|Marugame literally means "Round Turtle"|
Marugame is the town where I spent my first year in Japan. To be fair, Marugame can look a bit bleak, grey and dated: the shotengai (shopping arcade) looks completely desolate and ghost town-like, the population is mostly elderly as the younger people have fled for the big cities, and the pachinko parlours seem to outnumber the rice fields.
Yet, Marugame is full of hidden gems, which I unearthed in the course of my year there. Marugame is probably one of the most interesting places to live in Shikoku, as it boasts a beautiful castle (one of only remaining 12 castles with original wooden structure), and is famous for producing uchiwa (paper fans). Not to mention a handful of great little cafés and bars that rival the ones found in Tokyo. Marugame is also home to the Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses the works of Genichiro Inokuma and is worth a visit.
I took a long walk through Marugame, soaking in the quaintness and revisiting my favourite spots: the post office, where I sent
I used to complain a lot about living there, but I loved it so much, and I only think fondly of it now. It's so quaint and friendly, and it's my Japanese hometown. This time, I managed to lean up against a SOS button in the shotengai, which set off an alarm, and the police came. Oh, Marugame, I only have love for you.
Here is a little walking tour of where I used to live.
|Rice fields and Sanuki Fuji in the backdrop|
|Rice paddies, they are so beautiful|
|A farmer burning hay, which is seasonal|
|I'll never get tired of the rice fields, how lush are they?!|
|Marugame Post Office|
|Marugame Castle, perched high up on a hill|
|I used to go running daily around the castle|
|The shopping arcade, looking bleak|
|Many of the shops are closed|
|The best ichigo daifuku in the world|
|Rows and rows of sweets|
|I highly recommend the chocolate kind|
|The entrance of the shopping arcade.|
Don't expect Starbucks or a Top Shop....
|My favourite udon shop by the station|
|Kake udon costs only ¥200|
|Ace One, my local supermarket.|
It always smelled a bit funny, but I loved the jingle.
|That aisle greatly contributed to my survival in Marugame|
|Marugame station, no automated ticket gates.|
|This is just epic. So many memories.|
|Willie Winkie Bakery, a Shikoku chain.|
They had the best cream pan.
I once solely survived on their pizza toast for a week when I was heartbroken.
|The police station. I think the only crime in Marugame is bike theft.|
|MIMOCA- worth a visit|
|Self-portrait oblige! Marugame station.|
|The Shikoku JR lines.|
Notice how it pretty much only lines the coast.
|A Marugame-Takamatsu trip|