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Nature Spots in Matsuyama / Dogo Area

  • Shikoku Karst
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Prefecture/Kochi Prefecture
    Shikoku Karst is a scenic spot noted as being one of the three largest karsts (geological feature) in Japan. The karst stretches for about 25 kilometers east to west and sits at a height of 1,000 to 1,500 meters above sea level. The Shikoku Karst is also the source of the Shimanto River, said to be the last clear stream in Japan on account of there not being any dams on the river. The sight of the Tosa Red cows grazing on the land is both tranquil and beautiful.
  • Namegawa Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Touonshi Myouga
    This hinterlands valley is around 8 kilometers from the famous cherry-blossom viewing area, Sakura-Sanri, along National Route 11. Come experience the mysteries of nature in this valley and see the Namera, a river bed made from one large spacious rock that stretches almost a kilometer in length, as well as potholes formed by smaller stones caught in the whirlpools cutting into the larger boulders. A popular spot in the spring when the new verdant green leaves emerge and during the summer as a cool place to escape the heat. With amazing autumn colors in the fall and icicles stretching longer than two meters in the winter, there's something to enjoy here year-round. This valley with its mysterious rockface formed over countless years has certainly earned its reputation as a secluded natural power spot (spiritual place with energy vortex).
  • Shirai Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Touonshi Kawanouchi
    This famous waterfall has been repeatedly featured in short literary works and verses by great haiku poet s including Masaoka Shiki and Natsume Soseki. Located in Saragamine Mountain Range Prefectural Natural Park, this majestic waterfall cascades a distance of 96-meters. Parking facilities, an esplanade to the waterfall, and a viewing platform make it possible for anyone to visit. The Shirai Falls Festival is held every year on November 3rd, and with the nearby trees dyed in autumn splendor, mochi dumplings are tossed to the crowd while local produce is available for purchase. During the winter the entire falls freezes over, giving it the wondrous appearance of an ice sculpture.
  • Furuiwaya
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kamiukenagunkumakougenchou Naose
    These giant conglomerate stone spires, which towers over its surroundings and has some 20-million years of stratum, has been the nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty. The sight of 20-some strange spires ranging in height from 60 to 100 meters tall will take your breath away. The naked rock face has had countless holes carved into it by water erosion over the years, leading to it being named Furuiwaya. Known for beautiful autumn colors, tourists flock to the area when the trees start changing in early November to see the contrast between the vivid fall colors and the unyielding rock face.
  • Mt. Ishizuchi
    Travel / Tourism
    Saijo City, Ehime Pref.
    At 1,982 meters tall this sacred mountain, also called the roof of Shikoku, is the tallest mountain in west Japan. It stands over Saijo City and Kumakogen Town and from the highest point, Tengudake peak, you can of course see the Seto Inland Sea but also the mountains in the Chugoku and Kyushu regions. It is counted alongside Mt. Fuji, Mt. Tateyama, Mt. Hakusan, Mt. Shakagatake, Mt. Omine, and Mt. Daisen as one of Japan's Seven Holy Mountains. The area around Mt. Ishizuchi has been designated a quasi-national park and displays a different mysterious form every season. The four separate chained areas for climbing the mountain are a rarity nationwide. As there are detours it is safe even for beginners.
  • Mezurudaira
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kamiukenagunkumakougenchou Nishidani ・ Kohara-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi Prefecture
    One of Japan's three best karsts alongside Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi Prefecture and Hiraodai in Fukuoka Prefecture. It's located along the border to Kochi Prefecture nearly three kilometers from Jiyoshi Pass. As you leave the pass and reach the peak on this popular driving course your field of view suddenly widens and you'll find facilities such as a parking area and a camp ground. Alpine plants bloom across the flat plain during the summer and from spring to fall you'll see cattle grazing. The soft serve ice cream sold at ''Mezuruso'', marked by its peaked roof, has a reputation for being rich an addictive.
  • Godan Kogen Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kamiukenagunkumakougenchou Nishidani
    Also known as ''Heaven's Road'', this highland runs alongside Prefectural Route 383. You can walk here from Mezurudaira, located in the center of the Shikoku Karst. The peak, sometimes called Godan Castle, sits almost 1,456 meters above sea level. On clear days you can see Mt. Ishizuchi, Tosa Bay, and the Shikoku mountain range. The highland is well deserving its title as the foremost viewing spot of the Shikoku karst with the ''Karrenfeld'' exposed limestone rocks and a basin-like ''doline'' sinkhole. The road has been chosen as one of the top 100 roads of Japan with its beautiful scenery that makes you feel like you're amongst the beautiful blue sky and pure white clouds.
