The Magic Land of Bonsai – Kagawa, Japan

Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan and home of the world’s smallest trees – BONSAIS.

The ancient Chinese and Japanese practice of miniaturizing plants has gradually evolved into a captivating, living form of art! It’s captured the hearts of nature lovers all over the world, growing and reshaping trees to their imagination.

Just as fascinating is Kagawa’s landscape between the Sea of Japan and the Mountains of Shikoku!

Takamatsu – the capital of Kagawa

Takamatsu city view
Hilltop view of Takamatsu city

The majority of Bonsai trees, produced in Japan, come from Takamatsu and its surrounding areas.

Takamatsu is a port city on the Japanese island Shikoku and a capital of the Kagawa region. With a population of almost half a million people, it has a small international airport and a good infrastructure.

The most popular Bonsai variety over there, are the Pine miniature trees. And the reason behind it is not only Kagawa’s specific nature and the evergreen property of Pine trees. Small Pines have longer and more subtle stems, allowing for easier and more creative tree shaping. For example, you can create star and heart-shaped Pine Bonsais. You can even grow your own Pine letters and numbers!

Japanese Heart Bonsai Tree
Heart-shaped Pine Bonsai

Things to do in Kagawa

One of the best places to visit in Kagawa, is the historic Ritsurin Garden. Completed almost 3 centuries ago, it is still one of the largest strolling gardens in Japan. It also boasts many fascinating Bonsai trees in various shapes and sizes.

Ritsurin Garden

To learn more about cultivating these beloved plants, go to “Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato”. It offers many botanical workshops and Bonsai art classes. It’s also famous for its huge Bonsai market, where you can buy your ‘living souvenir’ from Kagawa!

Living Bonsai table

To witness a true beach phenomenon, head to Kagawa’s Angel Road! A unique-looking strip of sand in the Seto Inland Sea and a popular romantic spot on the island. You can see the Angel Road only during low tide once in the morning and once in the afternoon! The rest of the day, you can relax on one of the other beautiful golden beaches in Kagawa.

Angel Road beach
“Angel Road”, Kagawa

Another must-see spot in Kagawa, is the massive sand sculpture of a Japanese coin, called “Zenigata Sunae”. Locals believe, that seeing it brings fortune, good health and prosperity!

Zenigata Sunae
Zenigata Sunae sand sculpture in Kagawa

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can embark on a Pilgrim Trail throughout the whole island! Check out the different TourHub trail routes through Kagawa here.

Need more inspiration? Discover other unique things to do in the area on Get Your Guide to KAGAWA.

Where to eat and stay in Kagawa

You’ll see “Hamachi” all over restaurant menus, which is Yellowtail Tuna, served mainly raw or marinated. The most popular local dish, however, is the “Sanuki Udon” – thick rice noodles with clear fish sauce.

To find and book the best local restaurants and hotels, search for “Kagawa” on TripAdvisor’s booking platform

When picking your stay, try to book a panoramic accommodation, so you can make the most of Kagawa’s extraordinary blend of mountain and costal views!

Castle tower in Spring - Kagawa, Japan
Kagawa in bloom

Kagawa in a ‘seashell’

A serene region by the Sea of Japan with a phenomenal natural beauty. Also considered as the hub of Contemporary Bonsai Art due to the popularity of the miniature Pines, cultivated there.

If you’re dreaming about a truly relaxing holiday and un unforgettable time with your partner or the whole family, book a trip to the magical Kagawa! 🌞

Travelling to Tokyo? READ: Exploring Tokyo, Japan

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