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Monday, July 25, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Ryori Yu 料理遊

Visited 14.11.2014 (Fri)


Japanese bar? Izakaya (居酒屋) is an important element of Japanese culture; a place where salaryman and office ladies hang out to relax after a hard day's work. Images of alcoholic drinks overdose, space being engulfed by cigarette smoke, rowdiness of patrons formed a large part of my impression of Izakaya though I have never visited one personally. First read about Ryori Yu in Milly's travel guide book on Shikoku and I was surprised by the exceptionally good review, which totally overthrew all the negative belief I had of Izakaya previously. Decided to uncover the truth myself by paying the place a visit during dinner time.


Where is the menu? When we arrived at the restaurant, the unusually peaceful mood caught us by surprise. But, a completely different ambiance was well kept behind the sliding door. That night, the restaurant was bustling with patrons; entire row of counter seats were fully occupied and we had to share a table with another group of ladies. Language barrier has always been my greatest concern when visiting a foreign country - the first waitress who served us water and towel could only speak Japanese and what made me more dumbfounded next was the absence of table menu (which mean I could not even use Google Translate to scan the pages to perform an auto translation). It was till the next waitress (who most likely have spotted my troubled and foreigner-look face) came by and spoke to me in mandarin which made me heaved a sign of relief! She was an international student (from China), working part time in the restaurant. She pointed me to a lady in her fifties who was busy preparing the dishes while entertaining the guests at the counter seats. She is the owner of Ryori Yu and is affectionately known by regular customers as "mama-san". The waitress told us not to fret as mama-san would normally serve a series of signature dishes to all her diners (unless we choose not to have it). This feeling was so homely, like how we would just tuck into any food which are put on the dinner table by my mother.




Home cooked food. The counter was lined up with many big bowls, all containing mama-san's signature cold dishes. First up was freshly cooked prawns and vegetable tempura, followed by a bowl of delicious and flavourful beef stewed together with potatoes and carrot. Another dish which I liked particularly was the braised eggplant, a simple yet savory soul food. Separately, we ordered a plate of sashimi moriawase (platter) to share; the freshest catch of the day harvested from the nearby Seto Inland Sea was sliced beautifully and plated together with sudachi. Waitress recommended us to try tamagoyaki which was made only upon order. This simple home cooked dish was cooked to perfection; egg roll was lightly seasoned and fluffy. Instead of normal rice, we opted for onigiri stuffed with salmon accompanied with tsukemono (preserved vegetables) and miso soup. Have never tasted a onigiri which is pressed when the rice is still hot from the cooker and it tasted heavenly! Shortly after we completed the dish, mama-san came out from the counter to pass us a plate of cut persimmons and told us to give it a try. Persimmons were in season during the time of our visit; fruit was very sweet and crunchy, In fact, eating fruits was exactly how we normally end off a home-cooked meal. The bill totaled up to 8,200 yen for three of us and all of us felt it was very worthwhile. Just before we headed for the exit, mama-san came out again and thanked us for the visit with a humble tone. Truthfully, we could not thanked her enough for making the entire dinning experience so wonderful and heartwarming.




Warm hospitality, modest personality, affordable yet delicious food summed up my overall dinning experience in Ryori Yu.

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Ryori Yu 料理遊
香川県高松市内町6-3
Opening hrs: 1700 - 2300 hrs

How to get there?
Restaurant is located near Takamatsu Mitsukoshi Departmental Store; about 15 minutes walk away from Takamatsu JR Station.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Cafe Salon Naka Oku カフェ 中奥

Visited 14.11.2014

Followed the signs to reach the cafe which is situated in a quiet and peaceful environment.
Left some room in our stomachs for dessert after a satisfying lunch at Aisunao. Decided to change to a different venue and came to Naka Oku. This cafe is also located in Honmura area but in a more secluded spot; about 10 - 15 minutes walk from the heart of the town. There were wooden signboard displayed along the route that led to the cafe. Followed a narrow path up a small hill and found an old wooden house with a beautiful noren (curtain) hung in front of its door - a way of supporting art in Naoshima. Upon sliding open the door, the strong aroma of coffee welcomed us to the cosy environment. Refurbished from an old residential unit, Naka Oku retains some of the original fixtures both inside and outside the house. Owner stood behind the bar counter, working hard to keep up with the continuous beverage orders. We were led to a table in an adjacent room with tatami mats. Window seats were also added for customers to enjoy their coffee and scenery at the same time. The owner was also a fan of antique - as one of the rooms was dedicated to old toys display. Though it was past lunch hour, business was relatively brisk in the cafe and was popular with foreign visitors. 

