Matsuyama Things to Do

  • Outer fortifications, Matsuyama Castle
    Outer fortifications, Matsuyama Castle
    by SallyM
  • Ninomaru Garden
    Ninomaru Garden
    by Rabbityama
  • Ninomaru Garden
    Ninomaru Garden
    by Rabbityama

Most Recent Things to Do in Matsuyama

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    Dogo Onsen

    by lotharscheer Written Dec 4, 2014

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    Have a bath in Dogo Onsen (Spa), first get the ticket (the cheapest about 450 Yen and you might want to rent a towl for 200 Yen), the put your shoes in a shoe locker, go to the changing room (gender separated), undress completely, there is a bigger locker, thale the small towl and the soap to the bathroom (also gender separated), along the walls are tabs and little stools, sit on one of them and clean yourself (the water will be very hot, Japanese like it that way, but you can reduce it a little bit) and soak them for a while in the quite hot water, very nice! With the more expensive ticket you get also some snack and the most expensive a private room.

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    Shiroyama Park

    by salisbury3933 Written Sep 25, 2014

    At the foot of Matsuyama castle is Shiroyama Park. Previously in this area there was a Keirin arena, but this has since been demolished, and has been created as an open space for the community to use.

    Not a bad place to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the views.

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    Matsuyama Castle

    by IreneMcKay Written May 10, 2014

    Matsuyama Castle is one of only twelve Japanese castles which have survived intact from the post-feudal era. It is located on Mount Katsuyama, a steep hill in the centre of Matsuyama. Matsuyama Castle was built between 1602 and 1628. In 1635 Matsuyama Castle was given to the Matsudaira family.

    Matsuyama Castle can be accessed by ropeway. The closest tram stop to the ropeway is Okaido from here it is only around a five minute walk to the lower ropeway station. Okaido can be reached by tram line 5 from JR Matsuyama Station.

    Matsuyama Castle. Matsuyama Castle Moat.
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    Isaniwa-jinja Shrine

    by IreneMcKay Updated May 10, 2014

    About 200M away from the Honkan main spa building at the top of a steep flight of stairs stands Isaniwa-jinja Shrine. This was built in 1667. It is dedicated to Hachiman - a god of war.

    The shrine is open from 5am to 7pm
    Admission is free.

    Isaniwa-jinja Shrine
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    Dogo Park.

    by IreneMcKay Written May 10, 2014

    Near Dogo Onsen Spa there is a lovely park known as Dogo Park. In spring it is filled with flowering cherry trees and it is very beautiful. Dogo Park is located on the grounds of a former castle. Only the moats of this castle remain today and when we visited, they were covered in pink cherry tree petals which had fallen from the trees.

    Dogu Park.
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    Dogo Onsen Spa.

    by IreneMcKay Written May 10, 2014

    Dogo Onsen is a spa town. It is one of the oldest spas in Japan and is first mentioned in the seventh century but is believed to be even older.

    A legend tells that the curative powers of the waters at Dogo Onsen were first discovered when a lovely white heron with a broken leg cured itself by sticking its leg into a jet of water pouring out of a rock here.

    Dogo Onsen's main spa building is known as Honkan. It is a pretty wooden building dating from 1894.

    Dogo Onsen Dogo Onsen
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    Ninomaru Garden

    by Rabbityama Updated Feb 13, 2014

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    The Ninomaru Garden (Shiseki Garden) was built where Matsuyama Castle's ninomaru palace buildings once stood. The buildings and palace structures burned down in 1872. The area was excavated but not removed from the site. Instead, the pathways of the garden were built over them to mark where the structures once stood. The walls surrounding the ninomaru and some other structures were rebuilt. An excavated well has been left uncovered, so visitors can see it. Records show that there were two gardens within the ninomaru area, a water garden and a "citrus flower garden". Some of the gardens are said to have been restored to resemble the originals.

    Regardless, the reconstructions and paths marking where the structures once stood are interesting and the garden elements are attractive. It's a nice stop after visiting the castle.

    Entrance is 100 yen.

    Ninomaru Garden Ninomaru Garden Ninomaru Garden Ninomaru Garden Ninomaru Garden
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    Matsuyama-castle

    by salisbury3933 Updated Feb 1, 2014

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    Matsuyama castle(松山城) is a must see for any visitor to Matsuyama. It's up on the hill and you get an excellent view of the city from the top. The castle itself is visible from most parts of Matsuyama city.

