A port city on Japan's Shikoku Island, Takamatsu sits in the Kagawa Prefecture and is a designated core city perched on the Seto Inland Sea. The closet port to Honshu, it flourished under feudal lords during the Edo period when it was the political and economic heart of the region. Officially founded in 1890, today the city has a large concentration of nationwide companies' branch offices that play a big role in its economy and the city is home to numerous universities giving the city a youthful vibe. Its tallest building is The Symbol Tower that was completed in 2004, which replaced the castle tower that was the symbol of the city during the Meiji period. Known for its sprawling Ritsurin Garden dressed in koi ponds, pine forests and landscaped hills, you can even pop into its teahouse for time-out. Perched on Mount Yashima you will have panoramic views over the sea from the temple and there is an open-air museum of historical buildings in Shikoku Village. With a population of 420,748 souls meandering its streets, you will have plenty of locals to chat to in a cafe or in a coworking space if you are into sharing your innovative ideas.
Japan is changing its view on entrepreneurship and its tech savvy youth are not afraid of the stigma of failure any more, thanks to the media hype surrounding startups. The success of e-commerce and Internet gurus such as Mixi and Mercari has become role models and mentors for a new breed of entrepreneurs. Many successful founders are now investing in new companies and young people are becoming more attracted to what the startup world can offer, such as freedom in the way you work. Government incentives for startups are bolstering the scene and there is plenty of private funding happening. Japanese startups tend to focus on the domestic market due to the language barrier, which is actually the world's 3rd biggest market. Foreign competitors have trouble attempting to infiltrate the Japanese market, as it's relatively closed off to outsiders.
Coworking venues are awash in local innovative tech gurus who collaborate and connect by the day and indulge in a little bit of sake at night.
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