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Justin Schultz
Aug. 23, 2022
Visited Shibamata for the first time over the weekend. I'd been meaning to go for a while because it seemed like an interesting place to visit in Tokyo, but I just hadn't had the chance until now. It was a really nice place and I was surprised at how few people were there. There was a ton of shops lined up along the main street and the wooden buildings gave it a really nice atmosphere. I haven't seen Otoko wa Tsurai yo, but there were statues and posters of Tora-san everywhere, even inside shops and stuff. I guess I'll have to watch it some time when I have the chance. We ended up eating lunch at one of the restaurants along the main road and they had some Tora Miso Ramen so we decided to try it. It was pretty good and had a decent amount of vegetables in it as well, so moderately healthy for ramen I suppose. We also got some dessert at a cafe afterwards and she got some dango while I ordered an ice cream float. We also went to the nearby temple Shibamata Taishakuten (柴又帝釈天), or Daikyoji Temple and walked around the main temple grounds and also bought tickets to see the garden and the architecture inside the temple. The garden was really pretty and the walkway around it was quite nice to walk on. I really enjoyed viewing the inside of the temple as there was a ton of hand-carved panels depicting different scenes. There were descriptions below each of the panels that described them as well, and they were interesting to read. It seemed like they were all carved by different people but they were all highly skilled. When we were leaving we found a nice little shows style candy shop and we bought some snacks and played a round of pinball on one of the pinball machines inside the shop. Haven’t played pinball since I was a kid, was pretty nostalgic. If you're in Tokyo I definitely recommend giving this place a visit on the weekend.
  • Japan
  • Sightseeing
  • Gourmet
  • Tokyo
  • Temple
  • Japanese garden
  • Art
  • Cafe
  • Sweets/Dessert
  • Showa Retro
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!
  • Japan
  • Shikoku region
  • Takamatsu
  • Sightseeing
  • Travel
  • Summer
  • Castles
  • Gourmet
  • Udon
  • Japanese garden

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