History / Culture / Tour Spots in Ehime Area

  • Imabari Castle
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    4.0
    313 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Imabarishi Torichou 3-1-3 Imabari castle management office
    Imabari Castle was built in 1602 by Takatora Todo, a military commander who did well in the famous Battle of Sekigahara and consequently controlled a large territory in the province of Iyo. The castle sitting on the coast is unique in Japan with its seawater moat and entrance for ships. Most of the buildings were destroyed after the Meiji Restoration with only the inner moat and the stone wall of the castle remaining, but the castle tower and the iron gates were reconstructed after 1980 restoring the castle to its former glory. Inside the castle itself visitors will find many important artifacts on display including armor worn by the feudal lords and pictures and writings, etc.

    We visited Imabari castle after visiting many other iconic historical buildings. If you are looking for genuine history , this is not the place. If however , you are looking at insights into how such...

  • Oyamazumi Shrine
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    4.5
    244 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Imabarishi Omishimachoumiyaura 3327
    Oyamazumi Shrine is the head shrine overseeing the nationwide Yamazumi Shrine and Mishima Shrine dedicated to the god, Oyamatsumi. The shrine is located in Mishima Town, Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture. Since ancient times the shrine has been used as a place of worship for the gods of the mountains, sea and war. It has been visited by naval commanders, Japan’s first Prime Minister, Hirobumi Ito, Isoroku Yamamoto of the former Imperial Navy, as well as leaders from the Maritime Self Defense Force and the Japan Coast Guard. As well as the sacred camphor tree said to be 2,600 years old in the grounds of the shrine, visitors can also see a group of ancient trees, the oldest in Japan and designated as a National Natural Treasure. The main shrine building, worship hall and Hokyoin pagoda have been designated as national important cultural properties. There are also many important cultural properties including some national treasures stored and on display in the treasure hall.

    I was struck with awe to find such a solemn shrine on a small island in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea. It has 3 museums and 2 of them have kept a lot of historical materials including swords and...

  • Ishite-ji Temple
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    4.0
    282 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Ishite 2-9-21
    Located in the Ishite district of Matsuyama City, the Ishite-ji Temple is a Buzan sect Shingon Buddhist temple. The temple’s formal name is Kumano-san Kokuzo-in; it is the 51st temple visited on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The Ishite-ji Temple is famous for its association with Emon Saburo, a renowned early pilgrim who according to legend was reborn so that he could help restore the temple. The temple was first built in 728 by Ochino Tamazumi, the lord of Iyo Province. Initially, it was a Hosso school Buddhist temple, named the Anyo-ji Temple. However, following a visit by the monk Kukai in 813, it was transformed into a Shingon Buddhist temple. Besides the Niomon gate (a designated National Treasure), the Ishite-ji Temple also has several Important Cultural Properties, including the Hon-do (main hall) and a three-storey pagoda.

    I came in from the east side and came across lots of stone statues. It’s a bit of a mess in that end with cardboard boxes and everything looking a bit ill-kept. Lots of caves and strong smell of...

  • Bansuisou
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    4.0
    256 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Ichibanchou 3-3-7
    Bansuisou located in the southern foothills of Shiroyama around Matsuyama Castle in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture is an European-style residence with an authentic French design built in 1922 as a second house for Sadakoto Hisamatsu Earl, a descendant of a former landlord in Matsuyama Province. The marvelous building employed a design of the French renaissance style with a Mansard roof and a continuous arching balcony, and was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 2011. It was used as a gorgeous socializing place where celebrities from every walk of life gathered and royal family members who visited the prefecture stopped over. At present, it holds events and exhibitions as Ehime Prefectural Art Museum Annex.

    The villa is a very handsome building, located just below Matsuyama castle and very close to one of the main streets through town. English signage is minimal inside, but entrance is only ¥300 and the...

  • Ozu Castle
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    4.0
    115 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Ozushi Ozu 903
    This is a castle which is said to have been constructed at the end of the Kamakura period by Utsunomiya Toyofusa who entered the domain as a protector. Thereafter, the castle was restored by the castle fortification expert, Todo Takatora, and the castle town was prosperous as the center of politics and economy of the Iyo Ozu feudal clan. Due to deterioration, the castle keep was demolished in 1888, but thereafter it was restored in 2004. It is a wooden keep reconstruction which was faithfully reproduced based on historical facts. Four turrets such as the kitchen turret and the southern corner turret have been designated as an Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

    Arriving at JR Iyo-Ozu Station after spending some 6-hrs walking around nearby Uchiko, I was weary, behind schedule and it had now started a persistent drizzle. Not facing a 30-minute walk given the...

