Since we were so close, we decided to make a quick trip to the island of Shikoku. Takamatsu was the natural choice because it wasn’t too far over the bridge and was along to main train lines.
After doing a little investigation we found out that they have a wonderful bike rental program run by the city. There is an underground bicycle parking lot, like most other train stations, were people can park their bikes, but this station also rents bikes at the rate of ¥100 per 24 hours!
Once we picked out our bikes, one black and one orange, we made our way out of the garage and onto the streets. We had a map with some suggested routes we got from the ladies at the information center.
We hit the seaside boardwalk area, then, of course, the castle. We dodged pedestrians, cars and other cyclists through the streets and sidewalks while taking in the city. By this time it had begun to sprinkle a little so we thought the garden, Ritsurin Park, would be a good spot to rest while the storm passed.
After entering we were offered to borrow an umbrella from the extras that we assumed people may have forgotten and left behind since there we all styles and colors available. Very handy, as the rain picked up steadily.
Our stroll took us through lovely and perfectly laid out landscaping which was originally planned around the 1570’s. Several lords put their own touch on the park but none more that the Matsudaira clan. After being taken over by Matsudaira Yorishige in 1642 the property was finally completed by the fifth successive lord, Matsudaira Yoritaka just over 100 years later in 1745. The park served as a private villa estate of the Matsudaira family for 228 years until the Meiji Restoration. In 1871 the estate because the property of the Meiji government and in 1875 became open to the public and has been so ever since.
By the time we circled the park, the rain seemed as though it was never going to let up, so we made the decision to call off the biking. Luckily the city rental program allows you to leave the bike at any other train station around town.
Doing our best to keep dry, which was a wasted effort, we pedaled as fast as we could to the nearest station. Checking our bikes in was a breeze and we walked to the platform. Once we sat down on the train we had a quick laugh as we were soaked to the bone but he had an hour and a half ride to dry out.
There are photos from Takamatsu in the Okayama album. See the previous post for the direct link.