24 Oct 2016

Few Days in Kagawa-ken

One of the tree places that I got to visit in Japan (other two are Tokyo and Matsue) was Takamatsu city (高松市) in Kagawa prefecture (香川県). There I had my first home-stay in a foreign family and I'm quite happy how it worked out!



First, let's begin with the fact that we traveled from Matsue to Takamatsu expecting typhoon to strike at any moment. To be fair, it was quite scary - all those inky clouds gathering, strong wind blowing and little by little raindrops started drumming the windows of our bus... 


But, luckily for us, the typhoon chose another direction and me and my colleagues reached our destination safe.
   Takamatsu is the largest city in the smallest prefecture in Japan. But, compared to the Lithuanian meaning of "small city" it still was huge. I liked its shrines the most, and especially the one where the White Snake God is enshrined in.





We met lots of nice local people that showed us around and made possible to see not only Takamatsu but also some small towns around.
   For example, we visited the soy sauce factory, that is run by 18th generation of those who established it more than 250 years ago. The special mixture of soy beans and grain is left to ferment in deep inlaid wooden containers from 1 to 35 years! Later this fermented mass is wrapped into a cloth and put under the slow press. I have to admit, that the soy sauce made in this factory was very different from the ones made in mass production factories.





I also was able to see the local bonsai market, since Kagawa prefecture is famous for their bonsai! The trees in the pictures below are the raw material for forming a proper bonsai.





Together with my host family we traveled 40 km from Takamatsu in order to attend local autumn festival, which amazed me a lot! It was a traditionally held festival, that incorporates both old customs, like Lion Dance (shishi-mai (獅子舞)) or the parade of chosa (decorated floats) and some contemporary stuff like a concert performed by teenage-looking girls with ultra mini skirts.





Kagawa prefecture is famous for their udon - thick white noodles that are very tasty! I ate it at the local and apparently family run restaurant which had two cats (photographed only one since the other one was teeny tiny, black and incredibly fast...)! This is the best thing that can happen for such cat lover like myself!




Kagawa is really worth visiting! If not for the views or the fact that it's becoming an influential art center in Japan, then for a bowl of nice hot (or cold, if you prefer) bowl of udon!


Photos © Asta Skujytė-Razmienė

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