Bottom left and center: Chiffon cake and baked cheesecake. 
Coffee time. Curry rice, omelette rice and sandwiches were available on the main food menu. Dessert selection is limited to baked cheese cake, chiffon cake and milk gelatin (from Yasutomi Farm in Okayama). Ordered a baked cheese cake, chiffon cake, accompanied with their original house blended coffee and tea. The baked cheesecake was served in a tart; a nice and rich cheese filling with a crunchy biscuit on the outside. Was taken aback when I heard that the chiffon cake was soy sauce flavour - a combination that I would never think of. Passed the taste test: cake was very light and still tasted sweet because of the brown sugar and the caramel sauce drizzle, while the soy sauce flavour appeared as a subtle aftertaste. Coffee was superb - captivated by strong aroma and tasted slightly acidic. We spent the rest of our afternoon here, catching up with one another over desserts comfortably. Though desserts were not exceptionally spectacular, the comfortable and nostalgic ambience here will still make this humble little cafe stands out on this small island of Naoshima.


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Cafe Salon Naka Oku 中奥
761-3110 香川県香川郡直島町本村字中奥1167
Opening hrs: 1130 - 2100 hrs (Closed on Tuesday)
http://www.naka-oku.com/

How to get there?
By town bus. From Miyanoura Port (宮浦港) Bus Stop 2, take the bus heading for Tsutsujiso (つつじ荘) at Bus Stop 2 and alight at Nokyo Mae (農協前). Walk for another 10 - 15 minutes. Along the way, you will pass by some residential houses and will see clear wooden signboards leading to the cafe.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Genmai Shinshoku Aisunao 玄米心食 あいすなお

Visited 14.11.2014


Best food? One of the best memories I had of this smallest main island of Japan is the numerous delicious food it has to offer. Aisunao is one of the many restaurants that I will recommend or even return again if I ever visit Naoshima again. Located in Honmura area (本村エリア) of Naoshima where most of the houses are still preserved in its original state - some are part of Art House Project which converted some of the abandoned old houses here into contemporary art exhibition. Aisunao serves vegetarian cuisine and this 80 year old traditional Japanese style house it resides in was formerly a residential unit. The restaurant is easily recognised by this eye catching noren (curtain) with a picture of a bowl of brown rice is hung in front of its doors.


Menu. Dropped by here for lunch and was given a window seat. Menu comes with pictures and English translation. Ordered Aisunao lunch set (アイスなおセット), which comprised of a bowl of fragrant brown rice, miso soup and several seasonal vegetable dishes - steamed carrot and sweet potatoes, crunchy burdock root, radish and cabbage salad with Japanese dressing/vinegar, beancurd with enoki sauce. All the dishes were well seasoned, appetising and even meat lovers like myself enjoyed the meal very much. Ordered a hot somen set (すすりこセット) for my parents and they liked it a lot as well. Set comes with a bowl of hot somen soup, a brown rice ball and beancurd with enoki sauce. Somen is thin wheat noodles and Aisunao uses good quality somen manufactured from the nearby Shodoshima. Smooth noodles accompanied with a soy sauce based soup filled with vegetables and flavoured with sesame oil. Aisunao also serves desserts such as cakes and soy milk ice cream. Overall, this vegetarian lunch meal was very satisfying; and even my mother will reminisce about the delicious bowl of hot somen she had every now and then and hope to eat it again!

Aisunao lunch set - 850 yen
Hot somen set - 900 yen
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Genmai Shinshoku Aisunao 玄米心食 あいすなお
香川県 香川郡直島町761-1
Opening hrs: 1100 hrs onwards
http://aisunao.jp/

How to get there? 
By town bus. From Miyanoura Port (宮浦港) Bus Stop 2, take the town bus heading for Tsutsujiso (つつじ莊) and alight at Nokyo mae (農協前). About 3 mins walk from the bus stop.
Bus timetable: http://benesse-artsite.jp/uploads/access/naoshima_bus_timetable.pdf

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Day 2 Naoshima 直岛 

Day 2: 14.11.2014 (Fri)

 Yayoi Kusama's Yellow Pumpkin
Breakfast: Takamatsu Terminal Hotel 高松ターミナルホテル

Takamastsu Port 高松築港 (0915 hrs) > Naoshima Miyanoura Port 直島宮之浦港 (0940 hrs)
by speedcraft. [1,220 yen, 30 mins]

Visited Yayoi Kusama's Red Pumpkin at Marine Station.

