Kagawa Prefecture

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Kagawa Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
   Japanese 香川県
   Rōmaji Kagawa-ken
Flag of Kagawa Prefecture.svg
Emblem of Kagawa Prefecture.svg
Map of Japan with highlight on 37 Kagawa prefecture.svg
CountryFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Region Shikoku
Island Shikoku
Capital Takamatsu
Subdivisions Districts: 5, Municipalities: 17
   Governor Keizō Hamada
  Total1,876.80 km2 (724.64 sq mi)
Area rank 47th
 (September 1, 2020) [2]
  Rank 40th
  Density510/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-37
Website www.pref.kagawa.jp
Bird Lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)
Flower Olive (Olea europaea)
TreeOlive (Olea europaea)

Kagawa Prefecture (香川県, Kagawa-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku. [3] Kagawa Prefecture has a population of 949,358 (as of 2020) [2] and is the smallest prefecture by geographic area at 1,877 square kilometres (725  sq mi ). [1] Kagawa Prefecture borders Ehime Prefecture to the southwest and Tokushima Prefecture to the south.


Takamatsu is the capital and largest city of Kagawa Prefecture, [4] with other major cities including Marugame, Mitoyo, and Kan'onji. Kagawa Prefecture is located on the Seto Inland Sea across from Okayama Prefecture on the island of Honshu, which is connected by the Great Seto Bridge. Kagawa Prefecture includes Shōdoshima, the second-largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, and the prefecture's southern land border with Tokushima Prefecture is formed by the Sanuki Mountains.


Kagawa was formerly known as Sanuki Province. [5]

For a brief period between August 1876 and December 1888, Kagawa was made a part of Ehime Prefecture. [6]

Battle of Yashima

Located in Kagawa's capital city, Takamatsu, the mountain of Yashima was the battlefield for one of the best-known struggles between the Heike and Genji clans.


Kagawa comprises the northeast corner of Shikoku, bordering Ehime Prefecture on the west and Tokushima Prefecture on the south, with a coastline on the Seto Inland Sea facing Okayama Prefecture and the Kansai. The Sanuki Mountains run along the southern border.

Kagawa is currently the smallest prefecture, by area, in Japan. Kagawa is a relatively narrow prefecture located between the mountains of Shikoku and the sea.

As of April 1, 2012, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Setonaikai National Park and Ōtaki-Ōkawa Prefectural Natural Park. [7]


Map of Kagawa Prefecture.
City Town Map of Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Map of Kagawa Prefecture.
     City     Town
Takamatsu Takamatsu200910cut.JPG
Marugame View from Marugame Castle 20170121-1.jpg
Kotohira Omotesando of Kotohira-gu16n4410.jpg

Eight cities are located in Kagawa Prefecture:

Place nameArea (km2) [1] Population (2020) [2] Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Higashikagawa, Kagawa.svg Higashikagawa 東かがわ市152.8628,305 Higashikagawa in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kanonji Kagawa.JPG Kan'onji 観音寺市117.8356,639 Kan'on in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Marugame, Kagawa.svg Marugame 丸亀市111.83109,165 Marugame in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Mitoyo, Kagawa.svg Mitoyo 三豊市222.7061,839 Mitoyo in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Sakaide, Kagawa.svg Sakaide 坂出市92.4950,577 Sakaide in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Sanuki, Kagawa.svg Sanuki さぬき市158.6346,723 Sanuki in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Takamatsu, Kagawa.svg Takamatsu (capital)高松市375.42417,814 Kagawa-takamatsu-city.svg
Flag of Zentsuji.svg Zentsūji 善通寺市39.9331,620 Zentsuji in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg


Kagawa has eight towns organized into five districts. Many were created after 1999 through mergers, as part of a national effort to reduce the number of small towns and villages. [8]

