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Another place tourists rarely go there - Matsuyama.
Matsuyama is the largest city on Shikoku. At the heart of the city stands Matsuyamajo, a beautiful, original castle. The castle's hilltop vantage point offers a view of the city and a glimpse of the Seto Inland Sea.
It is located on Katsuyama (Mount Katsu), a steep hill in the city center. Matsuyamajo was constructed between 1602 and 1628. In spite of the castle's steep hilltop location, a ropeway and chairlift make it easily accessible. Riding the single-chair, barrier-free chairlift is a pleasant way to ascend Katsuyama.

The city is also famed for being the setting of Natsume Soseki's popular novel, entitled "Botchan". Often read as part of the Japanese school curriculum, the novel describes Matsuyama during the turbulent Meiji Restoration.
Dogo Onsen is one of Japan's oldest and most famous hot springs. it has also been a frequent destination for Japan's most prestigious guests, the imperial family took a bath there ten times.
The main attraction is the Dogo Onsen Honkan, a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse, dating from 1894. The interior of the building is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms, all of which bustle with bathers and staff.
Bathers can use the large, public bath called Kami no yu ("bath of the gods") but the more expensive option is both the Kami no yu and the smaller Tama no yu ("bath of the spirits"), as well as private rooms for enjoying a complementary post bath snack and tea. Furthermore, they can take a look at the exclusive bathing facilities reserved for visiting Emperors.

Needless to say, we also took a bath there and saw the imperial toilet, never used by Emperor :). It is a pity it was not allowed to make photos there. Such a public bath is a great fun!! The guests from different hotels and ryokan walk in the city center in yukatas and have their bath items in small baskets. We enjoyed it a lot. From Matsuyama we took the ferry to Hiroshima.

SWEETFREEDOM, patdeph, jjcordier, dkmurphys has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4985 W: 81 N: 12566] (73729)
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