Takamatsu Airport and City: A Comprehensive Travel Guide


Takamatsu, the capital of Kagawa Prefecture, is a vibrant city that serves as the gateway to Shikoku, Japan’s fourth-largest island. Known for its beautiful Ritsurin Garden, delicious Sanuki Udon, and the Seto Inland Sea’s stunning views, Takamatsu is a must-visit city for any traveler in Japan. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to explore this charming city, starting with its airport.

Getting to Know Takamatsu Airport

Takamatsu Airport, located about 13 kilometers south of the city center, is the main gateway for travelers coming to the city. The airport offers several facilities and services, including car rental agencies, restaurants, and shops. Navigating through the airport is straightforward, with clear signs and helpful staff ready to assist you.

Transportation from Takamatsu Airport to the City Center

There are several options for transportation from Takamatsu Airport to the city center. The most convenient options are the Kotoden Bus and the Airport Limousine Bus, both of which operate from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM and take approximately 40 minutes to reach Takamatsu Station. From there, you can easily access the city center and other parts of the city.

Traveling from Takamatsu to Other Regions

If you’re planning to explore beyond Takamatsu, there are several rail passes that can make your travels more convenient and cost-effective.

  • JR All Shikoku Rail Pass: This pass is perfect for those who wish to explore the Shikoku region, including Takamatsu. It covers all JR lines in the region, as well as several other local lines, offering unlimited travel and the freedom to explore at your own pace.
  • JR Kagawa Mini Rail and Ferry Pass: This pass is perfect for those who wish to explore Kagawa, including Takamatsu. It covers all JR lines in the region, as well as several other local lines and ferry services, offering unlimited travel and the freedom to explore at your own pace. The pass is priced at ¥6,000.
  • JR Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass: This pass offers unlimited travel on JR lines in the Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi areas, and it also covers travel from Takamatsu to these areas. It’s a great option if you’re planning to explore these regions along with Takamatsu. The pass is priced at ¥15,000.

However, it’s important to note that Takamatsu Airport does not have a train service and is not connected to the JR railway. If you plan to use the JR pass, you will need to travel to Takamatsu city center JR station, which is the nearest point connected to the JR railway system.

But don’t worry, if you plan not to stay in Takamatsu and want to explore the Kansai area, Chugoku area, or Kyushu area, it is not necessary to detour to Takamatsu JR station. You can reach Utazu station or Sakaide station, which are closer to the Seto Ohashi bridge, the gateway to the main island of Japan, and covered in the rail pass.

For your convenience, there is an Airport Limousine Bus service that heads directly to Sakaide and Utazu. You can check the timetable here.

For those who prefer the freedom of driving, Takamatsu Car Rentals is a great option. They offer a variety of vehicles to suit your needs and make your journey more comfortable. You can book your rental car in advance and pick it up directly from Takamatsu Airport, offering you the flexibility to explore Takamatsu and its surrounding areas at your own pace.

Accommodation in Takamatsu

  1. JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu
    Booking.com | Agoda | Trip.com
    This hotel is conveniently located just a minute’s walk from JR Takamatsu Station. It offers comfortable rooms and a restaurant with a view of the Seto Inland Sea. The hotel is highly rated for its excellent location and helpful staff.
  2. Hotel Areaone Takamatsu
    Booking.com | Agoda | Trip.com
    This is an affordable option located close to Takamatsu JR station. It offers simple, clean rooms and is well-rated for its value for money.
  3. Daiwa Roynet Hotel Takamatsu
    Booking.com | Agoda | Trip.com
    This hotel is located in the city center and offers relatively larger rooms in its price range. It is well-rated for its comfortable rooms and convenient location.
  4. Royal Park Hotel Takamatsu
    Booking.com | Agoda | Trip.com
    This mid-range hotel is located in the city center and offers comfortable rooms. It is well-rated for its excellent location and value for money.
  5. Grand Base Takamatsu
    Booking.com | Agoda | Trip.com
    This mid-range hotel is located in the city center and offers relatively larger rooms. It is well-rated for its spacious rooms and convenient location.
    Booking.com | Trip.com
    This accommodation is a good choice for group travel as it can accommodate up to 9 people. It is a traditional Japanese house that was originally owned by the Anabuki family, one of the wealthiest families in Kagawa. The house has been renovated into a guest house, providing a unique and authentic Japanese experience. The house is filled with a sense of calm and tranquility, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the traditional Japanese lifestyle.