Place nameArea (km2) [1] Population (2020) [2] District [9] Map
Rōmaji Kanji
Flag of Auagawa Kagawa.svg Ayagawa 綾川町109.7522,730 Ayauta Ayagawa in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Kotohira, Kagawa.svg Kotohira 琴平町8.478,466 Nakatado Kotohira in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Manno Kagawa.JPG Mannō まんのう町194.4517,324 Nakatado Manno in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Miki, Kagawa.JPG Miki 三木町75.7826,859 Kita Miki in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Naoshima Kagawa.JPG Naoshima 直島町14.22 [lower-alpha 1] 3,026 Kagawa Naoshima in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Shodoshima Kagawa.JPG Shōdoshima 小豆島町95.5913,646 Shōzu Shodoshima in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tadotsu, Kagawa.svg Tadotsu 多度津町24.3922,813 Nakatado Tadotsu in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Tonosho, Kagawa.svg Tonoshō 土庄町74.3812,915 Shōzu Tonosho in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg
Flag of Utazu, Kagawa.svg Utazu 宇多津町8.1018,897 Ayauta Utazu in Kagawa Prefecture Ja.svg




People queuing for udon in Kagawa Sanukiudon-gyouretsu 01.JPG
People queuing for udon in Kagawa

Sanuki udon (a type of udon noodle) is the most famous local food of Kagawa Prefecture. In 2008, there were over 700 udon restaurants in this prefecture alone. [10]

Aside from udon, Kagawa is also famous for "hone-tsuki-dori", seasoned chicken thigh cooked on the bone. Originating from Marugame City, the dish has now become a popular dish in izakaya restaurants across the country.

Olives and olive-related products have also come to be recognized as Kagawa foods. As the first place in Japan to successfully cultivate olives, Kagawa has been producing olive-related products since 1908. As well as winning both domestic and international awards for the quality of its olive oil, Kagawa has also created two offshoot food brands from its olive industry - "olive beef" and "olive yellowtail". Waste organic matter from olive pressing is used as feed for cattle and the Yellowtail Amberjack. Due to the high amount of polyphenol in the olive waste, the flesh of the respective meats does not oxidize or lose colour easily.

Other local specialties include wasanbon sugar sweets, sōmen noodles and shōyu soy sauce. Rare sugar researches are thriving and have discovered mass production culture enzymes. D-tagatose 3-epimerase is an enzyme that catalyzes the reversible epimerization reaction of the 3rd carbon of ketose.





Pikara Stadium in Marugame. Marugame-sta140824-01.jpg
Pikara Stadium in Marugame.

The sports teams listed below are based in Kagawa.



Football (Soccer)


Ice Hockey


Kanamaruza Kabuki Theatre KyuKonpiraooshibai.jpg
Kanamaruza Kabuki Theatre
Benesse House, Naoshima 150505 Benesse House Museum Naoshima Kagawa pref Japan01b3s5.jpg
Benesse House, Naoshima
Manno Lake Manno Lake.jpg
Manno Lake
Sanuki Manno National Park Tulip garden.JPG
Sanuki Manno National Park
Kankakei 201211Kankakei Shodoshima Kagawa pref Japan10s4.jpg

Based on its ancient name, Sanuki, Kagawa is famous for its Sanuki udon (wheat noodles). Recent years have seen an interest in Sanuki udon across Japan[ citation needed ], and many Japanese now take day-trips to taste the many Sanuki udon restaurants in Kagawa.




Departure from Takamatsu



National Highway

  • Route 11 (Tokushima-Takamatsu-Marugame-Niihama-Maysuyama)
  • Route 30
  • Route 32 (Takamatsu-Kotohira-Kochi)
  • Route 193
  • Route 318
  • Route 319
  • Route 377
  • Route 436
  • Route 438



The novel Battle Royale by Koushun Takami was set in the fictional town of Shiroiwa ('Castle Rock') in the Kagawa Prefecture. Okishima, the fictional island on which much of the novel takes place is placed in the Seto Inland Sea. The manga also places Shiroiwa in Kagawa Prefecture, while the film moves Shiroiwa to Kanagawa Prefecture.

Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture is also the main setting of the book "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami.

Kagawa Prefecture is also the setting of the anime Poco's Udon World, My Bride is a Mermaid , and Yuki Yuna is a Hero.

In the asymmetrical horror video game, Dead by Daylight, The Spirit, also known as Rin Yamaoka, lives here.

Tonosho Town is the setting of the manga and anime Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san (Teasing Master Takagi-san). Native creator Sōichirō Yamamoto was also raised in Tonosho Town.


  1. 1 2 Estimate. Part of boundary between Okayama and Kagawa is undefined. [1]

Related Research Articles

Shikoku Island and region of Japan

Shikoku is one of the five main islands of Japan. Shikoku is the second-smallest main island after Okinawa. It is 225 km or 139.8 mi long and between 50 and 150 km or 31.1 and 93.2 mi wide. It has a population of 3.8 million. It is south of Honshu and northeast of Kyushu. Shikoku's ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima (伊予之二名島), Iyo-shima (伊予島), and Futana-shima (二名島), and its current name refers to the four former provinces that made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo.

Ehime Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Ehime Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku. Ehime Prefecture has a population of 1,342,011 and has a geographic area of 5,676 km2. Ehime Prefecture borders Kagawa Prefecture to the northeast, Tokushima Prefecture to the east, and Kōchi Prefecture to the southeast.

Seto Inland Sea Japanese Inland Sea

The Seto Inland Sea, sometimes shortened to the Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū, three of the four main islands of Japan. It serves as a waterway connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan. It connects to Osaka Bay and provides a sea transport link to industrial centers in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kobe. Before the construction of the San'yō Main Line, it was the main transportation link between Kansai and Kyūshū.

Sanuki Province Former province of Japan

Sanuki Province was an historical province of Japan on the island of Shikoku, with the same boundaries as modern Kagawa Prefecture. It was sometimes called Sanshū (讃州).

Tonoshō, Kagawa Town in Shikoku, Japan

Tonoshō is a town and port in Shōzu District, Kagawa, Japan, with a population of 12,915. The town lies on the west coast of the island of Shōdoshima—the second-largest island in the Seto Inland Sea—and it is the main passenger access for the island. First settled around the 8th century, the town center grew into a complex maze of streets during the war-torn Muromachi period (1336–1573) to inhibit enemy forces. The town was officially incorporated in 1898, and today sesame oil, olives, sōmen noodles, fishing and tourism are important industries.

Mannō, Kagawa Town in Shikoku, Japan

Mannō is a town located in Nakatado District, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. As of September 2011, the town has an estimated population of 19,933. The total area is 194.33 km².

Great Seto Bridge Major bridge connecting Honshū and Shikoku

The Great Seto Bridge or Seto Ohashi Bridge is a series of double deck bridges connecting Okayama and Kagawa prefectures in Japan across a series of five small islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Built over the period 1978–88, it is one of the three routes of the Honshū–Shikoku Bridge Project connecting Honshū and Shikoku islands and the only one to carry rail traffic. The total length is 13.1 kilometers (8.1 mi), and the longest span, the Minami Bisan-Seto Bridge, is 1,100 m (3,600 ft).


Shōdoshima or Shōdo Island is an island located in the Inland Sea of Japan. The name means "Island of Small Beans". There are two towns on the island: Tonoshō and Shōdoshima, composing the district of Shōzu.

Setonaikai National Park

Setonaikai National Park is a national park comprising areas of Japan's Inland Sea and of ten bordering prefectures. Designated a national park in 1934, it has since been expanded several times. It contains about 3,000 islands, known as the Setouchi Islands, including the well-known Itsukushima. As the park is formed of many non-contiguous areas and covers a tiny proportion of the Inland Sea's total extent, control and protection is problematic, with much of the wider area heavily industrialized.

