Make new discoveries while taking a nostalgic walk around historic Busshozan
The town of Busshozan in Takamatsu City was originally built around the historic Honenji Temple. It is dotted with merchant buildings and “machiya” townhouses from the Edo period. Take a walk and experience firsthand with your own senses how history, culture, and old traditions co-exist with contemporary life.
A retro train enthusiast’s delight
Kagawa’s local line, Kotoden is a unique railroad with fans nationwide. It maintains and reuses old rolling stock from various places around the country. These nostalgic trains are popular and are worth seeing. In particular, their “retro trains” manufactured in the 1920’s when Kotoden began op-eration, attracted many railroad fans who photographed their majestic appearance. (The retro trains are scheduled for retirement in May 2021.) In addition, the “Kotoden Hot Spring & Rail Pass” (1200 yen for adults), which includes entrance to Busshozan Onsen Hot Spring, an uchiwa fan, and an original towel, is a good value. You can purchase this pass at Kotoden Takamatsu-Chikko station, Kawaramachi station, Ritsurin-Koen station, and a few other stations.
For more details about the Kotoden Hot Spring & Rail Pass
Kotoden Busshozan Station
Address: 302-1 Kou, Busshōzan -cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-8078
Tel: 087-831-6008 (Lost & Found,Operation Status: weekdays 5:30 a.m.–11:50 p.m. )
Innovation and tradition in delicious harmonious balance
Tucked into one corner of an Edo period (1603-1867) commercial building is a trendy shop where you can enjoy delicious sandwich set meals made with fresh-baked bread and select ingredients. Right next door in the same building is a kimono shop run by the same family. Picture menu available at the sandwich shop. Take-out and phone orders are welcome.( Popular sandwiches are limited in quantity, so it's better to order one day ahead.)
Tenmaya Sandwich Shop
Address: 542 Kou, Busshōzancho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-8078
Hours: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. (last order 5 p.m.)
Closed: Tue, Wed
Supplying kitchens with essential condiments locals swear by for over two centuries
Located on the corner is a modest-looking shop selling vinegar and vinegar-based condiments. The tradition-al building was constructed in the late Edo period and is said to be the oldest in Bussh-ōzan. They brew vinegar in cedar barrels using the same production method unchanged from long ago. Once inside, you can see their products on prominent display, including their signature “Yoshi no Su” rice vine-gar. There is also a display case containing “old-fashioned equipment for vinegar-making” shown to school chil-dren who visit during social studies field trips.
Kanzakiya Vinegar Brewery
Address: 49 Otsu, Busshozan -cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-8079
Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Closed: Sat, Sun, national holidays
The family temple of the lord of the Takamatsu Domain
Honenji Temple is named after the founder of Jodo Buddhism, Honen (1133-1212). In the 17th century, the first Matsudaira clan lord of the Takamatsu Domain, Matsudaira Yorishige, moved and restored the temple to its present location and used it as their family temple. The five-story pagoda, a long-cherished wish of Yorishige, was completed on January 25, 2011,the 800th anniversary of Hōnen’s death. You can walk around the spacious grounds to see the pagoda, the hondō (main building), and other parts of the temple up close, then walk up the long stairway to the top of a hill where the raigō hall is perched and get panoramic views of the landscape.
Address: 3215 Kou, Busshozan-cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-8078
Hours: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Closed: open all year round
Try some “Tankiri candy”, the throat remedy with a historic connection to Honenji Temple
Founded in 1872, Tokueido is a long-established confectionery shop and the only one in Busshozan that makes “Tankiri candy”, which is made with soybeans, sesame seeds, and ginger held together in a starch syrup. It is said that long ago, it helped the chief priest of Hōnenji Temple, who had a cold, by cutting down throat phlegm, hence the name, “phlegm-cutting candy”. You can get this and other goodies as souvenirs. You can even sign-up in advance for a Tankiri candy making workshop and take home what you make. Factory tours are also possible.( Reservation required one week in advance.)
Tokueido Japanese Confectionery Shop
Address: 2339-7 Tahikamimachi, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-8076
Hours: 8 a.m. -7 p.m.
Closed: irregular holidays
Craft beer from all over Shikoku and more under one roof
With about 50 types of craft beer from around Japan, around 30 from Shikoku alone, and some available on tap, plus as many types of select import beer, this is a unique one-stop shop for craft and specialty beer lovers. The owner is passionate about beer and knowledgeable about each and every one, and enjoys chatting with customers, helping them choose something that is well-suited to their preference. There’s also fresh-brewed coffee, espresso, and tea for non-drinkers who also want to relax after a walk along the historic Busshōzan Highway.
Address: 464-1 Kou, Busshozan -cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-8078
Hours: irregular, check social media site links from website in advance
Closed: irregular holidays