Marine Station (1008 hrs) > Tsutsujisho つつじ荘 (1022 hrs)
by Naoshima Town Bus. [100 yen]

Visited Yayoi Kusama's Yellow Pumpkin near Tsutsujisho.

Visited Benesse Art Museum ベネッセハウスミュージアム. [1,030 yen]

Benesse Art Musuem ベネッセハウスミュージアム > Tsutsujisho つつじ荘
by free shuttle service.

Tsutsujisho つつじ荘 > Nokyo mae 農協前
by Naoshima Town Bus. [100 yen]

Lunch: Genmai Shinshoku Aisunao 玄米心食 あいすなお

Tea break: Cafe Salon Naka Oku 中奥

Explored Honmura Area. Visited Honmura Lounge & Archives.

Nokyo mae 農協前 > Marine Station
by Naoshima Town Bus. [100 yen]


Visited Naoshima Bath 直島銭湯「I♥湯」.

Miyanoura Port 直島宮之浦港 (1630 hrs) > Takamatsu Port 高松築港 (1655 hrs)
by speedcraft. [1,220 yen, 30 mins]

Dinner: Ryori Yu 料理遊

- End of Day 2 - 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Yoridori Midori 寄鳥味鳥

Visited 13.11.2014 (Thu)

Keep a lookout for the restaurant located on the second floor of one of the shophouses.
First dinner in Shikoku! Apart from Sanuki Udon, another local favourite gourmet food in Kagawa Prefecture is grilled chicken thigh. This dish is a specialty of Marugame, a city approximately 30 minutes away by rail from Takamatsu. Speaking of its origin, we have to trace back to 1950. The idea came from a restaurant owner in Marugame city after he watched a scene of a woman eating a fried chicken heartily in a Hollywood movie. He wanted to create a similar dish that would give his patrons that level of satisfaction as depicted in the scene; and the recipe of the grilled chicken was perfected after multiple trial and error. There are two different chicken to choose from: the young chicken (wadori わどり) or the mature chicken (shindori 親どり). Each type has its own fan base - young chicken meat is more tender and juicier while the mature chicken meat is much resilient yet flavourful. Scissors would provided to cut the mature chicken for easier consumption.

Cabbage served together with grilled young chicken thigh. Look at the amount of chicken oil on the plate.
Did not intend to visit Marugame but manage to locate a restaurant in Takamatsu offering this similar dish. In Yoridori Midori, Kagawa grown chicken which are served on that day is only butchered in the morning for guaranteed freshness. We chose the young chicken as we were afraid that the matured chicken meat was too tough for our teeth to handle. The chicken was seasoned with large amount of salt and pepper and was grilled in the oven till the skin became crispy. Tender and juicy meat could be peeled off from the bone effortlessly. If not for a travelogue program I have watched previously, I would not have know how to deal with this separate plate of chopped raw cabbage which was served together with the chicken without any sauces drizzled on it. The correct way to eat the cabbage is to dip it into the chicken oil (left on the plate where the grilled chicken thigh is placed) before consumption. And surprisingly the savoury chicken oil helped to enhance the sweetness of the cabbage! Ordered a bowl of chicken rice (torimeshi とりめし) and it tasted completely different from the one I am familiar with back at home. Reason being the rice is cooked with chicken meat and flavoured with soy sauce. Overall, this was a very satisfying dinner which left us a pretty good impression of the food in Shikoku on the first day of our trip.

Very delicious and refreshing eggplant and tomato salad. 
Chicken rice, completely different from the Hainanese version.
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Yoridori Midori 寄鳥味鳥
香川県高松市兵庫町1-24 2nd floor
Opening hrs: 1700 - 2300 hrs (Mon - Fri); 1700 - 2230 (Sun), closed on Saturdays.

