Today I went to Ritsurin Park to see cherry blossoms. Even though it was raining, it was a wonderful time. The park is so beautiful. It's the kind of place you'd want to walk around, even if you have to put your umbrella up. There are winding paths, ducking in and out of wooded areas, as well as bridges arching over ponds with fish swimming in them. One of the reasons I came to Takamatsu was to experience the natural beauty of Japan, rather than it's intense urban centers, and I am finding just that.
My father sometimes describes these type of images as emblematic of the beginning of time. I know the feeling. When I look at these stalks in the water, I can imagine what ancient poets might have been thinking when they wrote. It was very peaceful and calm. I am going to go again next weekend, with a totally different atmosphere. It will be daytime, and I expect not a rainy day. The next time, there will be a group of about 20 people, and we'll all bring a lunch box and plenty to drink. That's the tradition, so we can all live it up and have a great time together. Ritsurin park is actually really close to my apartment, so I can go there any time. It's just $4 (400 yen) to enter, which in my view is completely worth it. If you're planning to visit Shikoku, definitely don't miss it.
Lastly, my friend and I went to Youme Town, which is a kind of shopping mall with a little bit of everything. There is a grocery store which includes foreign foods and even organic ones, which I didn't know was popular in Japan. There is also a pet store, where I saw the cutest animals. It's definitely worth a trip to Youme Town if you're in Takamatsu and are craving something other than udon shops for a change. You can get Chinese and Korean food as well.