Matsuyama is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on the Shikoku island of Japan. It is located on the northeastern portion of the Dōgo Plain. Its name means "pine tree mountain." The city was founded on December 15, 1889.

The city is famous for hot springs (onsen) and is home to Dōgo Onsen, the oldest hot spring bath house in Japan. A second favorite tourist spot is Matsuyama Castle. Eight of the eighty-eight temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are in Matsuyama.

Matsuyama is one of the Japanese cities that did not abolish their street car systems (Iyo Railway).

The famed novel Botchan by Natsume Sōseki is set in Matsuyama. As a result, there are numerous sites and locales named after the main character, including Botchan Stadium, the Botchan Densha (an antique train that runs on the streetcar route), and Botchan dango.

The haiku poet Masaoka Shiki lived in Matsuyama. His house, now known as the Shiki-do, and a museum, the Shiki Kinenkan, are popular attractions, and the centerpieces of the city's claim as a center of the international haiku movement. The Matsuyama Declaration of 1999 proposed the formation of International Haiku Research Center, and the first Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards were given in 2000. Recipients have included Yves Bonnefoy (2000), Cor Van Den Heuvel (2002), and Gary Snyder (2004).

Matsuyama Airport has regular flights to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major Japanese cities and selected international destinations, including both Shanghai and Seoul. There is regular ferry service to Hiroshima and regular night ferries to Kobe, Kokura Kita-ku, Kitakyushu, and several other destinations.

Matsuyama is home to several universities, including Ehime University, which is part of the Japanese national university system, and Matsuyama University, a private university.

Famous products of Matsuyama include tarts. In the 17th century, the lord of Matsuyama castle, Sadayuki Matsudaira introduced the process of tart-making, originally brought to Japan by the Portuguese, to Matsuyama. At first it was aCastella with jam. According to legend Sadayuki made some changes, such as adding red bean paste. Now there are many kinds and makers of tarts in Matsuyama; some add yuzu paste or chestnut to the red bean paste. In addition to tarts, botchan dango is also a famous product of Matsuyama. Botchan dango was named after the famous novel Botchan by Natsume Sōseki. It consists of three bean paste beads of three flavors, matcha, egg, and red bean paste. Within the paste is contained mochi.


Journeys trips that include Matsuyama:

Cherry Blossoms of Japan


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