How to get there?
Restaurant is located in Takamatsu Shopping Mall, along Hyogomachi 兵庫町. Takes about 15 minutes to walk from Takamatsu JR Station.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Ritsurin Koen 栗林公園, Kikugetsu-tei 菊月亭

Visited 13.11.2014 (Thu)

North entrance of Ritsurin Garden - where our exploration begun!
History. Ritsurin Garden has been around for more than four centuries. Strategically located with Mount Shiun (紫雲山) in the backdrop, it was constructed as a feudal lord garden during 1620s by Takatoshi Ikoma who ruled Sanuki (the former name of Kagawa) at that time. Matsudaira family inherited the garden in 1642 and expanded the garden by successive generations to its current state in 1754. Ritsurin Garden became open to public on March 16, 1875 and was designated as a "National Place of Special Scenic Beauty" in 1953. Ritsurin Garden was also ranked three stars (the highest possible) alongside Dogo Onsen in Michelin Green Guide Japan in 2009. 
Michelin Green Guide Japan: http://travelguide.michelin.com/asia/japan/shikoku


Ritsurin Garden itself is an artistic masterpiece originated from the past. One will exclaim at meticulous and well thought out landscaping features while strolling in the garden. More than a thousand resilient pine trees, some have been around for more than a century, are carefully tended by the gardeners here. And it was because of Ritsurin Garden, I developed a liking for parks/gardens and from then onward, started to plan visits to parks/gardens on subsequent trips to Japan (such as Kourakoen in Okayama and Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane). May sound a bit exaggerated here but seeing is believing and I will sincerely recommend all to pay here a visit to fully appreciate the beauty of such garden for yourselves. 

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Highlights:

Tsurukame-matsu (鶴亀松).
Started our exploration of this 16 hectares sized garden from the north gate. Ritsurin Garden is divided into two areas - North and South, and it takes at least an hour and a half to complete both routes. Tsurukame-matsu (鶴亀松), otherwise known as the crane and turtle pine tree, is one of the most precious pine tree in the garden, made up of a black pine with 110 stones. The combination resembled a fluttering crane standing on the back of a turtle, which explained how its name came about. As there are numerous maple trees planted here, the garden is also beautifully decorated by shades of red during the autumn season.

Autumn foliage; though not at its best state yet.
Hokko (北湖).
Hokko (北湖), or North Pond, has a surface area of 7000 m2 and is located in the South Garden. Photo was taken while standing on Bairin-kyo bridge (梅林橋). The largest pond in the South Garden in Nanko (南湖), or South Pond, with a surface area of 7,900 m2 and a 30 minutes traditional boat ride known as wasen can be enjoyed in this pond. Boat ride cost 610 yen for an adult and tickets can be purchased from ticket counter at the east gate. Gave the boat ride a miss due to time constraint.

Leisure boat ride in Nanko (南湖).
Best view of Ritsurin Garden from Hiraiho.
Climbed up Hiraiho (飛来峰), a landscaped hill which commands the best view of Ritsurin Garden, overlooking the South Pond with Mount Shiun in the background. From here, capture the view of a symmetrical reflection of Engetsukyo (偃月橋), otherwise known as the crescent moon bridge, in the waters and a love shaped azalea bush on one of the small islands in the pond. Was totally blown away by this picturesque scenery at the very first sight and even waited for the overcast to move away in order to capture a well illuminated picture of the view! Though it was already the autumn season, we were still one week early before the leaves turned completely red; could imagine in my mind how mesmersing the scenery would have been... 

Can you spot a heart shaped bush?
Experience tea ceremony at Kikugetsu-tei.
Stopped by at Kikugetsu-tei (菊月亭), a traditional Japanese sukiya style tea house to rest our legs. Sat down to enjoy a bowl of matcha accompanied with a biscuit filled with chestnut paste (set cost 700 yen) and indulge into a laidback moment, soaking into the tranquility and admiring the refined landscaping right in front of the tea house. Ended our exploration at the east gate. There is a local souvenir shop named Ritsurin-an (栗林庵), located just outside the east gate, stocked up with a wide range of products (agricultural items, wine, sweets, handicrafts, etc) originated from Kagawa Prefecture.

Nothing beats having a bowl of hot matcha in this cold weather.
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Ritsurin Koen 栗林公園
1-20-16,Ritsurin-cho,Takamatsu-city,Kagawa Prefecture 760-0073
http://ritsuringarden.jp/jp/
Opening hours differs from month to month, please check the schedule on their website: http://ritsuringarden.jp/jp/?page_id=80
Admission fee: 410 yen

How to get there?

(1) Train
- 10 mins walk from Ritsurin Koen Kotoden Station.
- 3 mins walk from Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi JR Station.

