Japan Travel Tips: 10 Things to do in Ehime Prefecture

  • FOOD
  • SPOT
  • Ehime is a beautiful and scenic prefecture located in Shikoku Island. Matsuyama is the prefectural city and other cities include Uchiko, Ozu, and Uwajima. Ehime prefecture was used to be called Iyo Province, up until the Meiji Restoration.

    “Ehime” means “lovely princess”, and was used as its name in the kuniumi part of the Kojiki. Ehime prefecture has a local mascot named Mikyan, which they use for local tourism. Before you visit Ehime prefecture, here are some recommended activities for you!

    1. Travel back in time at the Traditional Streets of the Yokaichi-Gokoku Areas

    The Yokaichi-Gokoku area is a well-preserved traditional street lined with private residences and merchant houses dating back from late Edo, Meiji, and Taisho periods. The Yokaichi-Gokoku area was known as a bustling area for wax production during the Edo to Meiji era.

    Because of its rich history and cultural significance, it is designated as an “Important Preservation District” and the residents have worked hard in preserving the area.


    Yokaichi-Gokoku Website

    2. Look at the breathtaking view on Kirosan Observatory Park


    しまなみ街道一番の見どころである亀老山展望台を再度訪問❣️ Kirosan Observatory Park is one of the most marvelous viewing spots along the Shimanami Kaido. It is located on the top of Kirosan (altitude 307.8m) at the southern most tip of Ohshima. Witness a magnificent 360-degree panorama view of the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridges, the Kurushima Straits tidal currents from the observation deck . #ポメシバ #pomeshiba #pomshiba #shibaranian #shibapom #pomshi #ポメ柴 #犬と旅行#しまなみ海道#犬とサイクリング#KirosanObservatoryPark#亀老山 #来島海峡大橋 #来島海峡#kurushimakaikyo #kurushimakaikyobridge #cycling #cycles#adventurewithdogs #犬とドライブ

    pomeshibaさん(@rumchin)がシェアした投稿 –

    This observatory is located on the top of Mt. Kiro, a mountain located in the southernmost part of Oshima. On this observatory, people can see the most beautiful view of Shimanami Kaido.

    Aside from that, Kurushima Channel, Kurushima Channel Bridge, and Imabari City can also be seen. It is highly recommended to visit the observatory during sunset time.


    Kirosan Observatory Park Website

    3. Ride the Iyotetsu Takashima Kururin Ferris Wheel

    The Iyotetsu Takashima Kururin is a Ferris wheel on top of the Takashimaya department store. The name “kururin” means “something that goes around”.

    The Ferris wheel ride takes 15 minutes, and since the top is considered as one of the highest places in Matsuyama, it can give you 360° views of the city. The Ferris wheel lights up during the night, and the design is changed according to the seasons and local events.


    Iyotetsu Takashima Kururin Ferris Wheel Official Website

    4. Rent a bicycle at Sunrise Itoyama Cycling Station


    ゴールデンウィークは多くのサイクリスト・観光客の皆様に#今治・#しまなみ海道 へお越しいただきました。 しまなみ地域は、さまざまな旅の楽しみ方があり、何度訪れても満足いただける場所です。 すでに訪れたことがある方もまだこれからの方も、是非今治・しまなみ海道へお越しください✈️ ・ We had many tourists and cyclists visiting our city Imabari during Japanese Golden Week holidays. #ShimanamiKaido is the destination where you can have lots of adventures. We hope to see you again here in Imabari and Shimanami Kaido. https://www.shimanami-cycle.or.jp/ #しまなみ #愛媛 #サイクリング #Ehime #Imabari #Shimanami #cycling #しまなみjapan #SunriseItoyama #レンタサイクル #biketrip #島旅 #islandtrip #来島海峡大橋 #KurushimaKaikyoBridge #rentalbike #自転車好きな人と繋がりたい #亀老山展望公園 #亀老山展望台 #MtKiroObservatory #ゴールデンウィーク #夕焼け #sunset

    Visit Imabariさん(@imabarikankou)がシェアした投稿 –

    If you want to explore using a different mode of transportation, try renting bikes at Sunrise Itoyama Cycling Station. The bridges that connect Ehime and Hiroshima via the Shimanami Sea Route have pedestrian lanes which are also great for bicycles.

    Rental information can be found in their website. They also have a hotel where that visitors can consider when exploring Shimanami Kaido.


