Located in a lush river basin, Shikoku’s largest city is handsome and refined, with a hint of ‘mainland’ hustle. Matsuyama 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 seven of the 88 Temples, including Ishite-ji, one of the most famous stops on the pilgrimage.Shikoku’s largest city is a bustling transport hub that boasts all the chic and flair of its sister cities on Honshū. However, Japanese and foreign tourists alike are principally drawn to Matsuyama for its famous sights, namely Matsuyama-jō, one of the country’s finest feudal-era castles, and Dōgo Onsen Honkan, a multi-level public bath house. If you’re journeying around the 88 Sacred Temples, Matsuyama is home to seven temples, including Ishite-ji, one of the most famous stops on the pilgrimage. Matsuyama is also well set up for foreign visitors, easy to navigate via its historic tram system and home to two of the island’s most enjoyable youth hostels.
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