Standing on the side of the approach to Konpira Shrine, Kanamaru-za is the oldest remaining kabuki theater in Japan, having been erected in the Edo Era, and is designated a property of national cultural significance. Every spring a kabuki performance is put on by the most famous kabuki players, and is an extremely popular event.
Grilled chicken on the bone, whole legs of chicken fried in spices, is a popular dish in Kagawa. In Marugame, Kagawa, the oldest honetsuki-dori shop opened in 1952, and has opened several branch restaurants since then. Along with these restaurants, many bars (izakaya) and grilled chicken restaurants (yakitori) offer this as an item on their menus. In total over 80 restaurants in Kagawa serve honetsuki-dori. Each restaurant uses different seasonings and grills its chicken differently, so it's fun to try various restaurants' styles.
Ninomiya Chuhachi invented a propeller-driven plane in 1894 when he was serving in the Marugame regiment in Kagawa; this was well before the Wright brothers' invention in 1903. Due to a lack of funds, however, his invention could not be put into practice.
Somen: wheat and cold water are kneaded together, then stretched out into fine, thin noodles and dried in the sun. These are the oldest form of noodles found in Japan, and it is said they have their roots in China. The noodles produced on Shodoshima island, one of the top three somen producing regions in Japan, are well known for their firm texture and distinctive flavor.
Soy Sauce: produced by fermenting boiled soybeans and wheat, soy sauce has been made in Kagawa for over 400 years. Kagawa soy sauce is famous nationally, and traditional production methods are passed down from generation to generation. Soy sauce is an indispensable condiment when eating Sanuki udon noodles.
Located at the foot of historic Mt.Yashima, Shikoku-mura is a collection of ancient buildings from all over Shikoku. Framed by the greenery of the surrounding forest, nostalgic structures such as old houses brought from all four corners of Shikoku are on display, along with a vine bridge, a traditional teahouse, storehouses and a farmers’ kabuki stage.
Many traditional arts and crafts came to Kagawa prefecture due to its position as an important gateway for maritime trade. Made with natural materials using traditional methods, these are still well loved parts of peoples’ lifestyles to this day.
In Kagawa, there is a system to recognise traditional craft products which require particularly great skill, or which have a long history. These are called “Kagawan Traditional Crafts”. By February 2006, 37 different product were recognized by the program.
Among these, Kagawa lacquerware and Marugame hand fans are also recognized as National Traditional Crafts.
Marugame Stadium can accommodate national and international competitions in sports such as soccer and rugby, as well as track and field meets. Along with being the venue of the yearly Marugame Half-Marathon, a national event, it is used by international athletes for training camps prior to the Athletics World Championships and the Olympics.
Bonsai: first created in the Edo Period 200 years ago, Kagawa's pine bonsai hold an 80% market share in Japan. Training miniature trees into beautiful shapes for the enjoyment of the observer takes great artistry. Bonsai is popular around the world, and Kagawa's bonsai is exported to the EU, the United States, Korea, Taiwan and many other countries.
Olive products: the climate of the Seto Inland Sea is warm and moderate like the Mediterranean. In 1908, olive saplings were imported from the United States and planted in three places in Japan. Of those three, the only place where the olive trees took root was Shodoshima, in the Inland Sea, and so this became the first place to produce olives in Japan. Green olives harvested in autumn are preserved in salt and eaten. Black olives, harvested in winter, are made into olive oil, which can be used in cooking, makeup and for medicines.