  • Uchiko-za Kabuki Theatre
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    4.5
    114 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kitagunuchikochou Uchiko 2102
    This is a two-story theatre building with a gabled and tiled roof which was built in 1916, and its wooden architectural structure is representative of Aichi Prefecture. It was temporarily remodelled into a cinema, and there were also plans to demolish the building due to its deterioration, but in 1985 due to the zeal of the townspeople, the building was restored to its original condition at the time of being initially constructed. Public performances are done making best use of such things as “hanamichi” (stage–passages), “mawari-butai” (revolving stage), “masu-seki” (box seats) and Japanese musical accompaniment behind black bamboo screen. Again it is also possible to participate in a tour of the interior of the theatre when there are no events being held.

    We spent a night in Uchiko and bought the pass to the main three attractions. This old theatre was beautifully restored. The guide used his iPad to translate basic information. Worth a trip!

  • Garyu Sanso (Mountain Villa)
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    4.5
    123 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Ozushi Ozu 411-2
    This is a mountain villa of 9,930 square meters which commands a view of the picturesque landscape around the Hiji River, the “Garyu depths”, the villa was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 2016. This is the villa which the wealthy merchant, Kouchi Torajiro constructed during the Meiji period to spend his final years; the Sukiya-zukuri style (Japanese traditional architectural style) of the building and the traditional Japanese landscape garden are wonderful. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery at your ease with green tea at “Furoan”. This site gained one star from “Michelin Green Guide Japan” in 2011, attracting attention.

    Loved the quietness and history of this old Japanese home and garden. Lovely walk around the house and garden. Staff were very helpful with imparting their knowledge and keen to answer questions.

  • Imabari City Murakami Pirate Museum
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    4.0
    84 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Imabari-shi Miyakubocho Miyakubo 1285
    This museum, located in Miyakubo Town, Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, preserves and displays artifacts related to Noshima Murakami, one of the Murakami pirates who was called “Daimyo of the seas” and who controlled Setouchi during the Sengoku, or warring states, period. The museum displays important artifacts and related works on the Noshima Murakami clan, as well as old documents, reconstructed models, and pieces unearthed during excavations. The restored Japanese armor and battle surcoat (a sleeveless campaign jacket worn over armor), said to have been actually worn, are must-see exhibits. The observation room with views overlooking the ruins of Noshima Castle, and the area where visitors can try on for themselves some armor and garments are also popular.

    I was on a tour so didnt plan on stopping here but is was so interesting. The artifacts of the museum was okay but the story and history of these pirates made the stop worthwhile. Especially if...

  • Matsuyama City Shiki Memorial Museum
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    4.0
    105 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Dougokouen 1-30
    Located roughly five minutes’ walk from Dogo Onsen Station, the Matsuyama City Shiki Memorial Museum has on display manuscripts and works by Masaoka Shiki, a leading writer of haiku poetry who was born in Matsuyama, as well as letters exchanged with Natsume Soseki and other major literary figures with whom he was friendly. The Museum provides detailed displays on the history of Dogo and Matsuyama, on the times in which Masaoka Shiki lived, and on his friendships and acquaintances. Special events are held on an occasional basis, and the Museum also functions as a community center for the local community.

    There is a 21 description audio guide for 100 yen in English as everything is in Japanese. It doesn’t cover everything but gives you a less detailed look at the exhibits. 25,000 poems and only lived...

  • Birthplace of the Akiyama Brothers
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Matsuyama-shi Kachimachi 2-3-6
    This museum is located in Kachi-machi 2-Chome, Matsuyama City. The building is a recreation of the birthplace of the Akiyama brothers Yoshifuru and Saneyuki, whose military exploits were famously depicted in Shiba Ryotaro’s historical novel “Saka no Ue no Kumo.” The museum exhibits a variety of materials related to the brothers. Bronze statues of the brothers have also been erected on the grounds.
  • Ehime Prefectural Science Museum
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Nihamashi Ojouin 2133-2
    The science museum has three permanent exhibition halls (the nature hall, the science and technology hall and the industry hall) and a huge planetarium 30 meters in diameter which has featured in the Guinness Book of Records. The centerpiece of the museum is a real dinosaur robot that moves. The museum plays host to many temporary exhibitions and hands-on events making it a great place to come for the whole family.

