Adventure Travel Through Ehime

Experience regional activities on an action-packed five-day road trip.

Osaka frequently serves as a starting point for journeys across western Japan, and Ehime and other parts of Shikoku offer a contrast to some of the more well-traveled destinations such as Hiroshima and Kobe. Include Ehime in your itinerary to experience outdoor adventures, from the thrilling heights of Mt. Ishizuchi to the underwater wonders of the Uwakai Sea.

Fly from Osaka to Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime Prefecture, in less than 1 hour. Alternatively, take a scenic road trip through prefectures around the Seto Inland Sea.

As the largest city in Ehime, Matsuyama has a diverse array of dining and accommodation options, making it an ideal base for your adventure. Driving allows you to maximize your time, and rental cars are available at the airport and from rental agencies in the downtown area.

Day 1

  • Osaka International Airport

    50 min
  • Matsuyama International Airport

  • Dogo Onsen

    Explore the oldest hot springs in Japan

    Bathe in the soothing alkaline waters of Dogo Onsen, enjoyed by princes and emperors for over 3,000 years. Popular bathing options are the Dogo Onsen Honkan, which inspired the bathhouse in Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, and the Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, built in the style of the Asuka Period (552–645). There are also public footbaths and hot spring cafes around the town.

    Departing from Dogo Onsen, there are guided walks to Ishiteji-Temple that allow you to experience the Shikoku Pilgrimage, or “Ohenro.” Don traditional white pilgrim robes and explore Ishiteji with a guide. The temple is number 51 of 88 worship sites on the pilgrimage.

    Consider staying in Dogo Onsen to enjoy its restorative waters at leisure. The area has a range of accommodation options from traditional ryokan to large modern hotels.

Day 2

  • Matsuyama

    1 hr 10 min
  • Imabari

  • Whirlpool tour

    Experience the roiling whirlpools of the Kurashima Strait

    Travel east to the port town of Imabari and delve into the fascinating history of the Murakami Pirates at the Murakami Suigun Museum. These seafarers dominated the Seto Inland Sea during the Warring States period (1467–1573) having mastered its intense tidal currents and unpredictable waters. Afterward, take a boat tour to get a close view of these whirlpools which can reach speeds of 10 knots.

  • Forest Adventure Saijo

    Enjoy the forest from the treetops

    Following your maritime adventures, travel south to Saijo for exhilarating outdoor activities. Forest Adventure Saijo has dynamic obstacle courses integrated into the trees of Motoya Park. Traverse swaying planks as high as 18 meters above the ground and enjoy the thrill of ziplining over a row of cherry trees. There are many courses available, suitable for every level of experience.

Day 3

  • Saijo

    40 min
  • Ishizuchi Ropeway

  • Mount Ishizuchi

    A sacred mountain and the tallest peak in Western Japan

    Head for Mt Ishizuchi (1,982 m), one of the seven sacred peaks of Japan. Ishizuchi Shrine, at the top of the mountain, has spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea. There are two main hiking routes to the summit: the three-hour Joju Route includes a ropeway ride to the trailhead and sections where you can scale steep rock faces using chains; the easier Tsuchigoya Route takes about two hours and starts from Tsuchigoya Hut, accessible by car. There are lodges near the summit where you can stay to enjoy spectacular views at sunrise.

Day 4

  • Choose between a day of vigorous snow sports or a rousing round of golf depending on the season.

  • Matsuyama

    1 hr
  • Kuma Skiland

    Winter sports for all levels

    Kuma Skiland is a family-friendly resort with runs to accommodate all levels; from gentle beginner slopes to 24-degree advanced slopes. Ski and snowboard equipment and clothing are available for rent. Its relative proximity to Matsuyama makes it an easy day trip. Depending on the weather and road conditions, you may need snow chains if you plan to drive to the resort.

  • Matsuyama

    1 hr
  • Ehime Golf Club

    Discover Uchiko’s premium golf venue

    The Ehime Golf Club was established in 1975. This mountainous course has hosted several professional tournaments including the Japan PGA Championship. It has three separate courses named Prince, Queen, and King, with a total length of 10,590 yards. While it is convenient to stay overnight in Uchiko, keep an eye out for hotels around the prefecture that include course fees in special golfing packages.

Day 5

  • Your final day in Ehime brings you to the southern reaches of the prefecture. Try canyoning in Uwajima’s Nametoko Gorge or explore the waters off the coast of Ainan.

  • Matsuyama

    2 hr

    (Uchiko > Nametoko Gorge: approx. 1 hr 15 min)

  • Nametoko Gorge

  • Nametoko Canyoning

    Waterfalls and woodlands galore

    The Nametoko Gorge in southern Ehime is considered one of Japan’s top canyoning spots. Canyoning involves traversing canyons using a range of techniques including being carried by the currents of mountain streams, passing under the cascades of waterfalls, and rappelling down gorges.

  • Matsuyama

    2 hr 30 min

    (Uchiko > Ainan: approx. 1 hr 45 min)

  • Ainan

  • Glass-Bottom Boat Tour and Seabed Exploration

    Underwater views of the Uwakai Sea

    Embark on a semi-submersible boat tour departing from the town of Ainan. You’ll see tropical fish, colorful coral, and maybe even a sea turtle from the comfort of the boat’s submerged observatory deck. For more immersive experiences in the clear waters of the Uwakai Sea, consider options like scuba diving or sea walking.