Do visit Takamatsu on Shikoku Island and head straight for RITSURIN Garden. It is a one of the most beautiful gardens I have seen in Japan. My daughter, who accompanied me and has lived in Japan for 5 years, has visited 2 out of the Top 3 Gardens in Japan and can't understand why this garden is not included. It is not only the flowers that make this special but some other serene quality that makes this worthy of a visit. Perhaps it is the layout. Perhaps it is the way it is positioned against a backdrop of a steep wooded mountain. Perhaps it is because this is a traditional Japanese garden and a magnificent Crane has just come into view on the edge of the placid lake. What a photo opportunity! We visited the garden in early May. The Azaleas were just starting to blossom and only a few other varieties were out as well. Do not let this put you off. There is so much else to see including the colourful carp that congregate around the Fugan end of the lake with the Crescent Moon Bridge. We intended staying a couple of hours in the morning but by lunch time we still had more to see and we loved the atmosphere so much that we asked at the gate if we could exit and then return with food to lunch in the gardens. This wasn't a problem and we returned to spend another hour or so. The entrance cost for adults is ¥400 (approx. A$4.40). It will be the best $4.00 you ever spent!
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