    I loved this museum. We took our 5 year old daughter here and spent at least 4 hours exploring the 4 levels and surroundings. The building itself is a great architectural work. There are many...

  • Matsuyama Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Marunouchi
    Matsuyama Castle is the only castle among the surviving 12 castles which now has a keep. It was selected as one of the 100 best castles of Japan in 2006. Kato Yoshiaki started the castle construction in 1602, and it is the last complete castle to have been constructed in Japan, which was completed over the longest length of time (approximately a quarter century) in Japanese architectural history. The inner citadel of the castle is located on the summit of Mt. Katsuyama at an altitude of 132 meters, while an outer citadel and a third citadel are at the base of the mountain; it is a huge castle and is counted as one of the coalition of the three largest flatland mountain castles in Japan. You can see from Mt. Ishizuchi to Iyo-nada with one sweep of the eye from the top floor of the large castle keep—that scenery is magnificent.
  • Taisan-ji Temple
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    4.0
    46 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Taisanjichou 1730
    This is a temple of the Shingon sect Chizan School in Taisanji Town, Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, and the 52nd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is said that the hall was built overnight by Manonochoja in 586. The main hall, designated as a National Treasure is the third and was constructed in 1305, and this temple is the largest of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhist sect. A Buddhist idol enshrined by the priest Gyoki and seven statues of eleven-faced Avalokitesvara are designated as Important Cultural Properties. There is a custom of making an offering of rice Shamoji spoons to the Shotokutaishi-do to have academic achievement.

    Took a few hours to get there, train part of the way, 300 yen then walked the rest. Lovely temple, if you are into the 88 trail then a must visit of course.

  • Iwayaji Temple
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    4.5
    42 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kamiukenagunkumakougenchou Nanatori 1468
    This temple belongs to the Buzan sect of Shingon Buddhism and is located in KumakogenTown in Kamiukena County, Ehime Prefecture, and it is the 45th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The hall erected to look like it is embedded in a large rock is one of the striking features of this sacred mountain site. It is said that in 815, a female deity gifted the mountains to Kukai, where he proceeded to sculpt stone and wooden statues of Acala. The wooden statue is enshrined in the main hall as the principal image. The stone statue is enshrined in a cave as a statue rarely shown to the public and is said to be the principal image for the whole mountain. The temple grounds were designated a national Places of Scenic Beauty, and the Kobo Daishi hall that was rebuilt in 1920 is a National Important Cultural Property. The “seriwari-zenjo” site where Kukai is said to have meditated is also worth visiting.

    We met a bunch of cool local Japanese henro on the way out of this temple, which made our ability to navigate the forest trail far easier without speaking any Japanese. This is a beautiful Temple...

  • Ehime Prefectual Museum of Art
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    3.5
    55 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Horinouchi
    The art museum was opened in 1998 in Horinouchi, Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture based on the themes of see, create, and learn. The museum is home to a collection of about 11,900 art works including the collection of the former Ehime Prefectural Art Museum, works of art from local artists and well known contemporary Japanese artists, as well as pieces of work from international artists such as Monet and Cézanne. The museum’s permanent collection changes about five to six times each year. Their temporary exhibitions on various themes are also very popular. There is also a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a meal or cup of tea with views of Matsuyama Castle.

    Because it was raining I decided to visit this museum. It is a beautiful and modern building close to a park and to the castle. The main collection was not available that day, but there were two very...

  • Bekku-san Nankobo
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Imabarishi Bekkuchou 3-1
    Located around seven minutes’ walk from Imabari Station, Bekku-san Nankobo is the 55th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. The Temple’s full name is Komyo-ji Kongo-in Nankobo; it is the only temple on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage route that has the character “bo” (meaning a priest’s or monk’s residence) as part of its name. The Temple was established as a Buddhist temple associated with the Oyamazumi Shinto Shrine, at which worshippers pray for the safety of people traveling by sea. The tranquil atmosphere of the Temple precincts makes it popular with both tourists and locals as a place to come and relax. The Kotohira-gu Hall and the Daishi Hall with its pyramidal roof, both of which escaped damage during bombing raids in the Second World War, are particularly worth seeing. The Temple also has calligraphic works and a bamboo hat that belonged to Kawamura Kizan (the first calligrapher to receive the Japan Art Academy Award) which were given to the Temple as offerings.

