Naoshima and Takamatsu

After my summer trip home I was very very busy. I finished working for an English company and moved on to a new one at the beginning of October. When I changed jobs I was able to take days off during national holidays, so during a national holiday in the month of October Thomas and I decided to go on a mini-holiday to one of the prefectures adjacent to ours: Takamatsu. Takamatsu is where the head office of the company I work for now is located and is on the other side of Shikoku Island that takes us to Okayama and Honshu Island.

Art by Yayoi Kusama.

We woke up early on Saturday morning and took the express train to Takamatsu. However the train we went on splits into 2 different trains somewhere on the way and when I realized that we were on the wrong side of the train, we were crossing the bridge that takes us out of the island! So we got off at the first stop after crossing the bridge and just took the next train going the opposite way. We were not fussed up about our mistake though. We were on holidays! but we did loose some time getting back on track and thus we were late catching the ferry that would take us to the art island of Naoshima.

Naoshima is a lovely, artsy island with art scattered all around it. We had a fun time walking around and enjoying one of the last summer weekends. The thing I enjoy the most about Naoshima is its onsen. Naoshima has a very cool onsen called I Love Yu and inside there are Japanese erotic pictures inside the bath and around the shower area. I just find it fascinating to see all that Japanese art and being able to hear the men on the other side of the wall, although we can’t see them. Plus the name of the onsen is pretty cool! We went to a couple of museums and walked around the island. Thomas went into the onsen but I didn’t have enough time so I waited for him outside and had some awesome takoyaki by the port, before taking the ferry back to Takamatsu where we stayed overnight.

Takoyaki man.

We had dinner at a Spanish restaurant in downtown Takamatsu. It wasn’t great, but after living in Japan for a while now I just enjoy having non-Japanese food very now and then. After dinner we ended up at a teeny tiny bar that if I look for it again I will not be able to find it. The barman did not speak English but he was very kind and super nice.

On sunday we spent the day in Takamatsu. We rented bikes and went around the city. The main sightseeing spot in Takamatsu is Ritsurin Park. It is the largest of the registered 194 Cultural Heritage Gardens in Japan. It is absolutely beautiful with many bonsai trees, ponds filled with koi fish and arranged and maintained in a very traditional Japanese style. We walked around it, had lunch and even took a nap there. In the afternoon we took the 1.5 hour train ride home and got ready to go back to work the next day. The trip to Takamatsu was very relaxing. After a somewhat stressful summer and some big changes it was an opportunity to  be thankful that things turned around for me and that I would be able to look forward to fall and winter in a much healthier environment as far as my work and living arrangements are concerned.

Here are some pictures from our mini-weekend trip!

Thomas on the ferry ride.

Naoshima Island.

Having fun.

Found some new friends.

Ritsurin Park.