Takahashi developed at the base of Matsuyama Castle into a thriving castle town of samurai, merchants and craftsmen. Some of the historic streets close to the castle have been preserved, and a few samurai and merchant houses have been restored and opened to the public. There are also temples and a few museums around town that display the local history and culture.
Note that a convenient, discounted combination ticket is available that provides tourists with admission to the castle, Raikyuji Temple and the two samurai residences for 1000 yen. For 1500 yen, a ticket is available that additionally covers the Takahashi Historical Museum and the Yamada Hokoku Museum.
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Closed: No closing days Admission: 400 yen Typical Visit Duration: 20-30 minutes
Raikyuji Temple is a temple of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen Buddhism. It once served as the residence of Kobori Enshu, a well known Edo Period garden designer and tea ceremony master, who created many famous gardens around Japan. An example of his work can be seen in Raikyuji Temple's dry garden.
Haibara Samurai Residence
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Closed: December 29 to January 3 Admission: 500 yen (also includes entry to Orii Residence) Typical Visit Duration: 10-20 minutes
This large restored samurai residence was home to the Haibara family, who were high ranked samurai during the Edo Period. Visitors can explore the residence's many tatami rooms, kitchen and toilet, and view the gardens.
Orii Samurai Residence
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Closed: December 29 to January 3 Admission: 500 yen (also includes entry to Haibara Residence) Typical Visit Duration: 10-20 minutes
This samurai residence was built about 170 years ago. Visitors can view the main building, where some lifesize dolls are arranged to reenact daily life during the Edo Period. The gardens may also be viewed from the house.
Takahashi Folk Museum
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Closed: December 29 to January 3 Admission: 400 yen Typical Visit Duration: 10-15 minutes
Located in an atmospheric Meiji Period building, the Takahashi Folk Museum is packed with nearly 3000 tools, appliances and other items and memorabilia collected over the past centuries. The second floor displays portable shrines that were used in local festivals.
Bitchu Takahashi Station and City Library
Hours: 9:00 to 21:00 Closed: Always open Admission: Free
Bitchu Takahashi Station is the main station for accessing Takahashi. Facilities at the station include the city library which is located above the station and the Takahashi bus center on street level. The attractive library has three levels which include a bookstore and a cafe. There are a variety of seats to rest and relax as well as a children's play area on the fourth level.
Getting there and around
The sights around Takahashi's old town are easily explored on foot and lie within a few minutes walk of each other and within a 10-15 minute walk from Bitchu-Takahashi Station. The Youme Town Shuttle Bus (100 yen) and Takahashi City Loop Bus (160 yen) loop through the town about once per hour.