Armour and Stories

Art in Shodoshima’s Mito Peninsula

Art of Naoshima and Teshima

Brilliant Colors of Ritsurin Garden

Even a boatman forgets to row his boat and admires the spectacular view (Photo: Masayoshi Hirose) This view must have comforted the successive lords’ troubled minds (Photo: Masayoshi Hirose) Everything melts into vermilion (Photo: Masayoshi Hirose) The pine tree looks so vibrant that it may start moving at any moment (Photo: Masayoshi Hirose) Soothing moments […]

Chichu Art Museum

The curator here wants us to explore our relationships with both our human and natural element, as well as with space and light. Claude Monet's water lilies is the inspiration behind this garden, one that connects that art inside and outside. Chichu Art Muesum on Naoshima. Happiness is not about you. Having the freedom of […]

Dream of Olive in Shodoshima

Inside the ‘Dream of Olive’ is a large airy area for visitors to sit down and relax in Dream of Olive is hard to miss amidst the terraced rice fields of Nakayama Wang Wen Chih’s work is #77 in Setouchi Triennale 2016 You have to walk down some hill paths to get there Walk along […]

Fancy A Fan?

Lucky rabbit design Brooches She rocks! Merry Xmas from Marugame The famous Marugma uchiwa Strings make the design Marugame’s uchiwa, the traditional round Japanese fans, have been honoured as an artisanal craft since 1997. I learnt about Marugame uchiwa at the Tourist Information Centre at Marugame Castle. I was surprised there to be met by […]

Genichiro Inokuma Exhibition

Venue: Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art When: Jan 23rd – Mar 7th 2021, 10:00am – 6:00pm A special event taking place at the Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art looks at the works of Genichiro Inokuma (1902 – 1993), a Japanese painter who was known for his use of rich colors and […]

Hidden Japan – Part Three

Entrance to Furusato Restaurant Geishun-kyo, Ritsurin Garden Fall Colors Ritsurin Garden Kikugetsu-tei Tea House, Ritsurin Garden Volunteer Guide explaining the unique pine trees Old system for opening sliding doors Takamatsu, capital city of Kagawa, Japan’s smallest prefecture, provides a variety of outstanding attractions. We arrived late afternoon and headed straight to Takamatsu Castle ruins. Built […]

Highway To Heaven at Konpirasan

Highway to heaven On the way there Konpira-inu Konpirasan The Main Shrine Konpirasan by the side Maritime Museum The highway to heaven is straight and narrow, or so I’m told – and steep. At Konpirasan, or the Kotohira Shrine, home of the heavenly guardian of the sea and all who use it, this highway makes […]


The streets of Kasashima, an ancient castle town Tourist map of Honjima island at the port. Time has stood still in Kasashima town on Honjima island The castle town from the old castle site. Great Seto Bridge The Edo period Magistrates office on Honjima. The streets of Kasashima, an ancient castle town (Photo: PPF) Many […]

Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, Kagawa

I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside: this is at the entrance, outside the stone circle A stoneyard near the museum The reception building The wall of the stone circle; the sculptures are inside Noguchi also designed playground equipment, as organic in form as many of his sculptures. This one's in Takamatsu Chuo Park 'Time […]

Kanamaru-za Theater

Kanamaru-za Theater Kabuki actors Kabuki actors Entrance gate Ticket sales desk Stage Kanamaru-za Theater Located in the lovely town of Kotohira sits the oldest operating Kabuki theater in Japan. The theater was built in 1835 and was quite popular during the middle of the Edo period. The theater was built to imitate the Onishi-Shibai (later […]

Konpira-san, Kagawa

Konpira-san shrine sits at the top of the stunningly beautiful Mount Zozu. To reach the top you need to climb a long succession of steps, so don't forget to bring some comfortable footwear! A torii gate at Konpira-san Detail on the roof of one of the shrines many buildings The view from the top of […]

Kotohiragu Shrine in Kagawa

Omon Gate The scenery in the precinct Sakaki Gate The main shrine The torii gate in the shrine precincts The fence around the shrine The torii gate on the approach to the shrine Kotohiragu Shrine in Kagawa Prefecture is famous for its long flight of stairs and is revered as the head shrine of the […]

