Ehime Prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku. Prefectural capital is Matsuyama with a population of around 516,400 people. The city is best known for its castle and Dogo Onsen, one of Japan's oldest hot springs.
Some of the most visited sightseeing spots in Ehime.
Matsuyama Castle is one of Japan's twelve original castles, castles which have survived the post-feudal era since 1868 intact. It is also one of the most complex and interesting castles in the country. It is located on Mount Katsuyama, a steep hill in the city center that provides visitors with a bird's eye view of Matsuyama and the Seto Inland Sea. There are about 200 cherry trees on the castle grounds, making this a lovely cherry blossom spot typically around late March to early April each year.
Matsuyama Castle was constructed between 1602 and 1628. In 1635, the castle got assigned to a branch of the Matsudaira family, relatives of the nation ruling Tokugawa, and it remained in their hands until the end of the feudal era. The current three storied castle tower was constructed in 1820 after the original five storied one had been destroyed by lightning.
Matsuyama Castle stands on a steep hill and can be accessed by ropeway or chairlift. The closest tram stop to the ropeway and chairlift station is "Okaido" from where the castle is a five minute walk to the lower ropeway station. Okaido can be reached by tram line 5 from JR Matsuyama Station or by tram line 2 or 3 from Matsuyama-shi Station.
Dogo Onsen is one of Japan's oldest and most famous hot springs, located to the east of central Matsuyama. The area is popular with tourists for its beautiful bath house and many ryokan. Dogo Onsen has also been a frequent destination for Japan's most prestigious guests, the Imperial Family. The main attraction in Dogo Onsen is the Dogo Onsen Honkan, a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse, dating from 1894. The interior of the Honkan is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms, all of which bustle with bathers and staff. It is said to have served as inspiration for Miyazaki's popular animated film Spirited Away.
Dogo Onsen Honkan is a four minute walk from Dogo Onsen Station, the terminus of three tram lines. From JR Matsuyama Station, take tram line 5. From Matsuyama-shi Station, take tram line 3.