Ehime Prefecture is located on the island of Shikoku to the west of Kagawa Prefecture. It sits along the Seto Inland Sea and like its neighbor, can count a multitude of islands as part of its landscape.
The largest city and capital of Ehime is Matsuyama, which is known for its castle and hot spring. The majestic Matsuyama Castle was built in 1627 and rests next to Ninomaru Garden. Noh (Japanese traditional theater) performances are held during selected evenings.
The Dogo Hot Spring is perhaps the most famous spot in Matsuyama, if not all of Japan. The spa’s building is said to have been the inspiration for the one that Hayao Miyazaki brought to life in his animated film “Spirited Away”.
If cycling is your thing, the Shimanami Sea Route may be just what you have been looking for. You can cycle the 59 kilometer route from Imabari City in Ehime to Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture. Before you depart, be sure to visit Imbari Castle.
When you go out to the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, the first thing that you realize is that really seeing all that there is to see on one journey is not possible, as each island contains a world of mystery. You can, however, at least scratch the surface on your bicycle or whatever means of transport you choose.
The Uchiko, Ozu and Uwa areas contain a plethora of Edo and Meiji Era buildings that showcase the historic crafts that continue to be produced within their confines. Ozu Castle is also a must see. Uwajima Castle is located in Uwajima City in the western section of the prefecture. The city has its own form of bullfighting among its many other events.
The Asahi Beer Brewery Shikoku Factory in Saijo offers tours where you can enjoy beer tasting and dining. In winter, Mt. Ishizuchi Ski Resort buzzes with skiers of all levels.
Ehime Prefecture’s history and culture are as accessible as its mountains and seas. Visit and see for yourself!