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47 Prefectures from A to Y KAGAWA a b c d e f G h i j k l KAGAWA Islands and mountains embrace the arts m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 28 VIVIAN MORELLI K AGAWA may be the smallest prefecture in all of Japan, but don’t let its size fool you; not only does it offer the best udon in the country, but it also boasts unique art and temples. In order to view the picturesque shrine, Konpirasan, visitors must climb a total of 785 steep steps on Mount Zozu, located in the town of Kotohira. The journey starts with a path lined with stalls selling everything from souvenirs to handmade sweets. As you advance higher, the climb offers a spectacular view of the surroundings: lush vegetation, high mountain peaks, and the town lying at the foot of the hill. Although the main shrine isn’t part of the famous 88-temple pilgrimage, it attracts a large number of people, both tourists and local residents, who enjoy the challenge of the hike as well as the breathtaking scenery. At Kyu-Konpira-Oshibai near this shrine, the Edo Period- style kabuki performance, characterized by the use of natural light, takes place every spring. This is another aspect of Konpirasan that cannot be missed if you plan a trip to Kagawa. Kagawa Udon is the quintessential food of Kagawa - not only can you feast on portions of the delicious dish on every corner of the streets, you can also learn how to make it. The Nakano Udon School specializes in teaching visitors how to make the dish from scratch. Udon noodles are made of three simple ingredients: wheat f lour, water and salt. After mixing the calculated quantities using the hands, the mixture requires a lot of kneading, which can be tough to do. However, the enthusiastic and cheerful teachers have found a fun way to get through this stage; they get their students to dance during the kneading time.