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Justin Schultz
Aug. 2, 2022
On the final day of our trip we were a bit tired but still wanted to see a few things and just casually enjoy our time. We ended up going to Marugame Castle as our first destination. It was really cool as it's one of the 12 castles in Japan that still has an original castle keep. The castle itself isn't very large, but the area surrounding it is. From the bottom of the castle the keep is quite small so it's hard to get a good photo of it, but we got a photo of it with one of the turrets along the moat wall which was cool. We reserved a rickshaw ride the previous night as well so when we got to the castle we did a little exploring and then we went on a guided tour around the lower area of the castle. The rickshaw guide was a really nice guy and quite funny as well. Apparently he was a comedian but he enjoyed doing this job as well. He told us a bunch of different things about the castle and it's construction while also telling some jokes occasionally. After the rickshaw tour we climbed our way up to the top of the castle and there were saw really amazing views waiting for us at the top. You could see the entire city almost. We also entered the castle keep, but it was relatively small. It was still nice to see the architecture on the inside but the stairs were a bit scary. They were incredibly steep and I was holding the handrails the entire time going up or down them. After checking out the castle we were pretty hungry and so we decided to get some lunch. Being Kagawa is the udon prefecture we went to an udon specialty restaurant. I haven't been to many udon restaurants so it was kind of a new experience for me. They had it set up kind of like a cafeteria and you go through and choose what you want and other toppings to go with your udon. I didn't see the trays for the extra toppings so I just ended up putting the karaage on top of my udon lol. I got niku udon and it tasted really good. The karaage was a nice touch as well. Not the usual tempura most people get but it went surprisingly well with the soup. After eating we headed towards Nakazu Banshoen, a garden with art exhibits as well. Before getting there we decided to stop by a Lupin-themed cafe though. It was a really tiny shop but we were able to cool off for a bit and relax which was nice since we were walking quite a bit. The garden was quite large and had a lot of different points of interest within it. The stepping stones were fun to cross and the row of torii gates was pretty cool as well. You can definitely take some nice photos with them. And that concludes our trip to Takamatsu! Overall it was a really fun trip and I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't been to Shikoku or Kagawa before. We didn't even get to do everything we were looking at but we still had a blast!
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Dylan Gibson
Apr. 11, 2022
Was nice weather over the weekend so I did a little exploring. Found this nice little temple near the Sumida River called Hozoin Temple (寳蔵院) in Arakawa. I wasn't sure where exactly I was allowed to go inside the temple, and I didn't have much time anyways, so I just took a peak through the gates and snapped a photo. It was a really quaint place and apparently it has some landscape paintings and itabi tablets. From what I saw, it looked like there was a garden across the ground. Maybe a rock garden or something of the sort, I wasn't able to get a good look at it though. The area around the temple was the hunting grounds of the Tokugawa Shogunate as well it seems. Pretty amazing to imagine there was enough greenery in the area to hunt in the past. Also managed to stop by a nice udon/soba restaurant for lunch. It was called Sunaba (砂場) I believe. I ordered the kamo (duck) nanban udon and it tasted great. Haven't had duck in a while, but it's always a treat. The lady taking orders was really nice as well. Overall a great place!
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