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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    Matsuyama Castle

    by IreneMcKay Written May 10, 2014
    Matsuyama Castle.
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    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.

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    Isaniwa-jinja Shrine

    by IreneMcKay Updated May 10, 2014
    Isaniwa-jinja Shrine

    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.

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    Dogo Park.

    by IreneMcKay Written May 10, 2014
    Dogu Park.

    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.

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    Dogo Onsen Spa.

    by IreneMcKay Written May 10, 2014
    Dogo Onsen
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    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.

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  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo

    Ninomaru Garden

    by Rabbityama Updated Feb 13, 2014

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    Ninomaru Garden
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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.

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  • salisbury3933's Profile Photo

    Matsuyama-castle

    by salisbury3933 Updated Feb 1, 2014

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    Matsuyama Castle
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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.

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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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  • salisbury3933's Profile Photo

    Ishiteji Temple

    by salisbury3933 Written Apr 4, 2013
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    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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  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    The Ropeway

    by SallyM Written Jul 29, 2011

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    The cable car
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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).

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    Botchan Karakuri Clock

    by SallyM Updated Jul 29, 2011

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    A performance by the Botchan Karakuri Clock
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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.

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    Dogo Onsen Hot Springs

    by SallyM Written Jul 29, 2011

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    Dogo Onsen Spa Main Building

    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.

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    Matsuyama Castle

    by SallyM Updated Jul 29, 2011
    Matsuyama Castle
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    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.

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  • bennieofzo's Profile Photo

    Matsuyama-jo

    by bennieofzo Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Matsuyama-jo

    The Matsuyama-jo is a very beautiful castle .
    The castle was built in 1603, by the head of the Matsudeira-clan, and later destroyed by fire.
    The view over Matsuyama from the castle grounds is very beautiful.

    Take also a look at the surrounding park.

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    The Russian Cemetery

    by dlandt Updated Sep 5, 2010

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    Graves, well tended and neat
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    Visiting Shikoku every few years has made me come to the realization that Shikoku I not just remote and unconnected to the world, but it is also remote and not very well connected to Japan. For this reason, it is always interesting to come across some tangible trace of historical contact with the west. Obscure historical figures can seem very large here, like DeMoraes the Portuguese mariner cum diplomat cum lexicologist.That's why when I was in Matsuyama I was drawn to the Russian cemetery.

    Like Deutsche Village of WWI in Tokushima-ken, the Russian Cemetery is a legacy of an earlier war, in this case the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. Some 4000 Russian prisoners were brought to Shikoku and ninety-eight remained, interred as a single unit. Like the Germans prisoners of WWI, the Russian officers reported themselves and their men as being well cared for, with cordial and friendly relationships with the local population. Given the high survival rate after a rigorous campaign in East Asia, I find this easy to believe since at least some of the Russian prisoners had to have arrived sick or wounded.

    In addition to the Russians, there are two American navy fliers who crashed nearby and died late in the war. Their remains are unidentified. There is also a man named Arther Lauenstein who died in 1916, but I have no information regarding his life or death.

    It is hard to say what I felt when I looked on the neat rows of well tended graves with Orthodox crosses and stars of David. It was like some small part of my world had been transposed onto the alien kanji-scape of Shikoku, irrefutable proof that Livingston had indeed passed this way up the river if you will.

    The plaque reads as follows:

    There are graves of 98 Russian warriors there that took part in Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 and foundan eternal rest in Matsuyama. This cemetery is looked after by the local Elderly People Society, Women`s Association and Katsuyama (different city?) School Pupils` Council. As a sign of gratitude for such noble gesture Russian writer V Guzanov suggested putting a monument at the cemetery. It was decided to be the one of the 1st rank captain V A Boysman who offered moral support to Russian warriors. Thanks to Russians E and N Zhukov, A Zhirov, V Kirin and artist V Mukhachev it was possible to create this monument and present it to Matsuyama citizens. It was accepted with gratitude as a symbol of Japanese-Russian friendship and was placed at the Russian cemetery with the help of many citizens. October 1994. V A Boysman monument placement committee.

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Matsuyama Things to Do

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