Top choice in Kagawa Prefecture

This small castle dates from 1597. It took five years to build and is one of only 12 castles in Japan to have its original wooden donjon intact. It's known for its exquisite stone walls, moat and 1000 cherry trees that virtually explode with blossoms in spring. The entrance fee is for the castle keep; it's free to stroll inside the castle. Marugame Castle is a 10-minute walk southeast from JR Marugame Station.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kagawa Prefecture attractions

2. Uchiwa-no-Minato Museum

0.86 MILES

This museum has displays and demonstrations on how uchiwa (round paper fans) are made. Around 90% of Japan's uchiwa are still made in Marugame. You can…

3. Temple 75: Zentsū-ji

4.34 MILES

Zentsū-ji, Temple 75 of the sacred 88, is the largest of the temples – most of the other 87 could fit in its car park. This is where Kōbō Daishi was born,…

4. Higashiyama Kaii Setouchi Art Museum

4.58 MILES

Set on the waterfront of the Inland Sea with a sweeping view of Seto-ōhashi, this museum showcases the works of landscape painter Higashiyama Kaii (1908…

5. Temple 73: Shusshaka-ji

5.43 MILES

Temple 73 on the 88 Temple Circuit, Shusshaka-ji was moved to the valley 200 years ago to make it more accessible to pilgrims. Before that, it was up a…

6. Takadōrō

6.61 MILES

At 27m, this is the highest wooden lantern in Japan, originally built to guide ships sailing on the Inland Sea.

7. Kinryō-no-Sato Sake Museum

6.87 MILES

This sake museum, located along the main approach to the shrine, is in the old premises of a brewery that has owned the building since 1789. There's an…

8. Hōmotsu-kan

7.03 MILES

The first notable landmark on the long climb at Konpira-san is Ō-mon, a stone gateway that leads to Hōmotsu-kan, where the collection of treasures is…