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Ehime Prefecture

Occupying the west of Shikoku and formerly known as Iyo, Ehime Prefecture (愛媛県) is home to Shikoku's largest city, Matsuyama, and has the greatest number of the 88 pilgrimage temples – 27, to be precise. Like Tosa (Kōchi Prefecture), the southern part of the prefecture has always been considered wild and remote; by the time pilgrims arrive in Matsuyama, they know that the hard work has been done and they are well on their way to completing their goal. To pilgrims, Ehime is known as Bodai-no-dōjō, the 'place for attainment of wisdom'. There are large clusters of temples around Matsuyama and Imabari, at the southern end of the Shimanami Kaidō bridge system, which links Shikoku with Honshū and makes for a spectacular bike ride.

Prefectural highlights are the immaculately preserved feudal castle and historic Dōgo Onsen in Matsuyama, and the sacred peak of Ishizuchi-san (1982m), the highest mountain in western Japan.

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