This was the much anticipated trip of the year!
We started planning for this trip very long ago, with the purchase of SQ Super Sweet Deals tickets. Planning went on and on and it was a pity that hubby was down with sore throat right on the day we were departing. Packed a number of medicine to bring with us and the next 2 weeks turned out to be medicine-full days…
But we were very lucky to be able to see 富士山 Mt Fuji from the plane!
Hubby noticed it first (before the pilots, haha!) and quickly whip out his iPhone to take a picture. Ms V and I unfortunately went to the toilet and missed the first sighting. When we came back, the pilot was announcing that passengers seated on the left could see the magnificent mountain, and we spared no time to get back to our seats and shoot! 🙂
The rest of the journey went on well, and I think it’s partly due to the sighting of 富士山 Mt Fuji!
We were quite famished for dinner and decided that we should have a great meal for this last night in 四国 Shikoku!
So we found some seats (and drinks) in Seattle Best Coffee in 高松 Takamatsu which had free wifi, and off we went in search of good food in cyberland. 😛
We had listed a few and started walking around to find them only to realise that most of them were closed, mainly because it was a Sunday today. So sad…
Then we laid our eyes on this 焼鳥 yakitori shop and the bright lights attracted us. Plus it advertised もつ鍋 Motsu Nabe! We were definitely in need of hot pot to counter this very cold day!
We had initially wanted to visit another island 直島 Naoshima Island today, but we realised that the ferry and bus timings were too few and not too compatible, and decided to give it a miss. After getting some suggestions from the Tourist Information Centre at 高松 Takamatsu, we decided to go to 琴平 Konpirasan (or sometimes spelt as Kompirasan), the location of the famous 金刀比羅宮 Kotohiragu Shrine, as there was plenty to shop, eat, see, and… Climb! Oh yes, it was a good 785 steps one way to the main hall of the shrine 😛
We still had a valid JR Rail Pass, so it was free for us to travel there. We took the 8:25am train from 高松駅 JR Takamatsu Station, and arrived at 9am to a still sleepy 琴平駅 JR Kotohira Station… There was hardly anyone around. The train station building itself was quite different from others, as it had this European-style to it.
We had seen so many restaurants and stalls advertising the signature dish of 香川県 Kagawa Prefecture, 骨付鳥 Honetsukidori, or roast chicken on bone, everywhere we went in 高松 Takamatsu, that we decided that we had to try it!
Ms V discovered the must-go place to have this chicken is 一鶴 Ikkaku, so off we went for our early dinner, only to find a snaking queue out in the cold 😮
There was a take-away option, but we wanted to have our food on the spot while piping hot, and since we were not too hungry, we decided to join the queue with at least 17 people in front of us… Cold burns more fat and calories = more space to eat more, right? 😀
Despite being a cloudy day, we decided to go ahead with our day trip to 小豆島 Shodoshima Island. We took the 9:30am ferry (return tickets ¥1320) from 高松港 Takamatsu Port to 草壁港 Kusakabe Port on Shodoshima, and one hour later, we arrived at 小豆島 Shodoshima Island!
The bus stop was located just outside the port, so we easily caught the 10:50am bus to 紅雲亭 Kountei (¥360 one way). Arriving at 11:03am at the bus stop, we quickly made our way to the ticket counter and bought the return tickets (usual price ¥1350, but we had a 10% discount because we printed a coupon from the website) for the 寒霞渓ロープウェイ Kankakei Ropeway. The ropeway runs every 12 minutes, and once it is full, you will need to wait for the next ride.
Hubby had read about this place near our hotel that was popular for miso soup and homecooked style food, so off we went for dinner. We were quite lucky as we managed to get the last table 🙂
Everyone were having miso soup, and while there were many types available, we chose the more popular ぶた汁 pork miso soup.
We randomly picked some of the dishes that we fancied from what we saw. Most of the food were delicious, and made us feel like we were at home 🙂 However, the egg plant really left its imprints in our minds because it was so, so unexpectedly salty. So salty that it became our benchmark for saltiness throughout the remaining trip… Nothing else could beat it, not even pickles!
- Location: 1-11-12 Kawaramachi, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa-ken, Japan 香川県高松市瓦町1-11-12
- Nearest Station: Kawaramachi Station 琴電琴平線瓦町駅
- Direction: Walk 300m north-west of station.
- Website: yousakana.jp/ofukuro, Tabelog
- Hrs: 5pm – 11:30pm (Mon-Sat)
On our way to 栗林公園 Ritsurin-koen, we made a special visit to the local speciality famous 讃岐うどん Sanuki Udon shop 上原屋本店 Ueharaya honten nearby. It is said that while udon is widely available throughout Japan, nobody makes it better and cheaper than in 香川 Kagawa Prefecture.
This is a popular lunch venue with locals working nearby, as it provided a very delicious meal at very affordable prices. It was a short wait outside the shop, as turnover was very fast. Almost everything is self-service. Once you decide on the type and size of udon, you just need to select your side dishes, pay up, and cook the udon yourself, or add the desired toppings yourself. Then you hunt for a table, finish your meal, and return your tray.
As we had spent the previous day doing side trips out of 岡山 Okayama, we ended up visiting 2 very famous gardens today, 後楽園 Koraku-en at 岡山 Okayama and 栗林公園 Ritsurin-koen at 高松 Takamatsu.
後楽園 Koraku-en had the reputation of being one of the 日本三名園 Nihon Sanmeien. Three Great Gardens of Japan, while many claimed that 栗林公園 Ritsurin-koen was even better! Having been to 兼六園 Kenroku-en, another of the top 3 gardens in 金沢 Kanazawa during our previous trips, we had very high expectations of these 2 gardens! Does 後楽園 Koraku-en live up to its reputation? Why do people say that 栗林公園 Ritsurin-koen is better?