Exploring Takamatsu

1. Ritsurin Garden

Surpasses the Three Great Gardens in the elegance of its trees and stones. This statement highlights the unique beauty and charm of Ritsurin Garden. The garden is a perfect example of a daimyo (feudal lord) garden, built by the local lords during the early Edo Period. It features a series of ponds, hills, historic trees, and beautiful pavilions divided into a Japanese style garden in the south and a western style garden in the north. The garden is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government, a testament to its well-preserved historical features and natural beauty. Whether you’re strolling along the garden’s walking paths, sipping on a cup of tea in the teahouse, or taking a boat ride on the South Pond, you’ll find tranquility and beauty at every turn.

2. Takamatsu Castle

Takamatsu Castle, nestled within Tamamo Park, is a historical gem that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Takamatsu. The castle, renowned as one of Japan’s “Three Great Water Castles,” is unique in its use of seawater from the nearby sea to fill its moats. Today, the castle grounds serve as a public park, offering visitors the chance to experience a boat ride along the moats that are directly connected to the ocean.

3. Ogijima Island

A small island with a lighthouse and a lovely village. It’s a great place to experience rural Japan and enjoy the scenic views.

4. Shikoku Mura Village

An open-air museum showcasing traditional Shikoku architecture. It’s a great place to learn about the region’s history and culture.

5. Megijima Island

Also known as Ogre Island from the famous Japanese folktale Momotaro, this island offers interesting folklore and beautiful views.

6. The Noguchi Museum

This museum is dedicated to the Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi and showcases his works.

7. Mt. Yashima

A flat-topped mountain with various sights. It’s a great place for hiking and enjoying panoramic views of the city.

Food and Dining in Takamatsu

Takamatsu, the gateway to Shikoku, is a city that offers a variety of culinary delights that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. From the city’s signature Sanuki Udon to the fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, there’s something for everyone in this foodie paradise.

Must-Try Foods in Takamatsu

1. Sanuki Udon

When you’re in Takamatsu, trying Sanuki Udon is a must. This local specialty is known for its chewy noodles, usually served in a soy-based broth with various toppings like green onions, tempura, and egg. The udon is so popular that there are over 700 udon restaurants in Kagawa Prefecture!

2. Honetsukidori (Chicken-on-the-Bone)

Honetsukidori was created in the city of Marugame in 1952, when a couple opening a bar near the station saw an American movie scene where the character bites into chicken-on-the-bone. The couple was surprised by the scene, where the character greedily stuffs himself on chicken, and decided “we want to serve this food to others!”—and began selling honestsukidori.

3. Olive Beef

Kagawa Prefecture is also known for its Olive Beef, a high-quality meat produced from cattle raised on olives. The beef is known for its rich flavor and marbled texture, making it a must-try for meat lovers.

4. Seafood

Thanks to its location by the Seto Inland Sea, Takamatsu is a great place to enjoy fresh seafood. From sushi and sashimi to grilled fish, you can enjoy a variety of seafood dishes here.

5. Citrus Fruits

Kagawa is known for its citrus fruits, particularly yuzu and sudachi. These fruits are used in a variety of dishes and sweets, as well as in drinks.

Recommended Restaurants in Takamatsu

1. Sanuki Udon Ueharaya Honten (讃岐うどん 上原屋本店)

This udon shop is located near Ritsurin Koen station. It offers udon, oden, and fried foods. The shop operates from 9:30 to 15:30 and is closed on Sundays. They do not accept credit cards.

2. Teuchi Udon Mugizo (手打うどん 麦蔵)

This shop is located near Kawaramachi station and offers udon, curry udon, and boneless deep-fried chicken. The shop operates from 11:00 to 15:00 and is closed on Wednesdays. They accept credit cards.

3. Ueda Udon (植田うどん)

Located near Mitsukoshi, just off Lion Street, Ueda Udon is another great option for udon lovers. The shop is known for its nostalgic taste and is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. Please note that the shop’s operating hours and payment methods are not specified, so it’s recommended to check before your visit.


Takamatsu is a city that offers a rich blend of history, culture, and culinary delights. From exploring the beautiful Ritsurin Garden and the historical Takamatsu Castle to indulging in the city’s signature Sanuki Udon, there’s so much to see and do in this charming city. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, Takamatsu has something for everyone. So why wait? Start planning your trip to Takamatsu today and experience all the wonders this city has to offer. Safe travels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *