Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp

matsuyama castle matsuyama castle

EHIME Matsuyama Visit the birthplace of haiku and try your hand at pottery

Visit the birthplace of haiku and try your hand at pottery

Soak up the rich literary tradition of this famously hospitable castle town. Matsuyama is a welcome respite from Japan's frenetic cities offering no shortage of activities to keep you occupied.

Don't Miss

  • Taking a bath in Japan's oldest onsen
  • The local craft Dogo Beer or a freshly squeezed glass of mikan juice
  • The beautiful haiku stones dotted around the city
  • Venturing to the suburbs to find magical islands populated by deer

How to Get There

Matsuyama is the prefectural capital of Ehime and the largest city on the island of Shikoku . As a result, there is a network of transport options from around Japan and to other areas of Shikoku.

By air, it's about a one and a half hour journey from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Matsuyama Airport. From Osaka in Kansai, it is just 50 minutes.

To access Matsuyama by rail, catch the Shinkansen from any major station, such as Tokyo or Osaka, to Okayama. It's then a two and a half hour journey from Okayama to Matsuyama Station by JR Seto-Ohashi/Yosan Line Limited Express train.

From Hiroshima take the Setonaikaikisen Car Ferry or Super Jet Ferry to Matsuyama port.

The birthplace of modern haiku

Masaoka Shiki, the father of modern haiku, described the city as his "dear home town." See Matsuyama through Shiki's eyes with a visit to the Shiki Museum. If you're on a tight schedule, try to spot the beautiful haiku stones around the city or get creative and post your own into one of the many haiku post boxes dotted throughout Matsuyama.

A novel city

Natsume Soseki wrote his novel Botchan after living in Matsuyama, and for the people of the city, it's truly a badge of pride. Even the city's replica steam train was named in honor of Soseki's work.

If you're a bookworm, take a trip to the Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum, designed by the architect Tadao Ando. The museum is a treasure trove of artifacts themed after the Ryotoro Shiba novel "Clouds above the Hill."

The heart of Matsuyama

Sitting on a hill above the city is Matsuyama Castle . One of Japan's few original castles, it's home to an abundance of unique cultural experiences such as the opportunity to wear the armor of a samurai. The castle offers sweeping panoramas of the city and is particularly beautiful in cherry blossom season.

Dogo: Japan's oldest onsen

Another quintessential Japanese experience is to bathe in Dogo Onsen —a hot spring bath with a 3,000-year history that has hosted royalty, and is the oldest in Japan.

Dogo area is a wonderful place to stroll around. The nearby Dogo park houses the Yuzuki castle ruins and the area also showcases Japanese art in various outdoor locations.

Panoramic views

If you want to enjoy sweeping panoramas of the city and the nearby Seto Inland Sea, head to the Takashimaya department store, which has a ferris wheel on top. From there you can see amazing views from Matsuyama Central Park, home to Matsuyama's second castle.

Follow the pilgrim's path

There are eight temples of The Shikoku Henro, or 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Matsuyama, one of which is the curious Ishiteji Temple. A highlight here is its mysterious statue-lined tunnel complex that leads to a second inner temple. If you are lucky, you might even see a pilgrim in their traditional costume paying their respects to Kobo Dashi (774-835), the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.

A pilgrim bows before entering a temple


If you are feeling creative, try Tobeyaki pottery making. An hour bus ride from Matsuyama is Tobe City where you can both make and paint a number of ceramics.

Deer Island

If you're feeling adventurous, catch a train for 20 minutes to Iyo-Hojo station and hop on a five-minute ferry to Kashima Island. Here you can see deer.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

Recommended for You

Shodo-shima Area

Did this information help you?

Near Matsuyama

matsuyama castle Culture
Ehime Matsuyama
Ehime Tsujii Kappou (Fine Dining at a Counter)
Ehime Ryofuku Local / Regional Cuisine
Ehime Bistro Koji French Cuisine
il Banco
Ehime Il Banco Dining Bar
Ehime Nikuzushibaruyoro Matsuyamanikuryouriizakayayoro Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Ehime Goshiki Local / Regional Cuisine
cafe&bar Little Kitchen
Ehime Cafe&Bar Little Kitchen Cheese Fondue
Ehime Tohen Szechwan
Ehime Kuroshiotei Sashimi (Raw Sliced Fish)
Ehime Umakamon Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Suzuki Hanazonoten
Ehime Suzuki Hanazonoten Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
the park M's coffee
Ehime The Park M'S Coffee Café
Ehime Kadota French Cuisine
Ehime Eko Fried Skewers (Meat and Vegetables)
Kominka Chuka Izakaya Nakachan
Ehime Kominka Chuka Izakaya Nakachan Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Ehime Ichiro Sushi
Ehime Mimiya Sushi
Ehime Yumehibiki Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
Ehime Famille Hamburg Steak / Salisbury steak
Ehime Akaneya Izakaya (Japanese Style Pub)
matsuyama castle Nature
Ehime Matsuyama Shiroyama Park Ehime-ken
Matsuyama Castle History
Ehime Matsuyama Castle Ehime-ken
Dogo-onsen Hot Spring Relaxation
Ehime Dogo Onsen Ehime-ken
Ishite-ji Temple History
Ehime Ishiteji Temple Ehime-ken
Kamihaga Residence History
Ehime Kamihaga Residence Ehime-ken
Yokaichi Old Town Attraction
Ehime Uchiko Ehime-ken
Uchiko-za Kabuki Theater Culture
Ehime Uchikoza Kabuki Theater Ehime-ken
Garyu Sanso -Mountain Villa Attraction
Ehime Garyu Sanso Villa Ehime-ken
Ozu Culture
Ehime Ozu Ehime-ken
Shikoku Karst Action & Adventure
Ehime Shikoku Karst Ehime-ken
imabari & ozu area Attraction
Ehime Shimanami Kaido (Ehime) Ehime-ken

Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages