An area of picturesque scenery where you can enjoy spectacular panoramas, abundant nature, and the charm of historic temples.
Goshikidai is located on an extensive lava plateau overhanging the Seto Inland Sea. Its name is derived from a chain of mountains with five adjoining peaks, each at an altitude of 400-500 m, which are called Konomine (Crimson Peak), Kinomine (Yellow Peak), Kuromine (Black Peak), Aomine (Blue Peak), and Shiramine (White Peak); it is said that they were named by Kukai (774-835, also known as Kobo Daishi), who was the founder of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The majority are included in the Seto Inland Sea National Park, offering splendid vistas and verdant surroundings.
Three of the temples in the area are counted among the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, and one of these, Shiromineji, is the site of the imperial tomb in which Emperor Sutoku (1119-1164. He was the 75th emperor, but later abdicated) is interred. The tale of how he was exiled here and came to a sad end became the subject of one of the stories in Ugetsu Monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain), a collection of ghost stories written during the Edo period (1603-1868).
Remains dating back to the Paleolithic era (approximately 2 million years ago) have also been unearthed here, along with stone implements made from sanukite (also known as kan-kan-ishi, or clink-clink stone), which is only found in a very limited number of places in West Japan. Sanukite makes a very clear, high-pitched, beautiful sound when struck, so it is sometimes used to make musical instruments today. Goshikidai is the area where this unusual stone is produced.
Redolent with the romantic air of antiquity, this area features an array of facilities where you can enjoy nature and history, including the Goshikidai Children's Nature Center, not to mention the Kyukamura Sanuki-Goshikidai National Park Resort Village, the Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum, and the Kagawa Prefectural Natural Science Museum. There are outstanding views from the prefectural road that crosses Goshikidai, so just a drive through the area is bound to leave you feeling refreshed.
Address: Tarumi-cho, Takamatsu City, Kagawa
Phone: 087-839-2416 (Tourist Exchange Section, Takamatsu City Office)
Directions: 25 minutes from JR Takamatsu Station (about 2 hours from Shin-Osaka Station by Shinkansen) by a Kotoden Bus bound for Yuduriha; get off at Shimokasai-Shisho-Mae bus stop. (Car) About 30 minutes from Takamatsu-Chuo Interchange on the Takamatsu Expressway.