Duration: 6 hours
Start/End: Matsuyama port/Matsuyama port
Highlights: Dogo Onsen Area, Ishiteji Temple, Matsuyama Castle, Shiki-do Museum, Iyo Kasuri Gallery
Tour Customizable: Absolutely! (Tell us your specific requirements in the inquiry form)
On arriving at the port, your local guide and driver will transfer you to Dogo Onsen Area – the oldest and also one of the most famous hot springs in Japan. This onsen attracts numerous visitors, even the Imperial Family, mostly for its elegant bathhouse and various wooden ryokan. Take a leisurely walk along the area to admire incredible Japanese-style architecture such as temples, shrines, Dogo Park, and Masaoka Shiki Museum.
Then, descend to Ishiteji Temple which ranks 51 among 88 Shikoku pilgrimage temples. The approach to the temple’s main grounds is lined by two sides of shops with wooden facades. Inside the temple’s ground, take a look at some halls and temple buildings as well as the three-storied pagoda. Ishiteji is most famous for its Niomon Gate which is designated as a national treasure for its cultural displays and artifacts.
Later, head to Matsuyama Castle, known as a member of 12 Japan’s original castles and also the most complex and interesting one. Its original five stories were destroyed by lightning, fortunately, three of them are still remained nowadays to serve as an exclusive exhibition of Matsuyama’s history and feudalism. From late March to early April, the castle ground will become an ideal hanami spot to enjoy the pink scenery created by over 200 cherry blossoms trees.
The drive continues to Shikido Museum – a replica of Masaoka Shiki’s former house who is a famous poet born in Matsuyama. Inside the museum are various displays of his photos, writings, and items. You can also witness one of the oldest stream trams exhibited next to the museum. Put an end to this wonderful tour by visiting Iyo Kasuri Gallery where you can spend time learning about Kasuri, a kind of Japanese traditional textile weaving under the guided of local artists. This is an ideal place to both enjoy the art of making fabric and pick up some idyllic souvenirs for your family and friends. Trip ends when you are driven back to the port.