Kagawa Prefecture

Kagawa Prefecture [香川県]

Kagawa Prefecture is located at the northeast part of Shikoku Island.

The northern coast faces Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai).
There are many islands in the sea, and Shodoshima (小豆島) is a relatively large island.

Kagawa Prefecture is the smallest prefecture in Japan, and the area is within 100 km from east to west and within 40 km from north to south in width.

The prefectural capital is Takamatsu city (高松) located nearly in the center of the prefecture.

The climate is mild.
This area has many fine days, but the rainfall is relatively low.

So more than 14,000 irrigation ponds for agriculture have been constructed in whole area for droughts.

On the other hand, this climate is suitable for making salt.
Then many salt farms were constucted in ancient times.

Ritsurin Garden
Ritsurin Garden

Because of such climate, high-quality wheat and salt have been gotten easily.

So "udon" (one of the popular noodles in Japan) has been made since the 17th century.

The old name of Kagawa Prefectures was "Sanuki" (讃岐).
Sanuki-udon is well-known by most people in Japan.
Even the government of Kagawa Prefecture calls itself "Udon Prefecture" ("Udon-ken" in Japanese).

Kagawa Prefecture is connected by Great Seto Bridge across Seto Inland Sea with Honshu Island.

So this prefecture is one of the main entrances to Shikoku Island.

JR limited expresses from Okayama run through this bridge, and they lead to all prefectures in Shikoku Island.

Visit Kagawa



  • To Takamatsu from Okayama : About 55 minutes by JR rapid train.
  • To Takamatsu from Tokushima : About 1 hour by JR limited express.
  • To Takamatsu from Kochi : About 2 hours and 15 minutes by JR limited express.
  • To Takamatsu from Matsuyama : About 2.5 hours by JR limited express.

Only one night train is operated from Tokyo.
(Tokyo, around 22:00 - Takamatsu, around 7:30)

Express bus

  • To Takamatsu from Tokyo : about 9.5 hours. (Night bus)
  • To Takamatsu from Osaka : about 3.5 hours.


Takamatsu Airport is located about 15 km south of the center of Takamatsu city.
It has the flights from Haneda, (Tokyo), Narita, and Naha (Okinawa).

Takamatsu Airport

Main events in Kagawa Prefecture

Hyôge Festival (2nd Sunday in September)

Hyoge festival
Photo by Kagawa Prefecture

Hyôge Festival is the annual festival of Shin-ike Shrine in Asano district located about 10 km south of the center of Takamatsu city.

This region has been low-rainfall, so it was very difficult to get water for agriculture in earlier times.

Yanobe Heiroku (1610-1685) was a low-ranking samurai, but he constructed more than 100 irrigation ponds.

This festival has been held to give thanks to him.

Many people march through the district with carring the portable shrine (Mikoshi).

"Hyouge" means "funny" or "jocular" in the Kagawa dialect.
They parade with funny action.

Farmers' Kabuki in Shodoshima island

Farmers' Kabuki in Shodoshima
Photo by Kagawa Prefecture

Kabuki is the most well-known Japanese theatrical art, and has been performed in big cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka since the 17th century.

Also it had been performed in rural areas throughout the country.
But the performance in most areas had died out.

Farmers' Kabuki in Shodoshima island is one of the few performances.

Of course, the actors are not the famous stars but the citizens in Shodoshima.
But the performances on the stage are authentic.

Two old stages are set up in Hitoyama and Nakayama districts in the island.
The performance is held on May 3 in Hitoyama and on the 2nd Monday of October in Nakayama.

Local foods and products in Kagawa Prefecture


Photo by Kagawa Prefecture

Udon is one of the popular noodles in Japan.
The noodle is made of wheat flour, and are served in a bowl filled with Japanese soup broth.

The people of Kagawa Prefecture love udon very much.
And they eat udon over three times as much as the people of the other prefectures for one year.

"Sanuki" is the old name of Kagawa Prefecture.
Sanuki-udon has stronger elasticity than the other udon.

When you visit Takamatsu city, you can find udon restaurant quickly.
Because, there are over 1,000 udon restaurants around Takamatsu city.

Olive in Shodoshima island

Olive in Shodoshima
Photo by Kagawa Prefecture

Olive is cultivated mainly in the Mediterranean region.

In Japan, Shodoshima island is the main production center of olive.

In 1908, Japan government tried the cultivation of olive in the three places in Japan.
And only Shodoshima succeeded.

But the amount of production is less than one forty-thousandth of Spain, the largest producer of olive in the world.

Marugame uchiwa

Marugame uchiwa
Photo by Kagawa Prefecture

Marugame is a city located about 30 km west of Takamatsu.

About 90 percent of "uchiwa" is produced in Marugame.
"Uchiwa" is a paper fan and is made of bamboo and paper.

Marugame uchiwa is designated as "Traditional Crafts" by the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.

Uchiwa is mainly used to fan yourself and cool down in summer.

Originally, Marugame's uchiwa was produced for the souvenir of Kotohira Shrine.

Return to Shikoku Region

Other prefectures in Shikoku Region

The climate in Takamatsu

[Monthly average temperature & rainfall (1991-2020)]
Mo. High ℃ Low ℃ Rain (㎜)
Jan 9.7 2.1 39
Feb 10.5 2.2 46
Mar 14.1 5.0 81
Apr 19.8 9.9 75
May 24.8 15.1 101
Jun 27.5 19.8 153
Jul 31.7 24.1 160
Aug 33.0 25.1 106
Sep 28.8 21.2 167
Oct 23.2 15.1 120
Nov 17.5 9.1 55
Dec 12.1 4.3 47