Discover both the city of Matsuyama and historic and wild southern Ehime
Take in the highlights of Matsuyama city before travelling on further to the historic towns of Uchiko and Ozu. An overnight stay in Uchiko is another great option for visitors as the town offers traditional Japanese houses for accommodation among its iconic white and cream walled townhouses. “Uwajima Taimeshi” (sea bream rice) is a local specialty of southern Ehime. Originally created by fishermen, the taimeshi with fresh sea bream sashimi melts in the mouth and is only served in this region. Don’t miss it! 
START
JR Matsuyama Station
↓Approx. 25 min by tram
1

Dogo Onsen Honkan

A famous Onsen with 3,000 years of history
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
  • Dogo Onsen Honkan
Dogo Onsen Honkan is thought to be the oldest hot spring in Japan. It is mentioned in the ancient texts of the Kojiki and Manyoshu. The main building, a three-story castle-style wooden structure, has been designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan. This bathhouse is an iconic feature of Matsuyama in the novel “Botchan” and many other masterpieces of literature and film. After enjoying the smooth hot spring water, visitors can put on a Yukata robe and stroll around the culture rich local streets to experience the spirit of this Onsen town. A new annex building, “Asuka-no-Yu”, wich adopts the architectural style of the 6th to 8th centuries, was opened in September 2017.
Approx. 25 min by tram
Approx. 30 min by JR
Approx. 15 min on foot
2

Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas

A townscape graced with rows of traditional buildings
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
  • Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas
The old streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku areas are lined with merchant houses, warehouses, and private residences from the late Edo, Meiji and Taisho periods. The areas are designated as ‘Important Preservation Districts’ thanks to the array of traditional local architecture on display. Enjoy rambling through the town with a pleasant breeze at your back while appreciating the continued lifestyles of the local residents. Unique and creative decorations can be seen on each building in this old-fashioned neighbourhood.
Approx. 10 min on foot
3

Uchiko-Za

A historical Kabuki theatre with lifelong fans
  • Uchiko-Za
  • Uchiko-Za
  • Uchiko-Za
  • Uchiko-Za
  • Uchiko-Za
This theatre has been a centre of amusement for people in Uchiko from the Taisho period. The old building was saved from demolition and restored by dedicated local residents and today has become a versatile and well-used local venue. The inside of the theatre and backstage area can be explored on the days when there are no performances. Experience the life of a star actor standing on the main stage or Hanamichi (platforms running behind and through the audience) or have a seat in the Masu-seki (box seats) and appreciate the history of this prosperous theatre.
Approx. 10 min on foot
Approx. 10 min by JR
Approx. 10 min by taxi
4

Garyu Sanso

Get in touch with traditional Wabi-sabi aesthetics
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
  • Garyu Sanso
Located on a scenic bend of the Hijikawa River, Garyu Sanso features the architectural style of the Sukiya-zukuri (a type of traditional tea house) and is known as the “Katsura Rikyu of Ozu”. The building abounds in sumptuous designs throughout. The great architect Kisho Kurokawa summed it up when he said, “Garyu Sanso is every bit as good as Katsura Rikyu. I would be willing to fall into debt to take ownership of it!” The building is an architectural masterpiece combining Japanese elegance and the beauty of ancient times. Come and let the fresh air cleanse your mind and escape from the everyday in these peaceful surroundings!
Approx. 10 min by taxi
5

Ozu Castle

The symbol of Ozu, recently reopened after a major reconstruction
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
  • Ozu Castle
An enthusiastic campaign by the citizens of Ozu led to the reconstruction of Ozu Castle more than 100 years after the destruction of the main tower. The four-storey, four-layer castle keep was accurately reconstructed thanks to well-kept documents dating back to the Edo period. One of very few Japanese castles reconstructed with wood, all the timber used was gathered from the surrounding country making the castle an important cultural treasure. The interior includes a mezzanine with displays of documents, panels and dioramas showing how the original castle was built along with details on the fascinating history of Ozu and Ozu castle.
Approx. 10 min by taxi
Approx. 25 min by JR
Approx. 5 min on foot
6

