shimanami-kaido

SHIKOKU Ehime A land beloved by authors and creatives

Ehime, Japan

Ehime's quaint towns and cosmopolitan cities sit amongst jagged mountains, rural landscapes and bright blue seas scattered with islets

Ehime, in the northwest of Shikoku, is a stunningly beautiful area to explore. The Shimanami Kaido area and its magnificent bridges offer a picturesque cycling route over architectural masterpieces. Dogo Onsen, the oldest hot spring in Japan, has attracted many residents, tourists and pilgrims for 3,000 years. Ehime's capital, Matsuyama, has inspired some of Japan’s most celebrated creatives, including Masaoka Shiki, Natsume Soseki and Ryotaro Shiba. Ehime also has two castles with intact original keeps and is one of four prefectures on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, a grand loop trail connecting 88 temples.

How To Get There

Matsuyama Airport welcomes domestic flights from all Japan's major airports, and express trains from Okayama connect Ehime to cities on Honshu. There is a jet ferry from Hiroshima on the Seto Inland Sea.

Many travel to Matsuyama by rail, taking a shinkansen from major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya to Okayama. Other options include the three-hour journey from Okayama on the Shiokaze Limited Express, all-night buses running from both Osaka and Tokyo, and the speedy jet ferry from Hiroshima. Serious cyclists can also take a bike along the Shimanami Kaido from Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture to Imabari City. Matsuyama Airport handles domestic flights from major cities in Japan, with a handful of international flights from South Korea, Taiwan and China. Flights take just one hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo.

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Don’t Miss

    Cycling along the Shimanami Kaido for panoramas of the Seto Inland Sea
    Bathing in Japan's oldest hot spring, Dogo Onsen
    The dramatic landscapes of Mt. Ishizuchi and Shikoku Karst Natural Park
    Marveling at two of Japan’s 12 castles with original keeps

Local Specialties

  • Jako-ten

    Jako are tiny sardine hatchlings, called whitebait in English. To make jako-ten, these nutritious little fish are ground, formed into a patty and deep-fried, sort of like a fish burger patty but with a history dating back to 1614.

    food-craft
  • Imabari Towels

    There's a test for Imabari towels: If they don't sink completely within five seconds when submerged in water, they aren't authentic. This ensures that they are absorbent. Glam up any bathroom and make it your personal spa retreat with this ultrasoft, fade-resistant bath linen.

    food-craft
  • Taimeshi

    Tai or sea bream is a popular fish typically eaten at times of celebration. Often fished in the Seto Inland Sea off the coast of Ehime, the prefecture serves up taimeshi, sea bream rice, as its signature dish. You can choose from two variations. The first is a whole-fish cooked together with rice and seasoned with salt or soy sauce. The second i...

    food-craft
  • Tobe Ware

    The town of Tobe has been a potterymaking hub since the mid-18th century. Inventiveness is a trademark of its ceramists. Originally making only earthenware, its artisans are synonymous with the dramatic blue-and-white sometsuke style, elaborate multi-colored overglaze ceramics, and celadon porcelain ware.

    food-craft
  • Ehime Mikan

    Ehime's abundant sunshine and proximity to the ocean make it the perfect environment for growing citrus fruits, particularly the mandarin oranges known as mikan. Ehime mikan are small, easy to peel, seedless and very sweet.

    food-craft

Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Ehime bursts to life in spring with the Dogo Onsen Festival, blooming cherry blossoms, prime fishing and an ideal climate for Shikoku Pilgrimage trips and cycling tours.

    kawanoe castle
  • Summer

    Ehime showcases its many local traditions, such as firefly viewing, fireworks festivals, parading bull demons and baseball samba.

    ozu castle
  • Autumn

    Enjoy local mikan oranges as autumn leaves appear and communities take to the streets for sake-fueled festivals and Noh by firelight.

    garyu sanso -mountain villa
  • Winter

    Unusual cloud formations gather over the Ozu area as winter draws in. Frozen waterfalls and the ski season are best paired with steaming onsen.

    ishizuchi shrine

Visitor Photos

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