Matsuyama – The Inspiration behind Literature

Matsuyama – The Inspiration behind Literature

If you have a chance to read the novel ‘Botchan’ by Natsume Soseki, you will eventually come to several mentions of Matsuyama City. In fact, the popularity of Botchan has made Matsuyama city grows in popularity. As one of Japan’s castle towns, Matsuyama used to be a part of Iyo province in medieval era, with Matsuyama Castle as the center. Now, Matsuyama is a place where several universities and museums stand as well as great literary and culinary hot spots. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Matsuyama because of festivals, scenery and local delights that can only be found on these months.

The Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama, Japan
Photo by Shinya ICHINOHE

Besides the famous Matsuyama Temple, Matsuyama offers traditional hot spring bath Dogo Onsen, which happens to be the oldest onsen in Japan with tourist resorts built around it. There are also several landmarks such as Ehime Museum of Art, Shiki Memorial Museum with collections of haiku written by Masaoka Shiki, Itami Juzo Museum and Ishiteji Temple. The popularity of Botchan creates several Matsuyama local delights such as Botchan dango (flour cake) filled with three flavored bean paste, egg, matcha and red bean paste. Other culinary delights in town are tart with red bean paste or chestnut paste and a kind of confectionary called Hatada Ichiroku.

The Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle, Japan
Photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA

Matsuyama can be reached using regular flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo, continued by bus from Matsuyama Airport to the city. You can also use overnight highway bus and JR Tokaido or Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo with transfer train, a journey that can take up 6.5 hours. Visitors can walk, use bike or ride tram to explore the city.

Ishite-ji Temple

Ishiteji Temple, Matsuyama, Japan
Photo by Jeremy Hall

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