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The Japan You Never Knew | VICE Guide to Ehime

Interested in recreating KTea’s trip for yourself?
We’ve summarized the information about each destination, so bookmark this page and come back when you’re planning your next trip!




The reception, guest rooms, and restaurants of NIPPONIA HOTEL Ozu Castle Town are dotted throughout the town along the Hiji River, so the entirety of Ozu Castle Town feels like part of your hotel. The beautiful rooms have been renovated from the residences and warehouses of a wealthy merchant who made his fortune with Japan Wax and a restaurant that was in business for 400 years. Now, the buildings have been given new life and provide an exceptional luxury experience of the scenery, food, culture, and history of the local area.



As stated in the video, the hotel is currently expanding and increasing its capacity, so it’s likely to become even more lively in the future.


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Umi to Kamome



Umi to Kamome sells fruit sandwiches packed with fresh fruits including ones grown locally in the Setouchi area. Located in Ozu Castle Town, it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area!


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Ozu Castle



Ozu Castle was previously demolished but has now been reconstructed using the original architectural methods (wooden construction without the use of nails), allowing these techniques to be passed on to future generations.


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Castle Stay



To truly experience the beauty and charm of the castle for yourself, you can also book a castle stay (limited to one group per day, maximum thirty groups per year.) Booking is only available seasonally except for December-February and August, so make sure to check the details by following the link.


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Amago no Sato



At Amago no Sato, you can enjoy fishing and eating farm-raised red-spotted masu salmon, rainbow trout, and char. All fish caught from the fishing pond are sold for 1500 yen per kilogram, and filleting is complimentary. When eating a meal at Amago no Sato, you can catch as much as you need for the dish you ordered.


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Okaido Shopping Arcade



The Okaido Shopping Arcade is 1,583 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 42 feet tall and is one of the shopping areas in the center of Matsuyama City, Ehime. Department stores line the north side, and there are lots of different restaurants and shops for clothing, accessories, and entertainment. The nighttime summer market Doyo Yoichi is held every Saturday from the end of June through the first week of August in Okaido and nearby shopping arcades, including Gintengai and Matsuchika Town.


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Hoyaken Haiku Bar



Hoyaken Haiku Bar is both a bar and a used book store, so lots of books line the walls inside, and you can have a drink while reading!  But many customers come to enjoy haiku, a traditional form of Japanese poetry. At Hoyaken Haiku Bar, not only can you learn how to write a haiku, but the owners will also give you a haigou, a pen name used when writing haiku, as a souvenir. You can also ask the owners to write a haiku for you. Or, like KTea, you could make your own haiku to commemorate your trip!


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Matsuyama Castle




One of the 12 original castles of Japan*, Matsuyama Castle is perched on Mt. Katsuyama, which stands 433 feet above sea level in the center of Matsuyama City. Accessible by four walking paths as well as a ropeway lift, the castle tower’s top floor rises 528 feet above sea level. The beautiful views of the castle and its majestic stone walls interwoven with trees are well worth the trip! You can also see great views looking up at the castle from the areas around Matsuyama City Hall, City Park, and all over Matsuyama City. The castle tower is lit up until 11pm, so you can enjoy the views both day and night.

*The 12 original castles of Japan are 12 castles that were built before the Edo period (1603-1868) and were maintained to the present day.


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