Amazing Seasons, Life and Culture

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Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Japan. It is one of the oldest hot springs in the country = Shutterstock

Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Japan. It is one of the oldest hot springs in the country = Shutterstock

Ehime Prefecture! Best Attractions and Things to do

Ehime prefecture is a large area spreading northwest of Shikoku Island. Many old Japanese are left here. In Matsuyama City, the center of this area, you can enjoy bathing in an amazing hot spring facility. There is also Matsuyama castle where old wooden buildings remain in Matsuyama. Go south of this area, you can watch the wild mountains and the ocean.

Seto Inland Sea in Japan = Shutterstock 1
Photos: The calm Seto Inland Sea

The Seto Inland Sea is the  calm sea separating Honshu from Shikoku. Besides the world heritage site Miyajima, there are many beautiful areas here. Why don't you plan your trip around the Seto Inland Sea? On the Honshu side, please refer to the following article. Shikoku side please refer to the ...

Outline of Ehime

Map of Ehime

Map of Ehime


Ehime Prefecture is situated in the northwestern portion of Shikoku. The climate is mild and warm, and it is rich in the nature. It is surrounded by Seto Inland Sea, and Shikoku Mountains Range.

Ehime prefecture is divided into three areas. The eastern side is the temperate area facing the Seto Inland Sea. Here is the "Shimanemi Kaido" bridge connecting Okayama Prefecture on the other side of the Seto Inland Sea. A road for bicycles is maintained at this bridge. From this bridge you will be able to see the peaceful Seto Inland Sea.

The central part of Ehime prefecture is the area centered around Matsuyama city. There are many famous sights such as Matsuyama castle and Dogo Onsen here.

Finally, in the southwestern part of Ehime prefecture, old Japanese countryside is left. Nature is rich, and the sea is also beautiful.



Ehime Prefecture has Matsuyama Airport. This airport is located 6 kilometers west from the center of Matsuyama city. At this airport, scheduled flights are operated with the following airports.

International flights

Seoul / Incheon
Shanghai / Pudong

Domestic flights

Sapporo / Shin Chitose
Tokyo / Haneda
Tokyo / Narita
Nagoya / Chubu
Osaka / Itami
Osaka / Kansai
Okinawa / Naha

From Matsuyama Airport to JR Matsuyama Station, it takes 15 minutes by direct bus. It is 40 minutes to Dogo Onsen.


Shinkansen is not running in Ehime prefecture. Between the major cities in Ehime Prefecture, regular rail services are operated.

JR Shikoku is running Yosan line. Yodo line, Uchiko line. Besides this, there is a private railway 'Iyo Railway' (Iyotetsu). This railroad company operates Gunchu line, Takamaha line, Yokogawara line. Iyotetsu also operates trams in Matsuyama city.


Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle in early spring = shutterstock

Matsuyama Castle in early spring = shutterstock

Matsuyama City has Matsuyama Castle. This castle was built in the 17th century. Many castles were burned down due to fire, etc. However, Matsuyama castle has old wooden buildings left as it is. So, there is force.

On the top of the mountain with an altitude of 132 meters, there is a three-story castle tower. This building was also left as it was when it was built in the 17th century.

I introduced Matsuyama Castle in an article about Japanese castles. If you are interested, please drop in at the following article.

>> For details of Matsuyama Castle please see this article


Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen Station with a retro atmosphere, Matsuyama City, Japan = shutterstock

Dogo Onsen Station with a retro atmosphere, Matsuyama City, Japan = shutterstock

Have you ever seen Hayao MIYAZAKI's animated movie "Spirited Away" (1999)?

It is said that the old wooden public bathhouse that appeared in that movie was drawn with reference to the "Dogo Onsen Honkan (Main Bldg)" in Ehime Prefecture. It is the building which is seen in the top picture of this page.

"Dogo Onsen Honkan" consists of several old wooden buildings. The oldest three-story wooden building "Kamino-yu" (building area 193.31 square meters) was built in 1894. This building also appeared in the novel "BOTCHAN" by Japanese famous author Soseki NATSUME. You can enjoy bathing in this building.

Dogo Onsen is said to have a history of 3000 years. You will be healed by the retro atmosphere of this spa town.

Dogo Onsen is about 25 minutes from Matsuyama city center by the Iyo Railway Tram.

>> Please see the official website for details of Dogo Onsen Honkan


I appreciate you reading to the end.


About me

Bon KUROSAWA  I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.


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