Japan National Route 11

National Route 11 is a Japanese highway on the island of Shikoku. The most important artery in Shikoku, it originates at the intersection with Routes 28, 55 and 195 in the prefectural capital of Tokushima and terminates at the intersection with Routes 33, 56, 317, 379, 440 and 494 in Matsuyama. Between the terminals, it passes through Naruto and Takamatsu, as well as other regional population centers. Route 11 measures 239.4 km in length.

Yosan Line Railway line in Japan

The Yosan Line is the principal railway line on the island of Shikoku in Japan, connecting the major cities of Shikoku, and via the Honshi-Bisan Line, with Honshu. It is operated by the Shikoku Railway Company, and is aligned approximately parallel with the Inland Sea coast, connecting the prefectural capitals of Takamatsu and Matsuyama and continuing on to Uwajima. The name of the line comes from Iyo () and Sanuki (), the old names of Ehime and Kagawa, respectively.

Takamatsu, Kagawa Core city in Shikoku, Japan

Takamatsu is a city located in central Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan, and is the capital city of the prefectural government. It is designated a core city by the Japanese Government. It is a port city located on the Seto Inland Sea, and is the closest port to Honshu from Shikoku island. For this reason, it flourished under the daimyō as a castle town in the fiefdom of Takamatsu, during the Edo period. Takamatsu is a city with a large concentration of nationwide companies' branch offices, which play a large role in its economy, and it contains most of the national government's branch offices for Shikoku. The castle tower formerly used as the symbol of the city was destroyed during the Meiji period. In 2004, construction of the Symbol Tower, the new symbol of Takamatsu, was completed. The Symbol Tower is located in the Sunport area of the city. The Symbol Tower is the tallest building in Takamatsu, and is right next to another tall building The JR Clement Hotel, which is also part of the Sunport complex.

Dosan Line Railway line in Japan

Dosan Line is a railway line in Shikoku, Japan, operated by the Shikoku Railway Company. It connects Tadotsu Station in Tadotsu, Kagawa, and Kubokawa Station in Shimanto, Kōchi. The line links the city of Kōchi with northern Shikoku and the island of Honshū via the Seto-Ōhashi Line. The first section of the line between Tadotsu and Kotohira opened in 1889, Kochi was connected to the northern section of the line in 1935, and the western extension of the line was completed in 1951. The name of the line comes from "Tosa" () and "Sanuki" (), the old provincial names of present-day Kōchi Prefecture and Kagawa Prefecture, respectively.

Shikoku Kōsoku Bus Co., Ltd. is a bus company in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. The company operates only expressway route buses.

Japan National Route 32 Road in Japan

National Route 32 is a national highway connecting Takamatsu and Kōchi in Japan.

Kamogawa Station Railway station in Sakaide, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan

Kamogawa Station is a railway station on the Yosan Line in Sakaide, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by JR Shikoku and has the station number "Y06".

The Kagawa Museum

The Kagawa Museum is a prefectural museum in Takamatsu, Japan, dedicated to the history and art of Kagawa Prefecture. The museum opened in 2008, consolidating the three institutions of the Kagawa Prefectural Cultural Hall ; Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum ; and Kagawa History Museum ; the first two institutions now operate as annexes of The Kagawa Museum.

Kagawa Prefectural Kikaku park

Kagawa Prefectural Kikaku park, Kagawa prefectural park located in the Nagao-Myō Sanuki Kagawa Prefecture in Japan. Specified date prefectural park on June 1, 1949.

Doki River

The Doki River is a Japanese stream that begins in the town of Mannō within the Sanuki Mountains and ends in the city of Marugame. It is the only Class A river within Kagawa Prefecture. The river was named after Doki Village, which is presently known as the Doki vicinity or neighborhood within Marugame. Doki Village was located at the source of the river, and clay from there used to be made into earthenware goods. The central portion or the river is called haraikawa (祓川), which is a river in which worshippers purify themselves before praying. The population around the river basin is around 35,000 people.


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  10. "Kagawa 香川". Zipango. 2017.

Coordinates: 34°16′N133°57′E / 34.267°N 133.950°E / 34.267; 133.950