On the northern coast, cosmopolitan TAKAMATSU, the capital city of Kagawa-ken, is likely to be your first stop on Shikoku. Even before the Seto Ōhashi connected Shikoku's rail network with Honshū, the city's port was a major gateway into the island. Today, Takamatsu is a sprawling but fairly attractive modern city of 350,000 inhabitants, peppered with covered shopping arcades and designer stores. As twenty-first-century as all this is, the city's star attraction remains Ritsurin-kōen, one of Japan's most classical, spacious and beautifully designed gardens.
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