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Takahashi 高梁

Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle (© nameyasu - Fotolia.com)
Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle

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Situated on the river of the same name, Takahashi is home to one of Japan's 12 original castles, Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle. The town is also renowned for the beautiful Zen gardens of the Raikyū-ji Temple, and has retained some traditional districts with white samurai and merchant houses.

Takahashi lies 50km north of Kurashiki and Okayama, it makes a good day trip from either.


Raikyū-ji Temple 頼久寺

Raikyū-ji Temple (open 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, entry ¥300) was founded in 1339, under the rule of shōgun Ashikaga Takauji, and was then named Ankoku-ji Temple. The Zen gardens were laid in 1604 by the famous master designer Kobori Enshu, and use the nearby Mount Atago as borrowed scenery. It is located 1km north of Bitchū-Matsuyama Station.

Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle 備中松山城

Bitchū-Matsuyama Castle is the oldest of the 12 original castles surviving in Japan. It dates back to 1240, a period when castles were still built on the top of mountains rather than in plains surrounded by a moat. Because of this it is also the highest castle in Japan (430m), which does not facilitate its access.

The castle lies about 3km north of Bitchū-Matsuyama Station, and there is no public transport going there, so you will need to hike or take a taxi. The castle is open everyday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (until 4:00pm from October to March), and admission costs ¥300.

Samurai houses, Takahashi
Enshu Garden, Raikyu-ji, Takahashi
Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle, Takahashi

Other attractions

  • Takahashi Samurai House Museum (高梁市武家屋敷館, open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, ¥300)
  • Takahashi Merchant House Museum (高梁市商家資料館池上邸, open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, ¥300)
  • Local History Museum (郷土資料館, open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm)

How to get there

The train station for Takahashi is Bitchu-Takahashi on the Hakubi-line. The easiest way to get there is from Kurashiki (35min, ¥570).

The nearest airports is in Okayama.

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