The 10 Best Places To Visit In Matsuyama

Matsuyama, a city steeped in history and natural beauty, is a gem waiting to be discovered on Japan’s Shikoku Island. It’s a place where tradition intertwines with modernity, and where every corner offers a new surprise. I’ve had the pleasure of exploring Matsuyama, and I’m excited to share with you the top 10 must-visit spots that make this city truly special.

Dogo Onsen Honkan

Let’s dive right into the heart of Matsuyama’s allure with the Dogo Onsen Honkan. This historic hot spring bathhouse has been soothing weary travelers for over a thousand years. Its architecture is a feast for the eyes, with intricate wooden details that tell tales of ancient Japan. Soaking in these legendary waters, you can’t help but feel a deep connection to the past.

Matsuyama Castle

Perched atop Katsuyama Hill, Matsuyama Castle stands as a proud testament to feudal strength. The journey to the top is a delightful adventure, with options to hike or take a cable car. Once there, the panoramic views of the city and Seto Inland Sea are breathtaking. The castle’s well-preserved structure offers a glimpse into the life of samurai warriors.

Ishite-ji Temple

Part of the sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage, Ishite-ji Temple is a spiritual haven. Its unique blend of Buddhist and Shinto influences is evident in the stunning architecture and serene atmosphere. The temple’s grounds are a treasure trove of cultural artifacts, including a Cave filled with Buddhist statues.


For a touch of European elegance, visit Bansuiso. This French-style villa was once the residence of a local lord and now serves as a cultural center. Its beautiful gardens and ornate interiors are perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll.

Tobe Zoo

Animal lovers, rejoice! Tobe Zoo is a family-friendly destination where you can meet a diverse array of creatures. The zoo emphasizes animal welfare and conservation, making it an educational experience as well as an enjoyable one.

Shiki Memorial Museum

Literature enthusiasts will find a kindred spirit in the Shiki Memorial Museum. Dedicated to Masaoka Shiki, a revered poet and critic, the museum celebrates his life and works. It’s a place to ponder the beauty of words and their impact on Japanese culture.

Hojo Kashima

For those seeking tranquility, Hojo Kashima is a hidden gem. This small island in Matsuyama Bay is known for its lush greenery and peaceful ambiance. It’s an ideal spot for fishing, picnicking, or simply unwinding by the sea.

Botchan Train

Take a step back in time aboard the Botchan Train. This vintage locomotive, inspired by Natsume Soseki’s novel “Botchan,” offers a charming way to see the city. The train’s nostalgic design and leisurely pace make for a memorable ride.

Okaido and Gintengai Shopping Streets

Shopaholics will find their paradise on Okaido and Gintengai Shopping Streets. These bustling thoroughfares are lined with a variety of stores, from traditional crafts to contemporary fashion. The lively atmosphere is contagious, and you’re sure to find a keepsake or two.

Yuzuki Castle Ruins

Last but not least, the Yuzuki Castle Ruins offer a peaceful escape. While the castle no longer stands, the moats and stone walls evoke its former glory. The site is now a park, providing a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk or picnic.


  • What’s the best time to visit Matsuyama?

    Spring and fall are ideal, with pleasant temperatures and cherry blossoms or autumn leaves adding to the city’s charm.

  • Is Matsuyama suitable for non-Japanese speakers?

    Yes, many signs are in English, and locals are welcoming to tourists. It’s always helpful to learn a few basic Japanese phrases, though!

  • Can I experience traditional Japanese culture in Matsuyama?

    Absolutely! From onsen baths to tea ceremonies, Matsuyama offers a wealth of traditional experiences.


In conclusion, Matsuyama is a city that captivates with its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Each of the 10 spots I’ve shared holds its own unique charm, contributing to the rich tapestry that is Matsuyama. Whether you’re soaking in the ancient waters of Dogo Onsen, gazing out from the heights of Matsuyama Castle, or wandering the historical streets, you’re sure to leave with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore the wonders of Matsuyama!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.