Located in a lush river basin, Shikoku's largest city is handsome and refined, with a hint of 'mainland' hustle. Matsuyama (松山) is famed across Japan for Dōgo Onsen Honkan, a luxurious 19th-century public bathhouse built over ancient hot springs. The finest castle on the island towers above the stylish trams criss-crossing the city streets and the harbour glistening in the distance. Matsuyama is also home to eight of the 88 Temples, including Ishite-ji, one of the most famous stops on the pilgrimage.
The castle sits on a hill in the middle of the city with JR Matsuyama Station to its west, the city centre to its south and Dōgo Onsen to its east. Trams connect all the areas, including circumnavigating the castle's hill. The ferry port and airport are both west of the city.