When to travel?

The weather is Ehime is very warm and mild, thanks to the Seto inland sea.  A lot of sunny days, humidity is comparatively low.

Best season: Feb-Dec
Cherry blossoms: end of Mar-Apr
Foliage: Nov-Dec

Events / Festivals

Jul: Uwajima Gyuki festival (宇和島牛鬼祭り), Uwajima 宇和島
Aug: Dogo Hot spring summer festival (道後温泉夏祭り), Dogo Hot spring 道後温泉
Oct: Matsuyama autumn festival (松山秋祭り), Matsuyama 松山
Oct: Niihama drum festival (新居浜太鼓祭り), Niihama 新居浜
Oct: Saijo festival (西条まつり), Saijo 西条

Touristic spots

Capital city: Matsuyama (松山)

A touristic city, also known as a city of hot water, castle and literature.  A famous writer, Soseki Natsume (夏目漱石), whose portrait is on 1000 yen bill, wrote a novel based on this city.  The population is about half a million, which means the city is the biggest in Shikoku.

Matsuyama castle (松山城), a National Treasure of Japan.
Dogo Hot spring (道後温泉) is one of the 3 oldest hot springs.   What makes the hot spring so notable is that the old, traditional Japanese style façade.  You may feel like as if you have done a time travel, and it is definitely a great place to enjoy Japanese culture.
Ishide temple (石手寺) is the top temple of Ehime, which is a part of the pilgrimage that the Buddhist has to complete.  The temple is also given a one-star by Michelin Travel Guide, which is the reason why it is getting more popularity.

Imabari (今治)

Imabari is at the important location, that connects Shikoku and mainland.  There was a castle before and even now, the city is working as the second biggest in Ehime prefecture.  Imabari is known as an industrial city.  Their products called Imabari towels, are quite famous throughout Japan.

Imabari castle (今治城).

Uchiko (内子)

This is a very small town, but with a lot of interesting spots for foreign tourists.  The town became rich in farming Haze goby fish, and they have constructed many valuable buildings.  The town is trying to conserve traditional buildings. They are also trying to attract more tourists by promoting green tourisms in the countryside.

Uchiko’s traditional houses.
Stay in one of the houses and help them with farming.

Uwajima (宇和島)

Uwajima is a hub city in southern part of Ehime prefecture. The city is surrounded by ocean along with so many islands, that is the reason why there are countless number of ports in this city.  The JR line terminates here, so that people would feel like they have come to the end of Shikoku.

Uwajima castle (宇和島城), on top the hill of 80 meters.
Ryukoji temple (龍光寺)
Great sunset view, city of port.

Mt. Ishizuchi (石鎚山)

With the height of 1982 meters, Mt. Ishizuchi is the highest mountain in Shikoku Island, as well as in western Japan.   It is also known as the holy mountain where Buddhist monks go through a harsh practice, however, even before the Buddhism has been taken to Japan, the mountain had been worshipped in Shinto animism.

The shape of the mountain looks like a sword made from a stone, which Ishizuchi means.

Omogo valley (面河渓)

It is about 10 km-long valley along Niyodo river (仁淀川).  The valley is surrounded by high mountains and the height could reach as high as 650 meters.  The view of the waterfall and gorge is amazing, but the most beautiful time of the year is during foliage.  There is also a hiking route to Mt. Ishizuchi.

Great place to feel nature.

Shimonada station (下灘駅)

There are thousands of train stations, but one of the most impressive ones may be in Ehime.  The station called Shimonada (下灘) is located by the coastline of Seto inland sea, and it is called as the station closest to the ocean.

What is unbelievable is that there are only 9 trains a day for every 2 hours, so if you miss the train, you might have to wait for another 2 hours for the next train.  However, this inconvenient fact even attracts people’s heart.  Just sit down on the bench and relax.