In 1625, the feudal lord of Takamatsu (Ikoma Takatoshi) began construction of Ritsurin, specifically constructing a garden around a pond at the base of Mount Shuin (Purple Cloud Mountain). It took 250 years to complete and open to the public, but it's today one of Japan's finest gardens.
The colors were deep and vivid. There were so many shades of green: tea leaves, moss, pine needles, and new maple leaves. In fall, the red colors of the maples stand out in the hills.
Kompira Shinto Shrine on the wooded slopes of Mount Zozu. The Shrine, one of 88 shrines which have attracted pilgrims since the 1300s, is reached by climbing up 784 stone steps that wind their way through the town and up the slope past a Kubuki theater. We made it to the theater, bought a cool wooden mask, and a banner displaying the other characters, and waited for our other travelers to re-join us.
To see all of the photos taken today, click on Tuesday, Apr 10th, Takamatsu, Japan.