Lee Ufan Museum, Naoshima

The view down the slope to the museum The (slightly forbidding) entrance The wall near the door Exiting to the open air and freedom Looking out to sea away from the museum The museum is built into the landscape, becoming part of the scenery The view down the slope to the museum At the museums […]

Let’s Go to the Museum: Dick Bruna Exhibition

Venue: Takamatsu Art Museum When: Apr 17th – Jun 6th 2021, 9:30am – 5:00pm A special exhibition taking place at the Takamatsu City Museum of Art looks at the works of picture book author and illustrator Dick Bruna (1927 – 2017). One of his iconic characters was Miffy, and the 1997 book “Miffy at the […]

Shikoku Pilgrimage’s Mairi Path

Konzon-ji Temple 76 Zentsu-ji Temple 75 Zentsu-ji Temple 75 Mandara-ji Temple 72 Shussaka-ji Temple 73 Koyama-ji Temple 74 The Mairi Path, the Seven Temple Pilgrimage, follows Henro Temples 71 -77. Traditionally, it is a walk of grief, attributed to the start of the Mairi, at Temple 71 Iyadani-ji. Ancient belief or superstition has it that […]

Monumental Stone Walls of Marugame Castle

It’s hard to believe that this 50m tall mountain of stone and earth is entirely manmade The Ote Ichi no Mon Gate from the moat The Ote Ichi no Mon Gate from inside the castle The entrance to the Ote Ichi no Mon Gate’s guard house Marugame Castle Tower from the moat Looking north across […]

Marugame Castle

The castle keep The view out over Marugame from the hilltop Looking up at the castle from ground level The interior of the keep has an exhibition of historical objects None shall pass these big walls Looking west from the top of the hill Invading armies would have found it an imposing sight In the […]

Nakatsu Bansho-En Garden, Marugame

Striking bridges connect the eight islands on the miniature lake The entrance from the main road to the garden The main bridge spanning the lake The Gallery of Ceramics has ancient Iranian earthenware, pottery, glassware, and Chinese porcelain The trees and bushes are carefully tended, the rocks artfully placed Another piece in the Ceramics Gallery […]

Marugame’s Nakatsu Banshoen

Azalea season is a wonderful time to visit The front entrance A map of the garden A number of impressive bridges connect eight islands in the pond The garden is quite large, covering 496 acres (49,650 square feet) Blooming wisteria add to the garden’s beauty A shrine within the garden A 600-year-old ‘umbrella’ pine tree […]

Marukame Castle in Kagawa

Marukame Castle Oteni-no-mon gate Oteni-no-mon gate A swan on the moat The scenery of Marukame Castle The great view from Marukame Castle In Marukame City, Kagawa Prefecture, lies an extant castle tower called Marukame Castle. This castle, quite famous for its great stone walls, is also known as Kameyama Castle. Under an old ruling by […]

MIMOCA Art Museum, Marugame

That's a proper big yellow thing Another view of that sculpture out front The mural on the front wall Some of Inakuma's paintings One of the galleries More of Inakuma's paintings That's a proper big yellow thing Marugame might be best known for its loftily perched castle, but it’s also home to what must be […]

Miyanoura Gallery 6

This former pachinko parlor is now a contemporary art gallery space Finding this little gallery in the Miyanoura area of Naoshima was challenging at first. I walked up and down the little streets, but never found it. I realized later that it was a little too early in the morning and that the gallery was […]

Naoshima Art House Project

Haisha from across the road A side view of Haisha, complete with Statue of Liberty Waiting to enter the darkness at Minamidera Go'o shrine The entrance to Kadoya The entrance to Gokaisho Haisha from across the road In the Inland Sea between Okayama Prefecture and Shikoku, the small island of Naoshima is also known as […]

A Complete Guide to Naoshima

A Yayoi Kusama pumpkin at Miyanoura port Even the residents decorate their homes with art One of the buildings of the Art House Project Waiting outside Benesse House Another Yayoi Kusama pumpkin, this one in the museum area Go’o Shrine, part of the Art House Project If you're a fan of modern art, then Naoshima […]

