3 Days and 2 Nights in the Shikoku Region! ~Part 4. Matsuyama Castle & Shimanami Expressway~

This is the last article about my trip to the Shikoku region! I visited Matsuyama Castle, drove on Shimanami Expressway, and flew from Matsuyama Airport to Tokyo.

This is continued from 3 Days and 2 Nights in the Shikoku Region! ~Part 3. Staying In The Luxury Hotel Yamatoya Honten~.

Visiting Matsuyama Castle

My wife and I left the hotel and moved to Matsuyama Castle.

I found another photo booth on my way. These are characters from the famous novel “Bocchan” by Souseki Natsume.

And I met the local mascot of Matsuyama Castle, Yoshiaki-kun!

The castle is on the top of a mountain, so we took this tram to get there.

Another photo booth!

Beautiful stone walls around the castle.

The coloured leaves decorate the castle and its premise wonderfully. I realized many visitors are elderly people (even though the premises have many hills and inclines!).

Walking slowly uphill...

Beautifully trimmed pine trees...

The Noh (Japanese classic drama) stage often has pine trees painted on the wall because the shape of the tree looks like a Kanji character “寿 (kotobuki)” which means “longevity” and “felicitations.” This pine tree looks like “寿" as well.

(pant, pant...) I’m getting there…!


There are many gates going into the castle. All of them had been strategically designed.

They are designed to protect the castle from invasion. The gates have holes like this, which were for gun shooting.

Mmm… This scene reminds me of the video game Samurai Warriors...

You can see inside of the castle. Take your shoes off and put the slippers (equipped) on… Japanese castles have steep and narrow stairs...this is also for strategic reasons.

There are displays of arms and weapons.

Breathtaking view from the castle tower!

This hole is for dropping rocks to slow an enemy’s advance. I guess bringing the rocks to the top of the castle is tougher than dropping them from the hole...

Samurai armor and the hat for firefighters. The hat has a family crest on it.

There is a video going on which is about the history of Matsuyama Castle...

Going back with the tram to the bottom of the mountain. You don’t get a chance to see any castles in Tokyo, so it was fun to visit!

Fruity Sweets From Seikoudou

We were about to take the Shimanami Expressway, but stopped by the sweets shop called Seikoudou. I’d read about this shop in our guidebook.

This is their specialty Marugoto Mikan Daifuku, which is a whole orange inside a sticky rice cake.

My wife had it and she liked it (well, actually I realized it is also sold at Matsuyama Airport...hahaha)

Ehime Prefecture is famous for tangerines. They also put other seasonal fruits in their rice cakes.

Taking Shimanami Expressway!

This picture is taken from the park near the expressway. Visiting this park is free of charge, but if you take the expressway and come back, it costs a lot...

What a beautiful view…glad it was sunny day!

Me posing like the statue.

There are two restaurants available for both Japanese and western food. We chose western food this time.

These are their menu cards.

The view from the window by the table was awesome!

Paella using seafood from Seto Inland Sea (which divides the main land from Shikoku)...Oh it was great!

Beef stew with steamed vegetables. It was good, too!

Good Bye Shikoku, Flying From Matsuyama Airport To Tokyo

I had some time before my flight back to Tokyo, but I wasn’t sure how long it takes to the airport (could be a traffic jam on the way), so I returned my rental car back and went to Matsuyama Airport a bit early.

I found another photo booth… I became a Sumo wrestler!

This is Ehime’s local beer called Dougo Beer. I liked it...a lot!

The last supper at the airport restaurant.

Jakoten easily became my favourite local food in the Ehime Prefecture!

Shikoku region has four prefectures but I only visited two of them (Kagawa and Ehime prefectures)... If I have another chance to visit, I’d love to see the other two (Kouchi and Tokushima prefectures)!!

The food was awesome and the scenery was beautiful… I enjoyed it so much!!

I recommend you to visit this peaceful and restful region in Japan! It’s very different from the big cities, but you’ll love it!

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Written by 941 (Yusuke Kushii)

I'm working in a technical public relations section of an IT company in Tokyo. I often writes columns about child-rearing and blogs about visiting a number of office tours and nice restaurants.