Traditional building of the Matsuyama Dogo onsen



Located in the center of Ehime and facing the Sea of Iyo in the Seto Inland Sea, Matsuyama is the largest city and the center of administration and economy on Shikoku. On the hill in the center of the city stands Matsuyama Castle, the symbol of the town. The castle and its surrounding area as a whole constitute a historic site park.

Matsuyama Castle

6-minutes ride on a ropeway and lift takes you to the mountain top of 131-meter-high Mt. Katsuyama where the ridge has been leveled. From the terminal of the lift, there is an ascending path to the castle and its tower. The main keep of the castle is one of the only 12 original ones built in Japan during the feudal time. The first castle was constructed here in 1602 by Kato Yoshiakira, but the owner changed a few times by the order of Tokugawa Shogun. The main keep you can see today was a reconstruction by the 12th lord of Matsudaira in 1854.

If you go up the steep wooden stairway to the top floor in the castle tower, you will get a panoramic view that includes Mt. Ishizuchi and the Sea of Iyo.

Dogo Hot Spring

It is said that people started to bathe after watching a white egret curing its wound with the gushing hot water a long time ago. Dogo Hot Spring appeared in a history book written in the 8th century, so it is regarded as the oldest hot spring. Later, many Emperors and Imperial Family members visited this hot spring, and Dogo became a famous hot spring town.

In the late 19th century, a quaint wooden public hot spring building was constructed. A bathroom dedicated to only the Imperial Family was added, which is a unique place in Japan and you can visit it now. Around the public hot spring, there are many hotels. It is interesting to see that many hotel guests go to the public hot spring even though each hotel has its own one, and hotels encourage it. Therefore many people stroll around town in the evening, and shopping streets nearby are busy until late.

Ishiteji Temple


Shikoku is known as an island of pilgrimage. There are 88 Buddhist temples related to Kobodaishi, the founder of the Shingon Sect. It is said that if you visit all the 88 temples and then visit Koyasan in Wakayama Prefecture, your wish will come true. Nowadays, many people visit these temples using cars or tour buses, but about 5,000 people still go on foot like people did in the past. The total distance is more than 1,200 km and it will take 40 days if you walk 30 km per day. You can recognize the pilgrims easily because they wear white clothes.



If you go to Matsuyama from Tokyo, take Shinkansen (Bullet train) to Okayama (3.5 hours), then take the express train to Matsuyama (2.5 hours)

Area Map

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