Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Matsuyama

Matsuyama-jō

Perched on top of Mt Katsuyama in the centre of town, the castle dominates the city, as it has for centuries. Matsuyama-jō is one of Japan's finest surviving castles, and one of the very few with anything interestin…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Ehime Prefecture

Temple 45: Iwaya-ji

Pilgrims will be hoofing it through Shikoku's mountainous interior to get here, but you'll want your own wheels if you're not a henro to get to the isolated, but extremely atmospheric Temple 45, the Iwaya-ji. Hangin…
Top Choice Historic Site in Uchiko

Yōkaichi Historic District

Uchiko's picturesque and protected main street has a number of interesting buildings, many of which now serve as museums, souvenir stalls, craft shops, accommodation houses and charming teahouses. The old buildings …
Top Choice Seafood in Matsuyama

Kappō Yano

Yano-san and his family have been running their local's seafood place for over 30 years a block back from APA Hotel in Matsumae-chō. Serving traditional meals, choose from his chef's omakase courses from ¥3000, or g…
Top Choice Cafe in Matsuyama

Café Bleu

This lovely little music cafe serves tasty, simple sustenance with a picture menu and daily specials. The decor includes photos of Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger spying on you in the bathroom, vintage typewriters and s…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Matsuyama

Temple 51: Ishite-ji

East of Dōgo Onsen is Ishite-ji, the 51st of the 88 Temples and one of the most impressive in the circuit. Ishite means 'stone hand' and comes from a legend associated with Kōbō Daishi in which a baby was born with …
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Uwajima

Taga-jinja & Sex Museum

Once upon a time, many Shintō shrines had a connection to fertility rites. Of those that remain, Taga-jinja is one of the best known. The grounds of the shrine have a few tree-trunk phalluses and numerous statues an…
Top Choice Seafood in Uwajima

Wabisuke

This restaurant, just off the arcade, is an elegant spot to try the local tai (sea bream) specialities, available here as a tai-meshi gozen (sea bream set course; ¥1880). There is a picture menu, plenty of small pla…
Castle in Uwajima

Uwajima-jō

Dating from 1601, Uwajima-jō is a small three-storey castle on an 80m-high hill in the centre of town. The present structure was rebuilt in 1666 by the daimyō (regional lord) Date Munetoshi. The donjon (main keep) i…
Notable Building in Uwajima

Municipal Bullfighting Ring

Tōgyū (闘牛) is probably best described as a type of bovine sumo. In these bloodless 'wrestling' matches, victory is achieved when one animal forces the other to its knees, or when one turns tail and flees from the ri…