Townscape of Unomachi in Uwacho

A townscape of timeless charms
  • Townscape of Unomachi in Uwacho
  • Townscape of Unomachi in Uwacho
  • Townscape of Unomachi in Uwacho
  • Townscape of Unomachi in Uwacho
The traditional town of Unomachi once prospered as a post station under the Uwajima Clan. The streets are lined with white-walled buildings with lattice windows dating from the mid-Edo to the early Showa periods and now designated as “Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings”. The passage of time can be seen in the combination of western-style buildings such as houses with arched windows and a red-roofed church among the more traditional Japanese buildings. Visitors can get a feel for the town as it used to be while strolling along streets where long-established hotels, sake breweries and soy sauce shops from the Edo and the Meiji periods are still in business today, full of both local customers and tourists.
Approx. 5 min on foot
Approx. 20 min by JR
Approx. 15 min on foot
7

Mon Pearl Shinju Kaikan (Uwajima Meisanhin Centre)

The eternal brilliance of Uwajima Pearl
  • Mon Pearl Shinju Kaikan (Uwajima Meisanhin Centre)
  • Mon Pearl Shinju Kaikan (Uwajima Meisanhin Centre)
  • Mon Pearl Shinju Kaikan (Uwajima Meisanhin Centre)
  • Mon Pearl Shinju Kaikan (Uwajima Meisanhin Centre)
The Mon Pearl Shinju Kaikan has a variety of items from pearl accessories to traditional local products. You can try your hand at making your own original pearl jewellery such as necklaces, bracelets or a mobile phone charm under the supervision of the local experts. Or bring along a keepsake and redesign it into a piece of jewellery. The adjoining Highway Restaurant Uwajima serves exquisite local dishes and is well worth a visit!
Approx. 15 min on foot
Approx. 6 min by JR
Approx. 15 min on foot
8

Michi-no-Eki Minato Oasis Uwajima Kisaiya Hiroba

A “Michi-no-Eki” with the full taste of Uwajima
  • Michi-no-Eki Minato Oasis Uwajima Kisaiya Hiroba
  • Michi-no-Eki Minato Oasis Uwajima Kisaiya Hiroba
  • Michi-no-Eki Minato Oasis Uwajima Kisaiya Hiroba
  • Michi-no-Eki Minato Oasis Uwajima Kisaiya Hiroba
  • Michi-no-Eki Minato Oasis Uwajima Kisaiya Hiroba
This roadside station provides a wide selection of farm produce including citrus fruits, fresh fish caught in the Uwa Sea, and local products such as Uwajima Jyakoten (fried surimi). You can try the local specialty “Uwajima Taimeshi” (sea bream rice) in the food court. There is also a branch of the famous “Royce” chocolatier from Hokkaido offering over 50 varieties of products all year round. This is the only location that their products are available throughout the year in western Japan!
Approx. 15 min on foot
9

Uwajima Castle

An excellently-designed strong fortress facing Uwajima Bay
  • Uwajima Castle
  • Uwajima Castle
  • Uwajima Castle
  • Uwajima Castle
Uwajima Castle, along with Matsuyama Castle, is one of Japan’s twelve originally surviving castles. Once a strong fortress facing Uwajima Bay, the castle is enclosed within an irregular pentagon-shaped land area. The castle was built by Takatora Todo, a feudal lord known for his excellence in castle design. With steep flights of stone steps along its enormous stone walls, the three-storey, triple-layer castle tower stands prominently on a hill top. Inside the castle, you can enjoy the wooden interiors along with views of Uwajima city and Uwajima Bay in the distance.
Approx. 15 min on foot
10

Tenshaen Garden

A visually stunning garden with links to the Date clan
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
  • Tenshaen Garden
The Tenshaen Garden was built for the retirement of Munetada Date, the seventh feudal lord of the Uwajma domain. It was named after a Kanshi (Japanese poetry written in Chinese) by Masamune Date, describing the ideal way to live out a life of retirement. The garden delights visitors with seasonal flowers. A particular must-see is the arched bridge lined with white wisteria trellises known as the “ascending wisterias”. Another feature of the garden is the many varieties of bamboo surrounding a pond, associated with the “sparrow and bamboo” crest of the Date clan.
Approx. 30 min by taxi
11

Nanraku-en Garden

Enjoy the natural surroundings of the largest Japanese garden in Shikoku!
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
  • Nanraku-en Garden
Nanraku-en is the largest Japanese garden in Shikoku, over four times as large as the Hanshin Koshien baseball stadium. The garden was created using the pre-eminent techniques of modern garden design. Designated as one of the “Best 100 Urban Parks in Japan”, the garden presents beautiful scenery based on the themes of “mountain, village, city, and the sea”. Come and experience the beauty of Japanese nature through each of the four distinctive seasons. The 30,000 irises in bloom around May are a particular visitor favourite!
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