Ritsurin Park 栗林公園 is one of Takamatsu’s top tourist attraction, and is also one of the best and most beautiful gardens in Japan.
It is situated to the South West of Takamatsu’s main centre, and is easily reachable by the Kotoden tram, bike, or walking. Walking from Kawaramachi will take less than 30 minutes.
Ritsurin Park has 6 ponds and 13 hills. The park is next to Mt. Shiun which provides an impressive backdrop to the gardens.
Standard admission is ¥400, but admission is free on January 1st and March 16th (the park’s anniversary). You get given a map with two suggested overlapping routes around the park. There is a red route, and a blue route which each take about an hour.
The gardens are full of trees, plants and flowers, ponds and waterfalls. You’ll also find a craft museum, a tea house, and some koi ponds.
As well as the koi you might spot turtles, birds and dragonflies if it is the right time of year. You might be wise to spray yourself with insect spray before visiting to keep mosquitoes at bay.
You can do a quick tour of the park in one hour, but to do it justice you need at least three. If you want to stop for tea at the tea house and see the museum you should allow three hours.
As well as the photos on this page I have another two pages of photos. Links are near the bottom of the post.
Below is the tea room where you can have standard green tea, or the more traditional powdered variety.