Setting out from the hotel, I grabbed the local tram service to the JR station and headed out. Takamatsu is about 2.5 hours from Matsuyama by train, so I grabbed some take-out lunch at the station.
Arriving at the JR Takamatsu station, I got my bearings and decided to walk to the hotel and drop of my luggage there. It was early afternoon and rather than waste the rest of the day I immediately headed out to one of the two sites in town I was interested in, the Ritsurin-kōen, which apparently dates from the mid-1600’s and took more than a century to complete.
The garden was quite impressive – one of the best I’ve visited in Japan in all my trips, and I wandered my way through the park for two and a half hours before heading to Kikugetsu-tei, the largest tea house in the park for some matcha and sweet.
With the sun setting and the park closing, I headed back to the hotel and out to grab some dinner. The speciality in Takamatsu is Udon, so I figured I should try that the first night. Wandering around the entertainment district I finally located one of the recommended places. About to wander inside, a girls sports team of some type exited the restaurant and seemed startled by my (gaijin) presence. I guess they don’t get many gaijin in Takamatsu. They paused for a bit and we exchanged greetings and the typical “where are you from” type questions before their coach came out of the restaurant (presumably after paying the bill) and they wandered off with sayonara’s.
I ordered the curry udon with tempura and watched them make the noodles while eating dinner. While it was good, I think I still prefer ramen.