(2) Bus
Take the Shopping Rainbow Bus ショッピングレインポー  (Anticlockwise route 反時計廻り or Nishi Mawari 西廻り) from the bus terminal at Takamatsu JR Station and alight at the bus stop in front of Ritsurin Koen.
Bus schedule: http://www.kotoden.co.jp/publichtm/bus/rosen/community/shopping.html



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Video: Scroll to 2:00 for feature on Ritsurin Garden.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Chikusei 竹清, Matsushita Seimencho 松下製麺所

Visited 13.11.2014 (Thu)

Udon map - a useful tool to explore the land of udon.
Sanuki Udon. Sanuki is actually the former name of Kagawa in the olden days. Udon is so popular in Kagawa and this is statement is supported by numbers. Statistics has shown that consumption of udon here is the highest among all prefectures in Japan. I am a fan of udon, therefore being able try this soul food of Kagawa made me look forward to this trip. After dropping our luggage at the hotel, we headed for the tourist information counter in Takamatsu JR Station. Requested for a useful map with an exhaustive list of shops/restaurants serving udon in Takamatsu city; seek advice from the staff on the recommended shops/restaurants to visit and begun on a half day udon feast!

Udon taxi? This is a unique taxi service only available in Takamatsu. Instead of conventional lamps, lookout for taxis which have a food replica of udon with standout characters "うどん", placed on the roof of the cars instead. Based on the duration of hire, the taxi driver will craft out a route to cover udon hideouts which are less accessible by buses/trains. Please note that reservation is required and this can be done either online (in Japanese) or through phone (can get the help from tourist information center or hotel upon arrival). This is an ideal option to try out more shops especially when you only have a limited amount of time to spare.
http://www.udon-taxi.com/

Sanuki Udon featured in Posta Collect regional postcard collection.
Unfulfilled dream. Was quite ambitious to visit as many shops/restaurants as possible in Takamatsu city within one afternoon. As small eaters to start off with, we were already bloated after our second bowl of udon and could not proceed further! In fact, the shop which I wanted to try most was Hinode Seimensho (日の出製麺所) located about 15 minutes walk away from Sakata JR Station. This shop is frequently featured in books and programs; first started out as a noodle manufacturer in 1930 and later served freshly made udon to a long queue of waiting customers during the lunch hour (literally an hour since it is only opened from 1130 to 1230 hrs). Sad to say, we could not make it to this shop because we reached Takamatsu city way past the lunch hour.

Video: Scroll to 21:30 for the feature on Hinode Seimensho. 


How to order? If you have been to Tamoya Udon before in Singapore, you will be familiar with their self service concept. Similar concept is employed in most shops here. First decide on the serving size and type - hot or cold. With your bowl with noodles, proceed to warm the noodles with the strainers and hot water provided at one corner (pour the noodles into the strainers, warm them briefly in the hot water, drain the water away and put the noodles back into the bowl). Choose from a variety of toppings (from fried tofu to tempura items), add condiments such as green onions and tempura bits, and finally add the broth which is normally contained in a dispenser (if you are having the hot version).  

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A group photo taken with the help of a kind staff! 
(1) Chikusei 竹清
760-0006 香川県高松市亀岡町2-23
Opening hrs: 1100 - 1430 hrs, Closed on Mondays.
http://chikuseiudon.com/

First meal we had in Shikoku. Reached there before 2 pm and the shop was still packed with diners. Placed our order - requested for the half serving and added two toppings (tempura fish cake stick and tempura soft boiled egg) and followed what the rest did to warm the noodles, add the condiments and broth. The tempura fish cake stick and soft boiled egg were cooked upon order and were served to our tables. Noodles was firm and springy; broth looked light yet surprisingly flavourful. What left me the deepest impression were actually the unexpectedly delicious tempura fish cake stick and tempura soft boiled egg. This is my first time eating a soft boiled egg in tempura style; revealing the runny egg yolk after biting into the crispy coating! Enjoyed this simple bowl of udon at an affordable price of 320 yen only (120 yen for the noodle and 100 yen each for the topping). I can still remember vividly one kind gesture which occurred when I was taking a picture of the shop exterior after the meal. The staff came out from the shop and offered to help us take a group photo. In fact, such warm hospitality from locals were encountered very often throughout our trip in Shikoku - something that I am particularly appreciative of and will associate with whenever I speak about this island.  

Completed the meal with two toppings: tempura fish cake stick and soft boiled egg.
Forgot to take a photo of how the runny egg yolk looked like after biting into the egg. Found this picture placed outside the shop. 
How to get there?

