In the morning I rode a train to the eastern end of Takamatsu and got off close to Mt Yashima. I was there to visit an open-air museum called Shikoku Mura, which literally translates to “Shikoku Village”. Shikoku Mura is home to around 30 preserved buildings that have been transplanted there from all around the island of Shikoku, as well as some of the nearby islands in the inland sea. These buildings give visitors an idea of what life was like on Shikoku before the modern era and the museum is a convenient alternative for visitors like me who didn’t have time to go deep into the island’s interior.
The first thing I came across after entering Shikoku Mura was the vine bridge. This bridge is from the Iya Valley, which is a part of Shikoku that has many deep river gorges and remote villages that used to be only accessible by bridges like this one.
In the lake below the vine bridge was large bottle with a suitcase inside it. I’m honestly not sure what this piece of modern art was supposed to represent.
Very close to the bridge is the farmer’s kabuki theater. This theater was transplanted from Shodoshima Island and was operated by the farmers and villagers lived nearby it. Live performances are still held at the theater during the summer.
Just beyond the theater is a small village comprised of various buildings from around Shikoku. Along with homes, workshops, and storehouses, there is also a sugar cane press. Normally we don’t think of Japan when we think of sugar production but during the Edo Period this part of Japan had a few sugar mills.
Following the paths up the slope of Mt Yashima leads to some western-style buildings from the late 1800s. The lighthouse and nearby homes were designed by a British architect and come from islands in the inland sea.
Though I would have liked to spend another half hour wandering around Shikoku Mura I unfortunately was out of time because the next bus going to the top of Mt Yashima was going to arrive soon. I hurried down the slope of the mountain and though the village towards the exit, passing an ornamental waterfall along the way. There are definitely a few spots in Shikoku Mura that I wasn’t able to get to that day but hopefully at some point I’ll be able to make second visit.
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