Ritsurin Koen (栗林公園) is a landscape garden located Takamatsu City, built by the local feudal lords during the early Edo Period. It is often suggested that Ritsurin Koen deserves a spot on the list of the "three most beautiful gardens of Japan" alongside Kanazawa's Kenrokuen, Mito's Kairakuen, and Okayama's Korakuen. This park got three stars from Michelin Guide in 2009 as a worth visiting place.
The large park features many ponds, hills, historic trees and beautiful pavilions divided into a Japanese style garden in the south and western style garden in the north. The gardens are placed in front of wooded Mt. Shiun which serves as a wonderful background and great example of borrowed scenery. In the park there are a number of facilities including a folk museum, shops and a few rest houses where you can take a break and enjoy some refreshments amidst the beauty of the garden. Of particular note is the Kikugetsu-tei teahouse in the southwest part of the gardens where, for a small fee, you can enter and enjoy some tea on its verandas while overlooking the ponds.
Ritsurin Koen is located two kilometers south of JR Takamatsu Station and Takamatsu Castle. The Shopping Arcades run nearly the entire way from there to the garden. Alternatively, it is most easily accessed by Kotoden or JR train:
By Kotoden: take a train along the Kotohira Line from Takamatsu-Chikko Station to Ritsurinkoen Station (7 minutes, 190 yen, 4 trains per hour). From there, it is a ten minute walk to the park's main entrance.
By JR: take a local train from JR Takamatsu Station in direction of Tokushima to Ritsurinkoen-Kitaguchi Station (5 minutes, 210 yen, 2 trains per hour). From there, the park's north gate can be reached in a five minute walk.
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1 Choume 20-16, Ritsurincho, Takamatsu, Kagawa, 760-0073