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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Matsuyama Area

  • 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.
  • Ishite-ji Temple
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    4.0
    244 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.

    There are some unusual features to this temple, which is one of the 88 temples on the Shikoku pilgrimage path, in particular the tunnel that cuts through the mountain behind the main temple, ill-lit...

  • Matsuyama City Shiki Memorial Museum
    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.
  • Isaniwa Shrine
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    4.0
    215 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Sakuradanichou 173
    The Isaniwa Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Matsuyama City. The exact date of the shrine’s founding is unclear, but the fact that it is included in the Engishiki Jinmyocho (a list of Shinto shrines compiled in the mid-Heian era) indicates that it is a very ancient shrine that has been in existence for at least 1,000 years. The shrine buildings that the visitor sees today are the result of rebuilding in 1667 on the orders of Matsudaira Sadanaga, the local daimyo. According to tradition, the rebuilding was undertaken in gratitude for the granting of a wish that Matsudaira might hit the target consistently during a yabusame horseback archery contest in Edo Castle. The new shrine buildings were modeled on those of the Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine in Kyoto.

    A second cousin to the more popular shine it is worth walking up the long set of stairs to see the city below. This is an active shrine and you can expect to see worshipers here. Take a few...

  • Ehime Prefectual Museum of Art
    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.
  • Shikido
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    3.5
    55 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Suehiromachi 16-3
    Located on the grounds of Shosouji Temple, this is a reconstruction of the place where famous Japanese poet Masaoka Shiki lived until he was 17. There’s a recreation of his study as well, and his desk, calligraphy, and personal articles are on display. In the plaza out front, you’ll also find the “Bocchan train,” which is the oldest extant light locomotive.

    Hidden beside the larger Shoshu-ji temple, behind the main shopping district, this is a recreation of the poet Shiki's childhood home. Since the house was tiny, there is very little to see once...

  • Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum
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    4.0
    31 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Ichibanchou 3-20
    “Saka no Ue no Kumo” (Clouds above the Hill) is a novel by Ryotaro Shiba, depicting the modernization of Japan through the life stories of brothers Yoshifuru and Saneyuki Akiyama, and poet Masaoka Shiki. Many materials related to the novel as well as the three main characters are exhibited in the museum. The four-story building with a basement was designed by Tadao Ando, and is made as a space expressing “clouds above the hill”.

    ミュージアムの一階にあるカフェ。 ミニサイズの図書館が併設されていて、本を読みながらお茶ができます。 週末にしかない「オリジナルロールケーキセット」をいただきました。 ロールケーキにマロンがサイドに、雲をイメージした綿菓子が添えてあります。 飲み物は抹茶がチョイスできました。 ミュージアムそのものはそこまで混んでいないのでゆっくり見られます。 知的かつ古きを大事にしつつ新鋭的でオシャレな街のイメ...

  • Itami Juzo Museum
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Higashishi 1-6-10
    This is a museum of the Japanese leading film director, actor and essayist, Juzo Itami. The name Juzo is written as 13 in Chinese characters, so there are 13 sections in the permanent exhibition that show the variety of his works and hobbies. Also there is a café museum for visitors and a shop that sells original goods produced by the museum director, Nobuko Miyamoto. The building was designed by “Itamist” architect Yoshifumi Nakamura.

    I didn't know much about Itami Juzo before visiting but came away quite interested and wanting to watch all of his movies. The museum is well set out and very fresh and modern. Not a huge amount in...

  • Mount Kumano Yasaka-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Prefecture Matsuyama City Joruri Temple Yasaka 773
    This Shingon Sect Daigo School temple in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, is the 47th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is said that the temple was built by the order of Emperor Monmu and was built by the founder of mountain asceticism called En no Ozuno in 701. After being restored by Kobo Daishi in 815, it prospered as a dojo (hall for training) of asceticism and kept on developing until it was perished in a fire caused by war. In the temple there are many places to see such as the “Ten thousand Amida Buddha” statues in the basement, pictures drawn on the ceiling of a picture of the Sanmon (main temple gate), the “hell and paradise” Enma hall, and the stone steps that lend you a “helping hand to the nine hardships” of life. The “passing fire training” festival held on April 29 every year is a famous event.
  • Taisan-ji Temple
    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.
  • Sugazan Enmyoji Temple
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    3.5
    23 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Wakemachi 1-182
    Sugazan Enmyoji located in Waki Town, Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture is a temple of the Shingon sect Chizan school and the 53rd temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It is said that Gyoki carved the principal image of Amida Nyorai and the two side statues establishing the temple in 749, and Kobo daishi restored it later. The treasures of the temple are the oldest copper amulet in Shikoku’s sacred pilgrimage sites, which Dr. Starr, an American, found on a Shikoku pilgrimage. A Christian stone monument on the left of Daishi hall and a dragon-shaped carving on an upper-left lintel in the main hall made by Jingoro Hidari are particular must-sees.

    こちらの本堂の中には、一説には、あの名工、左甚五郎作とも言われています。長さ4m以上もの立派な龍の彫り物が安置されています。今にも動き出しそうな、躍動感あふれる」龍です。是非、見逃さず見ていただきたい作品です。

  • Bansuisou
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    4.0
    204 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.

    Like many reviewers have commented on, Bansuiso is undoubtedly a beautiful mansion. The walk up the hill is a relaxing meander through nature with a small waterfall, gazebo, cafe and well placed map...

