Part of the island of Shikoku, Ehime is blessed with natural beauty waiting to be explored, bounded by the swirling Seto Inland Sea on one side and the sacred Ishizuchi Mountain range on the other. Check out the various attractions in Ehime!
Where is Ehime?
Ehime is a prefecture in Shikoku, an island located southwest of Japan’s main island of Honshu.
It’s easily accessible from popular cities like Hiroshima and Beppu, and is not far from Kyoto or Osaka.
Places of Interest in Ehime
Matsuyama Castle is one of Japan’s twelve original castles. This castle has remained intact since the post-feudal era since 1868. The castle is also one of the most complex and interesting castles in Japan. To reach this castle tower can be reached by cable car or elevator. You can also climb while enjoying the view. In the vicinity there are about 200 cherry trees so it is usually a spot to enjoy Sakura around the end of March to early April every year.
The oldest spa in Japan, Dogo-onsen Hot Spring is located in Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime, which is said to have had a history of 3000 years. A legend says, in ancient times this place of bathing could cure god’s disease. The right time to bathe here is during spring. Easy access from the city center has made Dogo-onsen the most popular destination in Matsuyama.
Mount Ishizuchi is the highest mountain in western Japan, located in the ranks of Mount Shikoku between Ehime Prefecture and Kochi Prefecture. This mountain is part of the Shikoku roof. This mountain that has a sword-like peak to the sky has been known as a holy place. In addition, it is also known as one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan with unspoiled nature. At the top of the mountain there is a small temple called the Ishizuchi Shrine.
Setouchi Shimanami Kaido (Nishiseto Expressway) is a highway that connects 6 islands between Imabari in Ehime and Onomichi on Hiroshima with 9 bridges. The length of the route is around 60 km, making Ehime more accessible from major cities in Honshu. An unusual feature of this maritime track, there is one bridge for pedestrian and bicycle paths.
Uchiko (内 子), a cozy little town located about 40km southwest of Matsuyama, Ehime. The city is very quiet, it’s hard to imagine if this place was once a center of economy and culture that produces architecture and art. Rows of interesting shops that adorn the streets of Uchiko selling local souvenirs and products.
Imabari claims the city is the No.1 towel manufacturer, both in terms of quality and quantity with 60% of the domestic market. There are various towel products available such as bathrobes and towel mufflers. New materials include kenaf and bamboo, and new techniques used to improve the texture and water absorbing properties.
The steam locomotive that used to travel across Matsuyama for 67 years from 1888. Botchan Ressha was a diesel powered car that was repaired in 2001. It travels around the city with a classic steam car from a smoke generator that will certainly bring nostalgia. (Daily service from Dogo Onsen Station to the city center.)
The Shikoku Karst is a plateau located 1,400 meters above sea level with limestone formations showing peaks throughout the plateau. The eastern bank of Shikoku Karst stretches along the border between Ehime and Kochi Prefecture with Tengu no mori as its peak. Tengu no mori is surrounded by white birch and red pine trees, which provide different colors from karst scenery.
Food in Ehime
Ehime is one of the major citrus producers in Japan. Blessed with cool climate, fertile soil, and abundant sunlight makes Ehime a place for citrus cultivation or mikan in Japanese. Besides mandarin oranges, in Ehime also produces other types such as iyokan, ponkan, kiyomi tangor, dekopon, etc. Oranges here are also produced as sweets, drinks, even souvenirs sold throughout the prefecture.
One of the most famous traditional local dishes from Ehime, which has become a pride as a result of the largest fishing in Japan. How to present it is divided into two; eastern regions (Imabari / Matsuyama) and south (Uwajima). In the east, all parts of the fish are placed on the rice in a pan and cooked together. When the rice is ready, cut the fish and stir, ready to eat. Whereas in the south, Tai-meshi (Hyuga meshi) is served with rice and sashimi dipped in soy sauce seasoning mixed with raw eggs on top, sprinkled with spring onions.
Coming from the 1600s when the feudal king of Matsuyama brought a recipe for European-style snacks from Nagasaki. Initially, Taruto was a sponge roll containing jam, but it was said that the idea of adding red bean paste on top came from the King’s idea. Sponge cake which has been coated with red bean paste and citron then rolled to form elegant and beautiful Japanese hiragana letter characters.