Travel to Visit Ehime’s Castle Town, and Historical and Cultural Sites

In Ehime Prefecture which faces the Inland Sea, visitors can enjoy delicious local dishes such as Tai-meshi (rice with minced sea bream (tai)) and delicious meals made from variety of local agricultural and farm products. Because the central area of Matsuyama-shi, which is the largest city in Shikoku, is packed with department stores and shopping districts, and has the Dogo-onsen hot spring which is one of the oldest in Japan and the Matsuyama-jo castle there, visitors can pass pleasant times by shopping and sightseeing in a relatively short period in a relatively small area. Let us introduce our recommended course through which visitors can not only enjoy such features mentioned above, but also use public transportation means to visit one of the largest shopping malls in Shikoku and workshops producing Tobe-yaki potteries to fully enjoy shopping for individual travelers!

Travel to Visit Ehime’s Castle Town, and Historical and Cultural Sites

Complete Process :Four days three nights
Matsuyama Airport
Travel Time:About 30 min

BusBus:About 30 min

Matsuyama-jo Castlepic
Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Districtpic
inn Stay in Matsuyama-shi
Travel Time:About 30 min

TrainTrain:About 30 min

Walking Historic Streets in Uchikopic
“Uchiko Fresh Park KaRaRi” Roadside Stationpic
Travel Time:About 30 min

TrainTrain:About 30 min

Botchan Train *Get on the train at the JR Matsuyama Station and get off at the Komachi Station.pic
Travel Time:About 20 min

TrainTrain:About 20 min

Dogo Shopping Arcadepic
inn Dogo-onsen Hot Springpic
Travel Time:About 50 min

BusBus:About 50 min

Tobe-yaki Pottery Traditional Industrial Art Museum/ Visiting Pottery Workshopspic
Travel Time:About 40 min

BusBus:About 40 min

Uwajima Tai-meshi (rice with minced sea bream (tai))pic
Travel Time:About 15 min

TrainTrain:About 15 min

Emiful MASAKIpic
Travel Time:About 15 min

TrainTrain:About 15 min

inn Stay in Matsuyama-shi
Matsuyama Central Shopping District (Okaido, Gintengai and Matsuchika Town)pic
Travel Time:About 20 min