    Itoyama Cycling Station Website

    5. Visit the castles in Ehime Prefecture

    Matsuyama Castle

    Matsuyama Castle is located on Mount Katsuyama, and it is one of Japan’s twelve “original castles”. The 21 buildings inside the castle are “Important Cultural Properties”. The castle’s location is steep, but it can be accessed by ropeway or chairlift.

    It is recognized as a prime cherry blossom viewing spot because of the 200 cherry blossom trees that can be found in the castle grounds.


    Matsuyama Castle Website

    Ozu Castle

    Ozu Castle, also known as Jizogatake Castle, is located on a hill near the Hijikawa River. The main keep of Ozu Castle was destroyed at the end of the feudal period.

    The castle was then reconstructed accurately thanks to well-documented records of the castle and also because of the enthusiasm of the citizens of Ozu. Inside the castle are exhibits about the history of Ozu, models of the castle, armors and other items of the feudal lords.


    Uwajima Castle


    続いてもお城。 宇和島城へ。 #宇和島城 #UwajimaCastle

    R_Sawaさん(@r_sawachan)がシェアした投稿 –

    Uwajima Castle is another of Japan’s “original twelve castles”. The irregular pentagon-shaped land area surrounding Uwajima Castle is its most unique feature. The castle was built by feudal lord Takatora Todo, who was known for his excellence in castle design. The castle stands proudly on top of a hill where one can see beautiful views of Uwajima city and Uwajima Bay.


    Uwajima Castle Website

    6. Enjoy the local cuisine

    Ehime prefecture is known for three dishes: jakoten, uwajima tai meshi, and satsuma-jiru.

    Jakoten is fried fish cake made from a small white fish called Hotarujako.
    Uwajima Tai Meshi is a rice dish topped with fresh slices of tai or sea bream poured with a sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, raw eggs, sesame, and broth.
    Satsuma-jiru is a stew made from vegetables and miso-flavored pork.

    7. Relax at Dogo Onsen


    道後温泉 #japan #dogoonsen #onsen #reborn #道後温泉

    Water Louさん(@waterlou)がシェアした投稿 –

    Dogo Onsen is one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Japan. The three-storey castle-style building is designated as an “Important Cultural Property”. The Dogo Onsen Honkan, a wooden public bathhouse dating from 1894, is the main attraction in Dogo Onsen. It is also said that Dogo Onsen served as an inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”.


    Dogo Onsen Website

    8. Shop at Dogo Shopping Street

    The “Dogo Haikara Dori” or Dogo Shopping Street is just a stone’s throw away from Dogo Onsen. This 250-meter-long shopping street is lined with lots of stores that sell souvenirs, local delicacies, and gifts. Most tourists take the opportunity to wear yukatas and take a stroll inside the shopping street. The stores have varying business hours, but most of them operate from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Dogo Shopping Street has an activity called the “Doga Mura Meguri”, a joint project between the businesses. In this activity, one must collect all 30 stamps from around Dogo and present the completed stamp book to the Dogo Tourist Information Center to receive an honorary villager certificate, a Dogo Onsan Honkan bathing ticket, and a local souvenir.

    Dogo Shopping Street Website

    9. Visit Minetopia Besshi


    #別子銅山 #像 つつじに埋まってる。

    いおさん(@ioio1106)がシェアした投稿 –

    Minetopia Besshi is an interactive theme park that is built from the remains of an old copper mining town. Copper mining in Besshi began in 1691 and ended in 1973. It was one of the mining towns that contributed to the modernization and industrialization of Japan. The theme park is spread over two zones, the Hadeba zone (opened in 1991) and Tohnaru zone (opened in 1994). Because it is built from an old copper mining town, the theme park uses real tunnels, tracks, and buildings that were used back in the day. The Hadeba zone is the main area of the park, where visitors are greeted. The Tohnaru zone, on the other hand, is the area where ruins of an ore storage depot can be found. This zone is also known as the “Machu Picchu of the Orient”.

    Minetopia Besshi Website

    10. Stay at Kuma Kogen Furusato Ryoko Mura

    Kuma Kogen Furusato Ryoko Mura is a village where visitors can experience the life of local farms. There is a temple, storehouse, and traditional thatched farmhouses in the village. The village offers cabins and camping sites as accommodation. Five of the farmhouses in the village have been designated as “Tangible Cultural Properties”.

    Kuma Kogen Furusato Ryoko Mura Website

    Lots of fun activities are waiting for you in Ehime prefecture! Please do visit this beautiful prefecture in the future!