(1) By bus
Take Shopping Rainbow Bus ショッピングレインポー (Anticlockwise direction 反時計廻り) from bus terminal at Takamatsu JR Station and alight at Hachihonmatsu 八本松.

(2) By train. About 10 mins walk from Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi JR Station 栗林公園北口駅.


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(2) Matsushita Seimencho 松下製麺所
760-0008 香川県高松市中野町2-2
Opening hrs: 0700 - 1730 hrs; Closed on Sundays.
http://www.matsushita-seimen.jp/

Made our way to the next shop which is not too far away from Chikusei, Took some time to find this shop which was hidden in one of the small alleys. Dinning area in Matsushita Seimencho was much smaller compared to Chikusei, with only counter tables. Ordered only one bowl to share as we were still quite full from the first meal. Firm characteristic of noodles is also evident in Matsushita; felt that the broth could be a bit more flavourful (was a bit too mild for my liking). Overall, taste was ok but not mind blowing.



How to get there? 
(1) By train. About 7 mins walk from Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi JR Station 栗林公園北口駅.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Takamatsu Terminal Hotel 高松ターミナルホテル

Stayed 13.11.2014 (Thu) - 14.11.2014 (Fri)
Booked thru' Jalan.net
- Triple room = 16,200 yen/night


Highlights

First leg of this trip was to explore Kagawa Prefecture - spent one day in Takamatsu and the remaining two days in Naoshima and Shodoshima. Was searching for a hotel near the train station - the closet hotel is JR Hotel Clement Takamatsu (owned by JR Group), which is also the most expensive among all options. The established hotel chain brands such as Super Hotel and Dormy Inn are located nearer to Kawaramachi train station, about two stations away from Takamatsu Chikko (via Kotohira Electric Railroad). Found Takamatsu Terminal Hotel eventually, a reasonably priced mid scale hotel, which is located about 2 minutes walk away from the train station. Unfortunately, I could not find any rooms available in multiple hotel booking portals (including the main hotel website). Tried my luck every now and then, hoping someone would change his/her plan and give up the rooms. Just about one month before the departure date, I chanced upon the availability of a triple room in Jalan.net! Reserved the last room without further ado. 

Booked the triple room for two days. Lobby area is small and a restaurant, where we had our breakfast in, is located opposite the front desk. Front desk was manned by an mid aged lady who greeted us with smile. Hotel was willing to safe-keep our luggage during check out as we decided to travel light for an overnight stay in Shodoshima and would return to retrieve our luggage on the following day. Size of room is 18 m2, occupied by three super single beds and a small round table. All basic amenities were also well taken care of here - a common trait of most business hotels in Japan. Simple breakfast was served in the in house restaurant - salad, fruit, bread and hard boiled egg. Overall, the convenient location and reasonably priced accommodation will make this hotel a popular choice of stay in Takamatsu. 


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What's nearby?

(1) Takamatsu JR Station 高松駅, about 2 minutes walk
After exiting from Takamatsu JR Station, turn right. At the first traffic junction, the hotel can be spotted diagonally opposite. 


(2) Takamatsu Chikko Station 高松築港駅, about 2 minutes walk.
Operated by Kotoden, the terminus train station is located behind the hotel.
From Takamatsu Chikko Station (K00/S00),
- take the Kotohira line 琴平線 to Ritsurin Koen Station 栗林公園駅 (K03), to visit Ritsurin Koen.
- take the Kotohira line 琴平線 to Kawaramachi 瓦町駅 (K02/S02), the interchange station to change to Nagano line 長野線 or Shido line 志度線. The 10 storey tall building which houses the train station is also a shopping mall named Karamachi Flag, where Starbucks, ABC Mart and Daiso can be found here.

Kotoden: http://www.kotoden.co.jp/publichtm/kotoden/time/index.htm
Karamachi Flag: http://www.k-flag.jp/



(3) Takamatsu Central Shopping Mall, about 10 minutes walk.
Came to this area to search for dinner for two consecutive nights. Roads here have been converted into sheltered pedestrian walkways, lined up with shops on both sides.
- Hyogomachi 兵庫町, where you can shop for luxury goods in Mitsukoshi Departmental Store.
- Marugamemachi 丸亀町: MUJI, Daiso and Starbucks


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Takamatsu Terminal Hotel 高松ターミナルホテル
760-0021 香川県高松市西の丸10-17
http://www.webterminal.jp/

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Takamatsu JR Station 高松駅, Takamatsu Port 高松港

Bus terminal in the foreground. 
Takamatsu JR Station (Y00/T28) is the terminus station on both the Yosan and Kotoku lines.

