What could you do with one day in Matsuyama?
The last stop in Shikoku island before heading to Kyushu is Matsuyama, famous for the oldest Onsen in Japan with more than 3000 years of history as well as the Matsuyama castle and the not so famous but really surprising temple. Matsuyama is farther away from Kyoto than the cities we’ve visited recently, so it’s much less touristic.
We could experience more of the local vibe, people asked us where we came from at the street and we went to a super authentic bar where there were two senior women cooking for the locals of the village and they were offering tasty food for only 500 yen. Quite impressive. But let’s go to the point and talk about what could you do with one day in Matsuyama ^^
Dogo Onsen (Japanese oldest onsen)
This place is magical with so much history. We happen to arrive at 18h o’clock and at that time, a very beautiful temple appeared and started playing some music with some ceramic figures moving on it as you can see here
Then, there were some graphite using the dark light that were pretty impressive
and of course the buildings of the onsens itself. The main building is being renovated so it was hard to get on camera but it resembles a lot the one of the Ghibli film "Spirited away".
Here you can see a similar one that was close to Dogo onsen to understand how they look like ^^
The dogo onsen costs 420 yen and it's open until 11 PM. It has a temperature of 42 degrees. So neither Trixi nor I could stay longer than 20 minutes inside the water... It's really burning but afterwards it feels like the night is not cold at all, even with a t-shirt haha.
We would recommend eating at the restaurant mentioned above. It's called Bocchan and here you have a link. It's run by two nice grandmother's that cook their traditional Japanese food and ask you in Japanese "What do you want to eat?" and then give you the meal of the day, which costs an astonishing price of 500 yen, which is about 3€, including drink! We were eating in Japan for the same price as in Indonesia. This is all that you get for this price. Really impressive.
Ishiteji temple, an amazing temple like no other
This temple in Matsuyama is really cool. It surprised us because we didn't know it had so many different things in it. It has a cave with 88 Buddhist figures inside of it, a pagoda, a 100m high statue and many little temples.
This is the entrance of the temple cave, which is easy to miss otherwise:
This is how the temple cave looks inside! Pretty cool, right?
And this is how the 100m statue that symbolizes peace between Japan and China looks like from further away. We tried to go there but the path is not very obvious and there was a watching dog so we decided to pass for this time ^^
Visit the castle and the park around it
However, what we did was to go up the castle using a chair cable car, just for the fun of it!
We hope you enjoyed our post! Looking forward to giving you more updates about Japan before heading to South Korea ^^