Naoshima Hall

Naoshima Hall The hole in the gable captures the wind to help cool and ventilate the building Naoshima Hall was built to integrate seamlessly into its environment A lone tree becomes a sculptural piece A lot of research went into studying the weather conditions of the place The back entrance to the hall For a […]

Naoshima’s Honmura Village

Go’o shrine Minamidera, the location for James Turrell’s Backside of the Moon Smoked cedar board walls are a common sight in Honmura The yellow van parked outside Cafe Konichiwa Shimacoya guesthouse and cafe Gokuraku-ji Temple Honmura is a sleepy but picturesque village on art island Naoshima. Its current claim to fame is its location for […]

Naoshima Street Walk

Waiting at Mai Mai Cafe Mai Mai Cafe Mai Mai Cafe Apron Cafe Park your bike and take a stroll to the cafe Locals Naoshima may be far from the youthful café capitals of Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka, but it packs a punch when it comes to the variety and the experiences that its cafes […]

Naoshima: The Art Island

George Ricky’s Three Vertical Squares Monet-inspired Pond at Chichu Museum Outside deck of the Park House lounge. Cultural Bath Tadao Ando‘s Beach House residence Arriving at Naoshima Port George Ricky’s Three Vertical Squares (Photo: Cliff Bernstein) I brought my family to indulge in a weekend of art and nature at the Art Island project, an […]

Nirvana in Kagawa

Marugame in Nirvana, Kagawa Marugame Station The road to Nirvana, Kagawa Kagawa is believed to be where Kobo Daishi was born. However Kagawa is the final stage of Nirvana, where the Shikoku Henro ends, rather than begins, in geographical terms. Many pilgrims will return to Ryozenji Temple One, in Tokushima, if that is where they […]

Okubo Temple in Autumn

A pilgrim walks by (Photo: Bret de Colebi) These sights are not just for pilgrims, make sure to stop by this fall! (Photo: Bret de Colebi) People are often worried about ringing the Kane (large, brass, Buddhist bells). But you shouldn't be! Unless there is a sign, its a good thing to ring it! The […]

Outdoor Art on Naoshima

Sunset at the yellow pumpkin Waiting for the souvenir shop to open Facing the sea at 'Cultural Melting Bath' At the island's main ferry port at Miyanoura This is called 'Cultural Melting Bath: Project for Naoshima' Yayoi Kusama's yellow pumpkin A big colorful thing in the art park near the Benesse House Museum More at […]

Shikoku Temple #85: Yakuriji

From Yakuri Temple you can look over the city (Photo: Yoshifumi Hara) The approach to Yakuri Temple (Photo: Yoshifumi Hara) An awe-inspiring Japanese guardian lion-dog (Photo: Yoshifumi Hara) A statue covered in fallen autumn leaves (Photo: Yoshifumi Hara) Names of temple pilgrims (Photo: Yoshifumi Hara) A fall leaf in the temple grounds (Photo: Yoshifumi Hara) […]

Ritsurin-koen Garden, Takamatsu

One of the ponds in the south garden A view from a hill in the south garden Crossing between islands Another of the south garden's lakes Even more peaceful than walking, some people tour the garden by boat The garden is designed to present different views in every season: in autumn, the changing colors cast […]


A view of Nanko Lake from a hill in the south garden Autumn's rich colors Punters visiting an island on one of the lakes in the south garden Punting slowly around the lake One of the garden's 29000 carefully tended trees Feeding the fish on the lakeshore in the south garden A view of Nanko […]

Ritsurin Park in Kagawa

Engetsu Bridge Ritsurin Park entrance The famous Tsurukame Pine The hakomatsu box pines The Love Azalea Ritsurin Park scenery The beautiful scenery in Ritsurin Park Water lilies Ritsurin Park is located in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. At around 75 hectares, this huge area is one of the prefecture's municipal parks. A beautiful Japanese garden, the […]

Sanuki Udon and Ritsurin Gardens

Sanuki Udon Sanuki Udon Ritsurin Gardens in Takamatsu Sanuki Udon A genuine udon maniac wouldn’t think twice about making a day trip to Shikoku from as far as Osaka for a decent bowl of udon. I travelled to udon Mecca – Takamatsu, in Shikoku to see what makes tour bus loads of day trippers from […]

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