    This castle was originally built by Kato Yoshiaki in 1603. It had a large five-story tenshu, or keep, which was moved to Aizu Castle when Kato was transferred there in 1627. The next lord, Tadachika Gamoh, died in 1635, shortly after completing the ninomaru. After Tadachika, Matsudaira Sadayuki became the new lord. He completed a new Castle Tower (tenshu) in 1642. His heirs continued to rule the castle after his death. However, on New Years Day, 1784, this Castle Tower (tenshu) was struck by lightning and burned down. The current Castle Tower (tenshu) was built between 1820 and 1854. The castle survived the Meiji restoration, but parts of it were destroyed by bombing from American forces during World War II. Since 1966, the city of Matsuyama has been working to restore the castle.

    You have the choice of either taking the ropeway up the hill, or walking up.

    Admission is 500 yen for adults, and there is a nice display inside of weapons and armour from days gone by.

    This was the first Japanese castle I visited back when I first went to Japan in 2000, and I have revisited a number of times since.

    Matsuyama Castle
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    Matsuyama Castle

    by grayfo Updated Sep 26, 2013

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    Matsuyama Castle is situated on Katsuyama hill and has an excellent view of Matsuyama City. The Matsuyama-jo is claimed to be one of the best in all of Japan. The castle was built in 1603, by the head of the Matsudeira-clan a famous samurai, Kato Yoshiakira, although parts were destroyed by bombing from American forces during World War II. Since 1966, the city of Matsuyama has been working to restore the castle.

    Sunday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

    Admission: 500 yen

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    Ishiteji Temple

    by salisbury3933 Written Apr 4, 2013

    This is one of Matsuyama's more interesting attractions. It is Temple 51 on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage. Seven of its structures have been designated National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.
    It is about 15 minutes by foot from Dogo, and also accessible by bus from both Shi-eki and Dogo station.

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    Sakanouenokumo Museum

    by salisbury3933 Written Jun 5, 2012

    This museum has been opened quite recently and has a number of exhibitions related to local history. It is of moderate interest and entrance is 400 yen.

    Unfortunately there are no descriptions at all for non speakers of Japanese.

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    The Ropeway

    by SallyM Written Jul 29, 2011

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    This is the easiest way to get up the steep hill from the city centre to the castle.

    There is an enclosed cable car, and also a chairlift for the brave.

    You can buy a combined ticket for the ropeway and castle (1000 yen).

    The cable car The chairlift
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    Botchan Karakuri Clock

    by SallyM Updated Jul 29, 2011

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    This clock is situated in the main square in front of the Dogo Onsen station.

    It was erected in 1994 in celebration of the centenary of the Dogo Onsen hot springs building.

    Every hour from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. it comes alive with little figures re-enacting a scene from the novel 'Botchan' - an autobiographical novel by Natsume Soseki, who moved to Matsuyama in 1895, and wrote about the town.

    A performance by the Botchan Karakuri Clock The clock at rest
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    Dogo Onsen Hot Springs

    by SallyM Written Jul 29, 2011

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    The Dogo Onsen is a hot spring spa that has been in use for over a thousand years. The nineteenth century wooden bath house building has been designated as an important cultural asset.

    I didn't actually try the hot baths myself.

    Dogo Onsen Spa Main Building
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    Matsuyama Castle

    by SallyM Updated Jul 29, 2011

    Matsutama Castle is situated on Katsuyama HIll in the centre of the city.

    The castle was founded by Yoshiaki Katoh in 1602. Construction was completed in 1627. It is said that women from the Masaki area were employed to carry gravel for the construction in baskets on their heads. and that Katoh's wife rewarded them with hand-shaped rice balls.

    In 1635, it passed into the hands of Sudayuki Matsudaira, who rebuilt the tower with three stories in 1642. This tower was struck by lightning and burnt down in 1784, and reconstruction did not begin until 1820. Parts of the complex were damaged by arson or bombing during the twentieth century and the city government is still engaged on restoring the building using original materials.

    Inside the main tower it is necessary to take off your shoes and wear the green plastic slippers provided. This does not make it easier to climb the 'stairs' inside, which are almost vertical. Anyone with a fear of heights might do better to admire the buildings from ground level.

    Matsuyama Castle Outer fortifications, Matsuyama Castle Matsuyama Castle Matsuyama Castle courtyard
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