    駅から歩ける札所はありがたい。今治戦災の碑、芭蕉の句碑、深川正一郎の句碑がある。隣には別宮大山祇神社がある。

  • Kami Haga Residence and Wax Museum
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    4.5
    54 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kitagunuchikochou Uchiko 2696
    This historical building of 1894, now open as a museum, was once the residence of Kami Haga family, the main branch family of the Hon Haga family, one of the largest domestic wax producers in the country. There are ten main buildings on the grounds including the main house and annexes, and boiler room, designated as a National Important Cultural Property. Inside the residence is an exhibition space, and materials related to mokuro (Japan tallow) production and bleaching mokuro in Uchiko district are displayed.

    This wax museum was very interesting. There was some English signage which gave us enough understanding. Worth a look.

  • Sankakuji Temple
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    4.0
    28 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Shikokuchuoushi Kanadachousankakuji Instep 75
    This temple belongs to the Koyasan-Shingon sect and is located in KanadaTown in Shikokuchuo City, Ehime Prefecture, and it is the 65th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is said that the Buddhist priest Gyoki laid the foundations for the temple between 729 and 749. The principal image is an 11-faced Kanzeon statue, which is said to have been sculpted by Kukai when he visited the temple. He is also said to have sculpted a statue of Acala and constructed a triangular fire altar and taught the secret “kofuku (surrender) goma” ritual. The 11-faced Kanzeon statue is said to bring good luck, ward off evil, pregnancy, and provide safe childbirth, and many couples visit to pray to be blessed with a child. The temple grounds are also known as a famous viewing spot for wild cherry blossoms.

    四国霊場巡りで初めて行きました。車で行きましたが、道が狭くて対向車が来ないか気になりました。運転が不得手な人は苦労しそうです。横峰寺よりも厳しかったです。駐車場は200円。石段を上ると本堂と大師堂がお目見えしました、少し紅葉していました。

  • Maegamiji Temple
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Saijoushi Sunouchi Kou 1426
    This is the head temple of the Ishizuchi sect of Shingon Buddhism and is located in Sunouchiko in Saijo City, Kochi Prefecture, and it is the 64th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is located at the foot of Mt. Ishizuchi, considered one of Japan’s seven holiest mountains and a quasi-national park. En no Gyoja laid the foundations for the temple, and it was built as a complete seven-structured temple compound under orders from Emperor Kammu (781-806). The imperial family and the feudal lords of the Edo period had a deep connection, and many believers remain today. Near the summit of Mt. Ishizuchi is the Inner Maegamiji Temple, and in July, worshipers wearing white clothing ascend the mountain at the start of the mountain-climbing season.

    We are walking and using public transport to make the 88 Temple pligrimage. Today we had a slow day. We caught a train to Iyo-Himi (Station Y33, Jr Yosan Line, local train) and walked a very short...

  • Iozan Joruriji Temple
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Joururimachi 282
    Joruriji Temple is the first pilgrimage temple of the Hachikaji (eight temples) in Matsuyama City on the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage, in which it is the 46th temple. The Natural Monument, the Ibukibyakushin tree, said to be over 1,000 years old is preserved within the serene environs of the temple, under which are the engraved stone ‘Feet of Buddha.’ Located to the left of the main hall within the confines of the Torii is the Ichigan Benten, said to grant you one wish only. In front of the main hall and the Taishi statue Hall are placed wood-carved figurines of Kobo Daishi as an infant called Dakko Taishi. They are reportedly endeared as like “holding a real baby, and you somehow feel peaceful.”

    We wanted to walk a small port of the 88 temples route, and Matsuyama area is well suited for that because a number of temples are in close proximity. We started in this temple #46 and walked till...

Ehime Areas

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Stretched across the northwest corner of Shikoku island, Ehime is a nature-rich prefecture boasting beautiful coastlines and a rural center where mountains play host to 26 of the Buddhist temples that make up the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Matsuyama is home to an original post-feudal castle as well as Dogo Onsen, one of the country’s oldest natural hot springs. The northern city of Imabari marks the entrance to the Shimano Kaido, a road that crosses six spectacular bridges and several islands, forming a route between Shikoku and mainland Honshu.

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