Breakfast at home
Bus to Takamatsu station
Express train to Kotohira
Eyeglass shop to “repair” Elaine’s sunglasses
Kompira-san temple climb (dedicated to the guardian of mariners)
Kompira Udon, lunch
Kanamaru-za (oldest kabuki theater in Japan)
Train to Marugame
Uchiwa-no-minato (paper fan) museum
Wrong train to Okayama!
“Marine Liner” train to Takamatsu
Dinner at Mikayla (Italian)
Pictures: “Eye exam,” Kotohira; Ice blocks and salt-lemon candies, Kompira-san; Inner temple and view, Kompira-san; Elaine (wearing kabuki jacket) and Kanamaru-za tour guide
8:25 train from Takamatsu to Kotohira. Caught the city bus this morning so our walk from the apartment was easier. At Kotohira station I got a rice ball and tea for our morning snack and we started the journey. We had read that it was an hour hike up 700+ steps to the temple. That would only be true if you are in shape, maybe for Dan but not for me. I had to stop often. The wooden structures of the shrines and temples were beautiful and the views fantastic so there was a lot to enjoy along the way. At the temple we rested. They put out these enormous blocks of ice you can cool your hands or wet your neck towel on.. and they provide these amazing salty lemon candies which after all the sweating are the perfect refreshment -Dan will be on a quest now to find where we can purchase them. Then I continued resting while Dan went the further trek (another 30 min each way) up to the inner shrine. In my condition today the extra trip was not in my wheel house. Down the mountain then for the big reward: hand cut sanuki udon for lunch!
Udon set at Kotohira Udon included a bowl of the hot noodles with ginger, shrimp tempura and scallions on top then rice and tofu on the side. This was an excellent salt replacement since I went overboard with the soy sauce on accident. Walked 20 meters up the street to Japan’s oldest Kabuki playhouse where we stumbled into a very animated Japanese tour which was both very informational and excellent entertainment. The theater was amazing and still does shows every April. You can see every aspect: the underground “young man powered” rotating stage, the dressing rooms, etc. I could post amazing photos of all but I’ll stick to just one here… The “coat check” is for sandals!
We toured the Sake museum next to have a tasting and learn about the sake brewing process then decided we would hop an afternoon train to the town of Marugame to try to catch the paper fan museum before it closed. We just made it, even with a personal phone call from the lady at the train station info desk to the tiny museum.
It was worth the detour… The fans are like art pieces and we could view all of the steps in the process. Had we been there earlier in the day we could have made our own!
On the way back to the train we stopped at the supermarket for water and Dan found the salt lemon candy… A job well done. I will be sleeping well tonight.
Photos: Dan at the temple entrance, sandal check at Kabuki theater, fan sign at the museum in Marugame.