Some of the limited express and themed trains that serve Takamatsu JR Station:

(1) to Honshu
- Limited Express Sleeper Sunrise Seto, commutes between Tokyo, Osaka, Okayama and Takamatsu.
- To Okayama Prefecture: Rapid Marine Liner, commutes between Okayama and Takamatsu via the Great Seto Bridge.

(2) to other parts of Shikoku
- To Tokushima Prefecture: Limited Express Uzushio, commutes between Takamatsu and Tokushima.
- To Kochi Prefecture: Limited Express Shimanto, commutes between Takamatsu and Kochi, Nakamura and Sukumo.
- To Ehime Prefecture: Limited Express Ishizushi, commutes between Takamatsu and Matsuyama, Uwajima.
- Yu Yu Anpanman train departs from Takamatsu for Tokushima on specific dates, once per day, typically on weekends and public holidays.
Yu Yu Anpanman train: http://www.jr-eki.com/aptrain/index.html


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What's nearby?

Takamatsu Port
(1) Takamatsu Port 高松港
Take the ferry or speed craft from here to nearby islands in the Seto Inland Sea.
- To Shodoshima 小豆島
- To Naoshima Miyanoura Port 直島宮浦港: 50 mins by ferry; 25 mins by speed craft. http://www1a.biglobe.ne.jp/shikoku/
- To Teshima 豊島: 35 mins by ferry. http://www.t-ferry.com/schedule_for_teshima/
- To Megijima 女木島 & Ogijima 男木島: 20 mins to Megijima and 40 mins to Ogijima by ferry.
https://www.city.takamatsu.kagawa.jp/2104.html

Followed the map to search for Sanuki Udon!
(2) Tourist Information Desk
Requested for a Sanuki Udon Map and inquired directions to attractions/restaurants from the helpful staff at the information desk. Despite all the research done beforehand, I still make it a point to drop by to seek advice from local on my planned itinerary.

(3) Bus Terminal バスターミナル

- Bus Stop #3 for Airport Limousine Bus to Takamatsu Airport
Took the domestic flight from Haneda to Takamatsu and utilitsed this bus to transfer from the airport to train station. Entire journey took approx 45 mins. Fee = 760 yen
Website: http://www.kotoden.co.jp/publichtm/bus/limousine/index-en.html

- Bus Stop #4 for Shopping Rainbow Bus ショッピングレインポー
This is a local community bus which serves the town center. Do take note that there are two routes - anticlockwise (反時計回り) and clockwise (時計回り) and both buses will wait at the same bus stop.
Took this bus after heeding the advice of the staff from the tourist information desk to visit a couple of Udon restaurant. This bus also stops at Mitsukoshi Departmental Store, Ritsurin Koen and Kawaramachi train station. Fee = 150 yen/210 yen (depends on the number of stops travelled)
http://www.kotoden.co.jp/publichtm/bus/rosen/community/shopping_info.html

At Takamatsu Chikko Station: Kotochan, the dolphin captain mascot of Kotoden!
(4) Takamatsu Chikko Station 高松築港駅
Operated by Kotoden, the terminus train station is about 3 mins walk away from Takamatsu JR Station.
From Takamatsu Chikko Station (K00/S00),
- take the Kotohira line 琴平線 to Ritsurin Koen Station 栗林公園駅 (K03), to visit Ritsurin Koen.
- take the Kotohira line 琴平線 to Kawaramachi 瓦町駅 (K02/S02), the interchange station to change to Nagano line 長野線 or Shido line 志度線. 



Bought a Udon Nou badge pin (from Shikoku Shop 88) and a postcard.
(5) Maritime Plaza マリタイムプラザ
Maritime Plaza is part of Sunport Takamatsu and manages shops and restaurant in the facility. Visited Shikoku Shop 88 (四国ショップ88), located on the 1st floor, a one-stop shop which sells a wide range of merchandises, both food and souvenirs, originated from all four prefectures of Shikoku. Bought a badge pin of Udon Nou うどん脳 (otherwise known as Udon brain), one of the many mascots of Kagawa Prefecture. This mascot is associated with Sanuki Udon, a specialty food of Kagawa.
Website: http://shikokushop88.com/



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Commemorative stamps: