While Takamatsu was well laid out for tourists, it held little in the way of sights, and the castle, Takamatsu-jō, was now a park. It was also under construction, and so I decided to skip it and head to Kotohira instead.
Kotohira is a small village, and its main street near the train station is somewhat devoid of vehicles most of the time. The reason most people visit here is to go to the Shintō Shrine, Kompira-san, which is dedicated to mariners.
On the way to the shrine, I stopped off at the local sake museum, Kinryō-no-Sato, for a tour. The museum itself was quite large, and the video at the end showed the entire sake making progress. Unfortunately they did not appear to be providing tastings that day.
Aside from the shrine, the other reason I wanted to come to Kotohira was to visit the Kanamaru-za, Japan’s oldest kabuki playhouse. Built in 1835, when not in use you can tour the entire facility. They were cleaning the facility when I arrived.
My next stop was Kompira-san itself, positioned on a hilltop 1368 steps to the top. Snapping photos along the way, my only goal was to keep pace with an elderly couple also making the climb up.
Arriving at the top, and not satisfied with the exertion, I decided to wlak the additional 500 steps up to the Inner Shrine (Oku-sha), which it seemed to me was harder to do than the first climb. Arriving at Oku-sha, I was able to see the village below surrounded by rolling hills nearby.
Having made it this far, I decided to invest in a fortune which I will need help deciphering later. On the way back down I stopped in at the main shrine and wandered around. Things were closing, so I made my way back down from here and ran into an overly affectionate feline who, unlike many other cats, appeared more domestic than wild.
Back to the train station, and a return trip to Takamatsu. The area around the train station was lit up at night, so I grabbed a few photos and then headed back to the hotel.
With the earthquake in Tohoku affecting my first two planned activities (Sake no jin, Niigata, and Anime Festival, Tokyo), I had had to rework my plans. Today, I found out that the annual spring festivals (matsuri) in Takayama and Furukawa had also been cancelled, which I had not been anticipating.
While certainly understandable, it means I will now need to re-plan the last half of my trip here. Time to do some more research…