how to reach this wonderful garden!
We visited Ritsurin park in the end of May, reaching it by the “Kotoden” tram (in the photo here is portrayed the rest of Takamatsu Castle, near the main station).
The opening hours depend on the season, the official site says “almost from sunrise to sunset”.
Different buildings are scattered around Ritsurin Park. You can find the Higurashitei Tea house, the Kagawa prefecture’s Shōkō Shōreikan (commerce and trade) museum and so on. We found the Folk Art Museum quite interesting: Sanuki Folk Art Museum shows pottery, furniture and woodwork, and about a thousand of items related to the old household.
There are also many ponds and different types of plants: it was particularly impressed from the huge pine-tree called Neagarigoyō-matsu. In the southern part of the park there is the small and beautiful Okedoi waterfall.
Ritsurin park is rich of water, which gather in big ponds, and lush green. There are also many bridges, they create a nice Japanese atmosphere.
Close to the eastern gate there is a place called Fuyōhō: with the aforementioned mount Shiun on the background, we could behold the central park of Ritsurin park from above.
Ritsurin Park is an incredible spot for taking pictures, or just for having a relaxing time inside nature and tradition, so we recommend you to visit it by all means.