  • Tengu Highland
    Travel / Tourism
    Takaoka-gun, Kochi Pref.
    This highland is located in Tsuno Town, Takaoka County to the west of the Shikoku Karst that straddles the Kochi and Aichi prefectures. The area features hiking courses which allow visitors to enjoy the area's rich nature, such as the views from the 1,485 meter-high Tengu Forest and the alpine plants. Other facilities in the area include the Kogen Fureai no Ie Tenguso inn.
  • Omogo Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Kamiukenagunkumakougenchou Wakayama
    "This gorge spreads out near the foot of Mt. Ishizuchi upstream on the Niyodo River in Kochi Prefecture where the clear blue ""Niyodo blue"" has gained attention. The river that flows there is very clear, and you can see all the way to the riverbed. There are two main promenades, the main route connecting sights such as Goshiki-gawara Riverbed, Momiji-gawara Riverbed and Torigataki Falls, and the Teppo route along the quiet Teppo River. The surrounding forest has also been selected as one of the Top 100 Forested Water by the Forestry Agency, and is also known as a nationally designated scenic spot. How it looks changes in various ways depending on the season, and it is also popular as a spot for seeing colorful leaves in the autumn."
  • Shirasagi Lake
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Yuyamayanagi
    This dam lake was created through the construction of the Ishitegawa Dam in 1973, and is a precious water reservoir for Matsuyama City. It is also known as Lake Shirasagi after the symbol of Dogo Onsen downstream. There are four parks in the surrounding area. Among them, Miharashi Park, which is located overlooking the entire dam, has walkways and an observation point where you can take a walk along the water. You can enjoy watching cherry blossoms and wisteria flowers in the spring, looking at insects and playing in the river in the summer, colorful leaves in the autumn, and migratory birds such as Mandarin ducks in the winter.
  • Tobe Thrust Fault
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Iyo-gun Tobecho Ominami Iwayaguchi
    This geological fault is located along National Route 379 in Iwayaguchi, Tobe Town, Iyo County. This exposed portion of the Japan Median Tectonic Line is an example of a reverse fault. This rare type of thrust fault is notable for having the older stratum move up and over the newer stratum. The fault has also been designated as a national natural monument and the entire area has been developed into Tsukiagedanso Park (Thrust Fault Park).
  • Hojo Kashima Island
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Matsuyama-shi Hojo Tsuji
    This island is in the western part of Hojo Harbor in Hojotsuji, Matsuyama City. This small island, a few minute ride by ferry from the harbor, features a swimming beach, a campground, and an observation point. The excursion boat Ai no Koro, which travels around to the best spots for viewing the sunset, also operates here.
  • Mt. Iwaguro
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Kamiukena-gun Kumakogencho Wakayama Kochi Agawa-gun
    This is a 1,746 meter mountain that straddles the boundary between Wakayama, Kuma Kogen-cho, Kamiukena County in Ehime Prefecture and Nishinokawa, Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture and Inomachi, Agawa County, in Kochi Prefecture. It is the endpoint of the Ishizuchi Skyline Drive, and visitors can climb to the summit of Mt. Ishizuchi from the earthen hut that marks the trail head. It is a famous spot for viewing Akebono azaleas in the spring.
  • Mimidodake Rock
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Kamiukena-gun Kumakogencho Shide
    "This is a rock formation along the Omogokawa River in Kumakogen Town in Kamiukena County. Pine trees flourish on top of this limestone rock wall, 37 meters tall and 137 meters wide. Due to its shape, it is also called ""Battleship Rock.” It has been designated as a Prefectural Famous Place. Many people enjoy camping and other outdoor activities along the riverbanks in the summer."
  • Jiyoshi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Kamiukena-gun Kumakogencho Nishidani Kochi Takaoka-gun Yusuharacho
    Located on the Shikoku karst, one of Japan's three major karsts, this pass lies on the boundary between Kumakogen Town, Ehime Prefecture and Yusuhara Town, Takaoka County, Kochi Prefecture. Pot-shaped sinkholes and white limestone rocks lie scattered around this meadow landscape, giving visitors a massive view of natural beauty.
  • Misaka Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Matsuyama-shi
  • Mt.Shoji
    Travel / Tourism
  • Mt.Ishizumi
    Travel / Tourism
  • Mt.Higashisanpogamori
    Travel / Tourism
  • Mt.Takanawa
    Travel / Tourism

Ehime Main Areas


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.

Ehime Photo Album

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