Known as the birthplace of the Daruma Doll, Takasaki is a laid-back destination dotted with historic shrines, temples and shops. Climb the shoulders of a huge Kannon statue towering over the city, then satisfy your sweet tooth with some of Takasaki’s range of traditional treats.
Things to do in Takasaki
Start your Takasaki holiday with a visit to Byakue Kannon, a 40-metre-tall statue that’s one of the biggest in Japan. You can walk up to the top of the statue for a bird’s-eye view of the city and mountainous landscapes. If you visit in spring, you can see the 3,000 cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
Step into history at Haruna Jinja, a Shinto shrine nestled on the slopes of Mount Haruna. Dedicated to the God of Water, Fire and Agriculture, the shrine’s 700-metre scenic route takes you past historic buildings, the seven gods of good fortune and a tree that dates back 1,000 years.
Browse the city centre to purchase colourful Daruma Dolls that come in various shapes and sizes. The dolls serve as a good luck charm and represent a famous Zen monk named Bodhidharma, which involves traditions dating back 200 years.
Don’t leave Takasaki without sampling some of its local delicacies. Sold at traditional shops around town, the local favourite yaki manju is a roasted sweet bun with a sugary filling of boiled azuki beans that’s covered with soybean sauce.
Getting around Takasaki
Takasaki’s city centre is easily walkable, but to reach most attractions a bus, bicycle or car is needed. Narita Airport is 200 kilometres away and connected by train and bus services. You can reach Tokyo by train in around two hours.