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Ehime Prefecture
 
 
Sakura Spots

March - April


â– Matsuyama Castle Ruins | Matsuyama City
Matsuyama Castle stands on the top of Katsuyama Mountain located in the center of Matsuyama City, the stage of the famous novel Botchan. The three-layered white chalk castle tower is now the symbol of Matsuyama, and with the fan-shaped stonewalls the elegant figure of the castle can be seen from all angles. The surrounding area is Matsuyama Park where you can visit by a ropeway. The park is known among the local people as a spot for blossom-viewing and night blossoms are equally beautiful.

â– Shiroyama Park | Ozu City
Shiroyama Park spread out on the site of Ohzu Castle, along the flow of Hijikawa River. Although the castle is mostly destroyed, several cultural assets still remain on the castle grounds. The park is very rich in nature, creating a beautiful blend of pink and green.

 
 
Prefectural Guide
 


Dogo Hot Spring

There are many myths and legends about Japan's oldest baths, the 3000 year old Dogo Hot Spring, Japan's oldest.
The name is seen in the"Kojiki" (Japan's oldest recorded history)and in"Manyoshu" (a collection of poetry from the Nara period).
In the "Iyo-fudoki"(a description of Ehime's natural features), there is a legend that a white heron healed its wounded leg in the hot spring.
The main building, constructed in 1894, has a distinctive character, with a 3-storied castle-style structure.
On the 1st floor is a public bath, "Kami-no-yu", whose granite bath tub was considered very luxurious at the time of construction.
On the 2nd is a large room leading to the"Kami-no-yu", and on the 3rd floor is"Tama-no-yu", a more luxurious bath with a lounge area.

After taking a bath, a bowl of tea heated over charcoal is served. Above the 3rd floor, there is a drum tower, the"Shinro-kaku", which tells the time to the general public. Further, there are special baths such as the "Yushinden" for the use of imperial families only ; the "Room of Botchan"from the noted novel by Soseki Natsume;and an"Exhibition Room "where hanging scrolls by the poet Hekigodo Kawahigashi and others are exhibited.

 

Shimanami Kaido
(Nishi Seto Expressway)
Shimanami Kaido, linking Honshu (main island) with Shikoku and connecting Imabari city, Ehime Prefecture, Onimichi city and Hiroshima, opened in May 1999.
This route over the Seto Inland Sea is about 60km long and you can walk or bike on this route, not to mention go by car.
There are ten bridges on the six islands of the Geiyo Islands.
Each bridge has its individual style of construction method, a Roman arch style, a suspension, a qirder bridge, etc.

Among all, the Kurushima Ohashi Br. is the world's first triple suspension bridges ever built, and the Tatara Ohashi Br. connecting 1,480m long, the longest suspension bridge with obliquely pulled wires type bridge in the world.
 


Uchiko Antique Road

The atmosphere of times past remain in yokaichi-gokoku, which was once a prosperous wax production centre.
Private houses and other buildings built from the end of the Edo Period to the Meiji Period.
Particularly, the Honhagatei-residence, which gives one some idea of the most flourishing period in the vegetable wax industry, and the Kamihagatei-residence, which is now open to the public as a Vegetable Wax Material Hall, are, well-known.
Alongside the old roads, there are wax shops, which to this day continue hand-production, following a tradition over 200years old.
You can take a study tour of wax making.
Further, in 1982 the Gokoku area of Yokaichi was selected as an important traditional buildings preservation area by the nation, the first selection of its kind in Shikoku.
Also, Honhaga, Kamihaga and Ohmura have been designated as important cultural properties by the nation.

 


Bullfights (Togyu) / Uwajima

Two 800kg bulls fighting in a 20m diameter ring has a strong appeal to spectators.

The event originated in the latter half of the 17th century, when 2bulls were given to Uwajima as a token of thanks for the rescuing of a Dutch ship which was drifting on the Uwa Sea.
 


Suiha Heights

A 2ha area, covered with cherry blossoms and rape flowers in spring, and 300,000cosmos flowers in summer.
From Suiha Peak, 892m high, a grand panoramic view allows one to see the Shikoku mountain ranges to the south, and the Seto Inland Sea to the north.
 

 
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