One of the nice things about the centre of Takamatsu is the “shotengai”, this is the word in Japanese for “shopping arcade”, a series of linked streets that are covered under a single roof. Takamatsu has an extensive area of covered shopping and it is very pleasant to walk through as it keeps you out of the blazing heat, out of the rain, out of the wind, and has its own atmosphere.
Some areas of the “shotengai” are more active than others so you will need to walk around and explore things for yourself. But, once you get underway you will find lots of restaurants, pubs, shops, convenience stores, coffee shops, drugstores, banks, clothing shops, and a few other odds and ends too. There is not so much “tourist” shopping here as this is the place where Takamatsu locals are most familiar, so it will be a place for you to immerse yourself in the local culture.
In our experience many of the shops are not unfamiliar with foreign guests so don’t be too shy to try a place that looks and smells good for dinner. You might be surprised when someone pulls out an English menu to help you make your order.
One another very cool thing about Takamatsu is that it is a very bicycle friendly city. In fact, the sidewalks have designated bicycle lanes and the “shotengai” is also (mostly) okay for cycling around. Check the signs to make sure that you are not creating havoc, especially in the more busy areas.
I found a rather excellent video of a foreign visitor to Takamatsu who kindly made a video of how to rent a bicycle. It’s easy. It’s super cheap. And it’s just a great way to enjoy seeing more of the city!
I really like this video in that we also get clear instructions how to lock and unlock the bicycle, and how to figure out the Japanese kickstand! Thanks!!
Here is another excellent video that explains. It is in Japanese, but they kindly included subtitles!