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Matsuyama city

MatsuyamaMatsuyama city map Matsuyama is the prefectural capital in Ehime Prefecture, and is located roughly in center of the prefecture.
It is the largest city in Shikoku Island, and there are many local agencies of the government and branch offices of the main companies.

About 3,000 years ago, a wounded egret found a hot spring.
The egret came to the hot spring every day. After some days, the wound cured and the egret flew off.
It was Dougo hot spring.

Since that, people used this hot spring for cure of disease and relieving fatigue.
Around the 7th century, several Emperors came to enjoy the hot spring.

In the early 17th century, Matsuyama Castle was built.
After that, Matsuyama developed as a castle town, then it became a central town in this region.

In 1906, Soseki Natsume (1867-1916), one of famous Japanese novelists, published a novel "Botchan".
The story is set in Matsuyama, and describes the human events around a young teacher from Tokyo humorously. ("Botchan" is a polite word meaning "a son of the other person".)
Since the publication, this novel became popular in Japan.
Because this work still appears in textbooks for junior high school, most Japanese people should have read it once at least.
So Japanese people associate "Matsuyama" with "Botchan" and "Soseki".

Before Soseki wrote this novel, he had worked in Matsuyama as a school teacher for a year.
His experience in this city created this excellent novel.

Shiki Masaoka (1867-1902) was a classmate of Soseki in Tokyo University.
He was born in Matsuyama, and was an excellent Haiku poet.
He died young from tuberculosis unfortunately, but his work had greatly influenced Japanese literary world.
It is said that he created about 23,600 poems of Haiku in his short life.

The following Haiku of Shiki is well-known by most Japanese people.

Kaki kueba / kane ga narunari / Horyuji
(When I eat a persimmon, I hear the ring of bell in Horyuji.)

There are some spots related to Soseki and Shiki in Matsuyama.

To tour around Matsuyama city, the streetcar of Iyotetsu company is convenient.
It runs around Matsuyama Castle, and the branch lines lead to JR Matsuyama station, Dougo hot spring resort and Matsuyama-shi station of Iyotetsu.

On the rails for streetcar, small steam locomotive runs !
It is the sightseeing train modeled after the train of the period of "Botchan", and is called "Botchan Train".
Of course, it is not a steam locomotove but diesel locomotive.

Matsuyama Castle /1/

Matsuyama Castle It is a castle built in 1602 by Yoshiakira Kato (1563-1631), the first castle lord of this domain, and is located at the center of Matsuyama city.

The castle tower is one of the 12 original castle towers in Japan.
It is on the top of Mount Katsuyama (or Shiroyama) 132 meters high, and the height of the tower is about 21 meters.

The first castle tower was built in 1642. But it was destroyed by fire by lightning strike in 1784.
And current castle tower was rebuilt in 1854. So it is the last castle construction as Japanese castle tower.
(It is the "original" castle tower in the sense that the real lord in the feudal period lived in there.)

In the site, 21 original constructions including the castle tower remain.
They are the gates, towers and fences, and all of them are designated as national important cultural properties.

And there is a well about 44 meters deep in the site, and it is particularly worth noting that it was very difficult to dig such a deep well with civil engineering technology of the period.

To the castle tower on the top, we can climb from the east, south and west foots of the mountain.
From the east foot, the ropeway is operated.

Gudabutsuan house /2/

Gudabutsuan It is a small boarding house where Soseki Natsume lived in 1895, and is at the southeast foot of Mount Katsuyama.
And when Sosoki was in this house, Shiki Masaoka lived on the good graces of him for 52 days.
The original house had been destroyed by fire during the World War II, then current house was restored in 1982.

Shiki-dou museum /3/

Shiki-dou It is a museum about Shiki Masaoka, and is in the site of Shojuji temple located just south of Matsuyama-shi station of Iyotetsu Line.
The chief priest who was a friend of Shiki restored the Shiki's house as a museum.
In the house, manuscripts of Shiki and Soseki, their photos, and some other articles are displayed.
And in front of the museum, a car of "Botchan Train" is displayed.

Dougo hot spring resort /4/

Dougo onsen It is a hot spring resort located about 2.5 km east-northeast of Matsuyama Castle.
It is one of the oldest hot spring, and there are many ryokans and hotels.

In the center of the resort town, there is the public bathhouse "Dougo-onsen Honkan".
It was built in 1894, and is designated as a national important cultural property.
It is the symbol of Dougo hotspring resort, and the nickname is "Botchan-yu".

The bathhouse has three floors.
It has two type of bathrooms. They are "Kami-no-yu" (Bath of God) and "Tama-no-yu" (Bath of Spirit). The Tama-no-yu is narrower than Kami-no-yu but the interior is gorgeous.
These bathrooms are on the first floor, and the resting rooms are on the second and third floors. The third floor has private rooms.

The fee depends on the bath and resting room which you use.
If you take a bath only at Kami-no-yu, the fee is 400 yen.
And, for example, if you take a bath at Tama-no-yu and use a private resting room on the third floor, the fee is 1,500 yen.

On the second floor, there is "Yuushinden".
It is the bathroom for the Imperial Family. It has been used only 10 times, and we can visit the for 250 yen.

On the roof of the bathhouse, there is a tower with drum "Shinrokaku".
The drum is beaten at 6:00, 12:00 and 18:00.

Shiki Memorial Museum /5/

Shiki Memorial Museum It is a museum in Dougo Park just south of Dougo hot spring resort.
Various articles about Shiki Masaoka such as manuscripts, pictures, letters are displayed.
And it introduces the traditional culture and literature in Matsuyama.

Ishiteji temple /6/

Ishiteji It is a Buddhist temple of Shingon Buddhism located about 1.2 km east-southeast of Dougo hot spring resort.
It was founded in 729 by high priest Gyoki, and high priest Kuukai visited here in 813.
So this temple is designated as the 51th temple of "88 temples of Shikoku Pilgrimage".

The approach is one of the corridor, and there is Sanmon (Main gate) at the end of the approach. It was built in 1318, and is designated as a national treasure.
In the temple grounds, there are many buildings.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad

By limited express "Shiokaze", about 2 hours and 40-50 minutes from Okayama.
By limited express "Ishizuchi", about 2 hour and 20-30 minutes from Takamatsu.

By airplane

From Matsuyama Airport, about 15-20 minutes to central Matsuyama, about 40 minutes to Dougo hot spring resort by route bus.

Ropeway to Matsuyama Castle
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Matsuyama Castle
Ichinomon gate
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Tonashimon gate in Matsuyama Castle
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Inui-yagura tower in Matsuyama Castle
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Soseki Natsume and Shiki Masaoka
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Photo by Railstation.net
Botchan train
Photo by Railstation.net
Guides dressed in late 19th century costumes
Photo by Neo Nostalgia
Iyotetsu Dougo-onsen station Dougo hot spring resort
Dougo-onsen Honkan
Photo by (c)Tomo.Yun
Dougo-onsen Honkan Yuushinden in Dougo-onsen Honkan
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Bathroom of Kami-no-yu
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Resting room
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Private resting room
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
When you use a private resting room, "Botchan Dango" (rice dumpling) and tea are served.
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Inside of Yuushinden
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Shiki Memorial Museum
By Matsuyama Tourism & Convention Bureau
Niomon in Ishiteji
Photo by Rettou-houmotsukan
Main temple of Ishiteji
Photo by Railstation.net
Three-story pagoda in Ishiteji
Photo by Railstation.net
Bell tower in ishiteji
Photo by Railstation.net

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