What to Do in Matsuyama

What to Do in Matsuyama


2018.02.19

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

What to Do in Matsuyama

With Matsuyama’s title of Shikoku’s largest city comes an equally sprawling list of things to do. While the ever popular Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen are must-visits, the city’s wholesome activities, eye-catching architecture, and continued tradition don’t stop there. An itinerary for Ehime’s prefectural capital is sure to be extensive and varied but here’s some advice on where to get started.

  • 01

    Visit Isaniwa Shrine

    Visit Isaniwa Shrine

    Visit Isaniwa Shrine

    The bold entrance to Isaniwa Shrine makes a memorable first impression. Believed to have been built over 1,000 years ago, this sizeable shrine isn’t just impressive in its appearance but has also played an integral part in the history of Matsuyama City. Originally constructed following Emperor Chuai’s visit to Dogo Onsen, the shrine was later moved to its current location and re-built by the lord Sadanaga Matsudaira in the same style as Kyoto’s venerable Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine. Entering the shrine offers no disappointment with the building stretching down long corridors between intricately decorated rooms set up for worshippers.

    Isaniwa Shrine
    place
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Sakuradanichou 173
    phone
    0899477447
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00
  • 02

    Take a walk through Dogo Park

    Take a walk through Dogo Park

    Take a walk through Dogo Park

    Centrally located just a short walk south of Dogo Onsen, Dogo Park is a verdant park rich in trees, water features, and a good dose of history. The park’s unique charm lies in its notably undulating ground which leads up a hill formerly home to Yuzuki Castle until 1585. Visitors can learn more about the history of the former castle at the Yuzukijo Museum while the Matsuyama Shiritsu Shiki Memorial Museum introduces the masses to Matsuyama-born Masaoka Shiki who was a key figure in paving the path towards modern haiku poetry.

    Yu Tsuiki Museum
    rating

    4.0

    19 Reviews
    place
    Ehime Matsuyama-shi Dogo Park
    phone
    0899411480
  • 03

    Get up high for a view over the city

    Get up high for a view over the city

    Get up high for a view over the city

    It can be hard to sense the sheer size of Shikoku island’s largest city from the streets. The best way to take in the whole picture is by climbing up to a high point, sitting back, and watching over the built up city as well as the surrounding tree-filled mountains that earned the city the name of pine mountain - the translation of Matsuyama. Sitting at a good 132 meters about the city, the number one spot for city views is the iconic Matsuyama Castle. A quieter spot from where to appreciate the city views is atop Sogo Koen with its natural surroundings and its observation deck, designed in the form of a European castle. For a less strenuous climb no need to venture out of the centre of town, just head to Dogo Park.

    Dogokoen
    place
    Ehime Pref
  • 04

    Dogo Onsen

    Dogo Onsen

    Dogo Onsen

    A list of things to do in Matsuyama wouldn’t be complete without including the city’s hugely celebrated Dogo Onsen. Believed to have been discovered over a millennium ago, Dogo Onsen is one of Japan’s oldest hot springs and said to have been visited by countless important people over the centuries. The traditional Dogo Onsen Honkan takes centre stage as the main historical bathhouse supplying the city’s natural hot spring water, however, there are myriad places to take a relaxing dip in the area as well as shopping, food, and other attractions.

    Dogo Onsen Honkan
    place
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Dougoyunomachi 5-6
    phone
    0899215141
    opening-hour
    6:00-23:00(Last entry22:30)
  • 05

    Ride the Botchan steam train

    Ride the Botchan steam train

    Ride the Botchan steam train

    With plenty of Matsuyama’s attractions keeping you on your feet it’s time to jump on the Botchan Ressha for a slice of laidback sightseeing. Originally a full-fledged steam locomotive, the Iyo Railway created the smaller, city-friendly Botchan steam train model to introduce visitors to one of Matsuyama’s traditional means of transport. Running along the web of tramlines throughout the city centre, the Botchan Ressha is an affordable and quirky way of hopping from one sight to the next including Matsuyama Station and Dogo Onsen.

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