BusBus:About 20 min

Matsuyama Airport

map open


Introduction to Spots
Matsuyama-jo Castle
The Matsuyama-jo castle is one of the 12 ones which were built in the Edo era but still have their castle towers and are remaining, and is well known as a place famous for cherry blossoms in spring.
・Opening Times: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from February to July and from September to November, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in August, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in December and January. (Note) Visitors must enter the castle at least 30 minutes before it is closed.
・Holidays: Third Wednesday in December (for the castle’s major cleanup)
・Entrance Fees: (Matsuyama-jo Entrance Fee) JPY510 (adult); JPY150 (school children)
(Ropeway/Chair Lift) round trip: JPY510 (adult); JPY260 (school children)
One-way trip: JPY270 (adult); JPY130 (school children)
(Combined Tickets: Entrance plus Round Trip Tickets): JPY1,020 (adult); JPY410 (school children)
*Group discount for 25 people or more.
*Two preschool children per adult are free.
・Location: 1 Marunouchi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture
・TEL: 089-921-4873
Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping District
The district is located in an area starting from northern Okaido toward the Matsuyama-jo castle, and was selected as one of “GANBARU Shopping Districts 30” in 2013 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency. “GANBARU” means “to be vibrant” in Japanese. In the district, there are many stores such as a tourism and product center called “Ehime Egao-no Kanko Bussankan” which displays and sells pearls, regional Japanese sake, Japanese sweets and other local specialties in Ehime as well as provide tourism information related to Ehime. “Egao” means a “smiling face” in Japanese.
Walking Historic Streets in Uchiko
Visitors can walk streets along which elegant houses stand side by side, such as magnificent merchant houses, Japanese-style warehouses (dozo in Japanese) and Machiya (wooden house doubling as a shop at the same time) built from the late Edo era to the Meiji and Taisho periods (1850 – 1925) along an old main road.
【Uchiko-cho Visitor Information Center】
・Opening Times: 9:00 to 17:00 from April to September, and 9:00 to 16:30 from October to March
・Holidays: Thursdays, and Year-end and New Year holidays (December 29 to January 2)
・Location: 2020 Kitagun Uchiko-cho, Ehime Prefecture
・TEL: 0893-44-3790 (Japanese only)
・E-mail: (English is acceptable)
・FAX: 0893-44-3798 (English is acceptable)
“Uchiko Fresh Park KaRaRi” Roadside Station
This is a place where very fresh vegetables and fruits are brought by local farmers every morning and sold directly to consumers visiting the place. There is a sweet shop which cooks seasonal vegetables and fruits to make and sell ice creams and sherbets. Because the shop uses seasonal vegetables and fruits, visitors can enjoy different tastes every time they visit the shop.
・Opening Times: 8:00 to 18:00 from March 16 to October 31m and 8:00 to 17:00 from November 1 to March 15
・Holidays: Year-end and New Year holidays (December 30 to January 2)
・Location: 2452 Uchiko, Kitagun Uchiko-cho, Ehime Prefecture
・TEL: 0893-43-1122 (Japanese only)
・Email: (English is acceptable)
・FAX: 0893-44-5838 (English is acceptable)
Botchan Train *Get on the train at the JR Matsuyama Station and get off at the Komachi Station.
The “Botchan train” is a diesel-engine streetcar restored from an old steam locomotive operated in the Meiji period. Getting onboard the Botchan train, passengers can travel through Matsuyama’s streets to the Dogo- onsen, and watch passing views through the train’s windows, feeling as if they were back in the Meiji period.
・Business Hours: 8:59 to 16:30 (in case of train operation diagram for Saturday, Sunday and national holidays)
・Holidays: None. Everyday open
・Fees: JPY500 (adult); JPY250 (school children)
・TEL: 089-948-3323 (for Transportation Section, Iyo Railway Co. Ltd. (Iyotetsu))
Dogo Shopping Arcade
The Dogo Shopping Arcade is a roofed shopping arcade running from the Dogo-onsen Station for streetcars to the Dogo-onsen hot spring, where many stores and souvenir shops stand side by side, and is crowded with visitors even in the night. In addition to ordinary hot spring baths, there are many free footbaths nearby, and visitors can enjoy relaxed walking wearing yukata (9:00 to 22:00). Yukata is a cotton cloth mainly used for summer.
・Location: 15-23 Dogoyunomachi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture, Japan (Executive Office, Dogo Sopping Arcade Promotion Association)
・TEL: 089-931-5856
Dogo-onsen Hot Spring
Dogo-onsen is said to be one of the oldest in Japan. The hot spring has an astonishing history of 3000 years. As its symbol, the Dogo-onsen Main Hall is an elegant castle-like tower which is made of wood and three stories high, and the main hall itself is designated as one of Japan’s important cultural properties.
【Dogo-onsen Main Hall】
・ Opening Times: 6:00 to 23:00 (Entry before 22:30)
Different to each facility
・ Holidays: None
*The hall may be temporarily closed for its general cleaning for a day in early December.
・ Fees: (Tama-no-yu with 3rd floor private room): JPY1550 (adult); JPY770 (children from 2 to 11 years old)
(Tama-no-yu with 2nd floor lounge room): JPY1250 (adult): JPY620 (children from 2 to 11 years old)
(Kami-no-yu with 2nd floor lounge room): JPY840 (adult); JPY420 (school children from 2 to 11 years old)
(Kami-no-yu with no lounge room): JPY410 (adult); JPY160 (children from 2 to 11 years old)
(Admission Fee to Visit Yushin-den): JPY260 (adult); 1JPY30 (children from 6 to 11 years old)
・Location: 5-6 Dogoyunomachi, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture
・TEL: 089-921-5141
Tobe-yaki Pottery Traditional Industrial Art Museum/ Visiting Pottery Workshops
In Tobe which has been known as a pottery town since the Edo era, there are about 100 pottery workshops here and there. Visitors can enjoy relaxed walking around the town to visit pottery workshops there, finding not only traditional Tobe-yaki potteries but also modern and challenging ones. In addition, visitors can experience how to paint potteries and how to operate potter’s wheels, and can handmade their own potteries in the Tobe-yaki Pottery Traditional Industrial Art Museum.
【Tobe-yaki Pottery Traditional Industrial Art Museum】
・Opening Times: 8:30 to 17:00
・Holiday: New Year’s Day (January 1)
・Fees: Pottery painting: JPY250 yen or higher; Handwork for pottery forming (tebineri in Japanese: JPY1800; Making with a potter’s wheel: JPY3,500
・Location: 83 Miyauchi, Iyogun Tobe-cho, Ehime Prefecture
・TEL: 089-962-3900
Uwajima Tai-meshi (rice with minced sea bream (tai))
To eat Uwajima Tai-meshi, dip fresh sea bream sashimi (pieces of sliced raw fish), seaweeds and spices (yakumi in Japanese) into seasoning soy sauce mixed with a raw egg, stir and then pour them on a bowl of hot rice. When you put Tai-meshi into your mouth and chew them, you will appreciate the superb taste created by the sea bream’s distinct texture and sweetness and feel the taste spreading in your mouth.
*Many restaurants in Matsuyama-shi serve Tai-meshi to their guests.
This is one of the largest shopping malls in Shikoku where more than 200 unique shops gather, ranging from shops selling fashionable clothes to variety stores, restaurants and movie theaters. It is located in a place which is near the Koizumi Station and is very easy to access, and is crowded with shoppers from the prefecture and other places in Japan and abroad.
・Business Hours: 9:00 to 22:00 for EMI MALL and 9:00 to 21:00 for other specialty stores.
・(1st floor) Fuji GRAND Emiful MASAKI (food section): 9:00 to 22:00
(2nd floor) Fuji GRAND Emiful MASAKI (clothing/commodity section): 9:00 to 21:00
(1st floor) restaurants: 11:00 to 22:00
(2nd floor) emi kitchen (food court): 10:00 to 21:00; EMI AMUSE: 9:00 to 26:00; EMI Gourmet: 11:00 to 23:00.
*Opening hours different to each store
・Holidays: None. Every day open
・Location: 850 Tsutsui, Masaki-cho, Iyo-gun, Ehime Prefecture
Matsuyama Central Shopping District (Okaido, Gintengai and Matsuchika Town)
It is located in Matsuyama-shi’s central area, where there are various kinds of shops such as drug stores, shops selling apparel, restaurants and cafes, with department stores nearby such as Matsuyama Mitsukoshi and Iyotetsu Takashimaya. The district is crowded with old and young people every day.