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Population (approx.): 1.441 million (2012)
Area: 2,192 sq miles
Area Rank: 26
Center of Ehime; Home to Matsuyama Castle
Small historic city, situated deep inside Uwajima Bay
Pleasant toll road connecting Shikoku to mainland Honshu
Ehime Prefecture is located in the Shikoku region and its capital Matsuyama City is home to the famous Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen. Matsuyama Castle is among Japan’s twelve “original castles”, castles which survived the post-feudal era. The castles location on top of a steep hill allows visitors of the castle to gain a great view of the city and Seto Inland Sea. The castle’s structure and layout make Matsuyama Castle a great example of a feudal castle. The castle and defenses are highly guarded through a number of gates. Dogo Onsen, one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs, is even said to have inspired Miyazaki’s great film “Spirited Away”. Its highlight, the Dogo Onsen Honkan is a large bath house bustling with people. The bath house even has a special room for the royal family, built in 1899. Although no emperor has used the room since 1952, the room called Yushinden is still reserved and tours of the room are given to those with special tickets.
One of Japan's twelve original castles; last reconstructed in 1820 when burnt down by lightening
Japan's oldest and most famous hot spring
Old rustic feel town of life during the Edo period
51st of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage
Museum displaying great selection of towels and artwork from towels
Ehime’s local dish is “tai-meshi”, a rice dish with sea bream. Methods of preparation for tai meshi vary between the northern and southern areas. In northern Ehime, the tai (sea bream) is placed in a pot of rice then boiled. In southern Ehime, sliced raw tai are placed on boiled rice. Then a sauce mixture consisting of egg, soy sauce and dashi broth are poured into the bowl and green onions, nori, and sesame seeds are added.
Tobe-yaki is a type of pottery that originated in Ehime over 200 years ago. Tobe yaki generally features a white base with simple indigo blue designs. They are of good durability and produce plates, bowls, cups and other everyday kitchenware. The Tobe Pottery Traditional Industry Hall is a great place to view all kinds of Tobe yaki products.
Saijo Matsuri is a cultural, religious festival in Ehime that has a history of over 300 years. Saijo Matsuri celebrates the four shrines of Ehime. More than 150 "danjiri" or wooden portable shrines are carried by groups of men. Participants parade through the city to the shrine as the sound of taiko drums fill the air with music. The parade comes to a great finish when some of the danjiri are carried into the water.