  • Higashiyama Hantaji Temple
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    4.0
    26 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Hataderamachi 32
    The Higashiyama Hantaji Temple can be reached by taking a 25-minute bus journey from JR Matsuyama Station to the Hantaji-guchi bus stop, and then walking for around 10 minutes. The Temple, which is located on the slopes of Mt. Awaji, is the 50th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. From the Temple precincts, situated on a small plateau, there are beautiful views of Matsuyama Castle, the Matsuyama cityscape, and the Seto Inland Sea. According to tradition, the Temple was built on the order of Emperor Koken to house a statue of the Bhaisajyaguru (Medicine Buddha) that had been carved by the bodhisattva Gyoki. Ippen Shonin, the founder of the Ji-shu branch of Pure Land Buddhism, is said to have studied at the Temple as a young man. Sights that are particularly worth seeing include the small statue of Kankiten (Ganesh) donated by Tokugawa Ietsuna, which is enshrined in the Shoten-do Hall, and praying to which is said to bring success in business, as well as the paintings on the ceiling of the Kanetsuki-do bell hall.

    Found Hantaji as part of our mini-pilgrimage from temples 51 through 49. Not that easy to find as the pilgrimage winds in and out through suburban, rural, and urban environments with no sign posts...

  • Jodoji Temple
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    4.0
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Takanokomachi 1198
    About 10 minutes on foot from Kume Station. This temple belongs to the Buzan sect of Shingon Buddhism, and is the 49th temple of the Shikoku 88-temple Pilgrimage. It was founded by Memyo Shonin upon receiving an imperial request from Empress Koken during the Tenpyo-shoho period. The main object of worship here is of the Shaka Nyorai (the historical Buddha), said to be the work of Gyoki. The main hall—a designated Important Cultural Property—exhibits Muromachi period architecture, merging Japanese and Tang styles in a simple, grand way. The can’t-miss points here include the statue of Kuya Shonin (itself a Nationally-Designated Important Cultural Property), the valuable historical resources, and the graffiti on the main hall’s miniature shrine—written from Muromachi period to the Edo period.

    Took a cab here from the onsen area - about $30. This was a relatively quiet temple complex in a suburban area. If you walk up behind the temple, climbing the trail through the woods, you can get...

  • Iozan Joruriji Temple
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    4.0
    23 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.”

    境内には、仏手石、仏足石、仏手指紋などがあり、それぞれに、知恵や技能の御利益や健脚や交通安全の御利益、心身堅固、文筆達成の霊験などたくさんのご利益がいただけるようです。

  • Dogo Giyaman Glass Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Dougosagidanichou 459-1 Yamanote hand garden Place
    Located within the Yamanote Garden Place—within its collection of cafes and English gardens, you’ll find this Japanese-glass art museum. Surrounded by water, verdure, and a glimmering garden during nighttime illumination, the museum interior features a modern design and black&red motif. 300 items are on display here—the most in west Japan—from the red glass of Shinrokaku, symbolic of Dogo Onsen, giyaman glass from Edo period, faceted glass, vidro glass, and Japanese glass works from the Meiji and Taisho periods. The works that utilize the garden glass and water are also noteworthy.
  • Folk Art Iyo Kasuri Kaikan
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Kumanodai 1200
    A six-minute walk from Kinuyama Station, this historical resources museum covers “Iyo-kasuri” —one of Japan’s Top Three Kasuri—splash-pattern kimonos developed by Kana Kagiya in late Edo period to represent female sensibilities and insight. You can see displays of Iyo-kasuri tools, like spinning wheels, old items, ground loom, Imura-style warping machines, and learn about the old kasuri manufacturing process. In addition, you can also try out aizome dyeing or sakiori weaving. The shop sells Iyo kasuri crafts and a restaurant with fresh Ehime flavors.

    Worth while visit, visited with a Member of the Museum staff and given tour excellent information on how this beautiful material is made. The Museum is in a somewhat off the the beaten path, but...

  • The Ruins of Yuzukijo-Castle (Dogo Kouen Park)
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Dougokouen
    Yuzukijo-Castle was built by Kono, a powerful Iyo clan in the 1300s. Now it exists as part of Dogo Park, with the remaining castle moat and bulwarks, as well as an observation deck and Yuzukijo-Castle Museum. In 2002, it was chosen as one of Japan’s Top 100 Castles.
  • Issoan
    Travel / Tourism
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Miyuki 1-435-1
    This is the spot where famous free verse haiku poet Taneda Santoka passed away. He wrote haiku that departed from the norm of requiring a seasonal word or a strict 5-7-5 syllable pattern and spent some 300-days here in retreat, writing. The building was originally a shed used by adjoining Miyuki-ji Temple before it was converted to a living space. The area was restored in 2007 as preparation for a planned Saka no Ue no Kumo (Clouds Above the Hill) Museum. Currently the interior is only available for viewing on weekends and holidays, and you can spend a peaceful time looking through the garden while listening to guided explanations from volunteers.
  • Miurart Village Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Horiechou 1165-1
    Planned by Miura Group founder, the late Tamotsu Miura, this art museum was completed in 1998. Works of art from around the world are displayed outdoors including his own ceramic works, Miurato. At the art museum you can try glazing your own ceramic tile before seeing it fired in the impressive vigor of 1,200-degree heat. The building was designed by modern architect Itsuko Hasegawa around the design of an unequal quadrilateral shape. The deeper you explore in the building the higher the ceiling raises, giving the interior a mysterious quality.

Ehime Main 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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