This course allows plenty of time to experience the charms of Matsuyama, a beautiful provincial castle and spa town.
Nearby towns producing ceramics, and with streets of old buildings are also impressive. Hiroshima is just across the Seto Inland Sea with easy access to Kyōto, making this a Japanese journey packed with charm.
4 nights, 5 days from Haneda Airport
Hotel in Dōgo
01. Stroll around Dōgo (Isaniwa Shrine, Enman-ji Temple, Dōgo Giyaman Glass Museum)
Dōgo is a compact area with many places of scenic beauty and historic interest and things to see. Isaniwa Shrine with its 135 stone steps is designated an important national cultural property. Its bright vermilion main building creates a beautiful impression. Enman-ji Temple with its giant white Buddha statue known as the Buddha of the Spring has many items said to bring luck. Dōgo Giyaman Glass Museum presents many examples of valuable glass from earlier times. There’s also a café and restaurant in a wonderful location surrounded by a large pond and greenery.
02. Dōgo experience (foot spa experience and kimono experience)
Foot spas and hand spas are located in various places such as the foot spa in Hōjōen plaza near Dōgo Onsen Station and in the lobbies of various hotels. You can enjoy Dōgo Onsen water free of charge. At the foot spa in Hōjōen plaza, there’s a space for taking off shoes and socks. Some hotels provide towels as a service. Also the rental kimono shop in Dōgo Onsen Station will dress you up in a beautiful antique kimono of your choice. They’re also available for men. Why not try walking around the town in kimono?
15 minutes’ walk
03. Ishite-ji Temple
Ishite-ji is temple No. 51 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. There are many important national cultural properties and national treasures. The Okunoin temple beyond the mandala cave and Atago Shrine are some of the many sights to see. The mandala caves behind the main hall are dark and spooky, and the strange atmosphere is very popular with visitors from overseas.
20 minutes’ walk
04. Dōgo Onsen (Lunch)
About 35 minutes by taxi
05. Umeno Pottery
Tobeyaki ceramics are the well-known product of the town of Tobe on the outskirts of Matsuyama. Some of the potteries have traditions going back over 100 years. You can see the old climbing kilns, watch the potters at work, try your hand at decorating ceramics, and buy pottery ware in the shops. The Umeyama Antique Ceramics Museum has displays of valuable old works that tell the story of Tobeyaki ceramics going back to ancient times.
About 20 minutes’ walk along the Pottery Road
06. Tobe Ceramics Craft Center
This is a central facility of Tobeyaki ceramics. You can learn about the history of Tobeyaki, and see unconventional displays of ceramics. On the second floor you can buy products from the kilns of the town.
07. Visit a local pottery
There are about 100 potteries dotted around the town of Tobe. They’re concentrated around the Tobe Ceramics Craft Center. Some of them have galleries, and you’re welcome to look around. Tōrigaoka, a short distance away, is another community of potteries.
About 30 minutes by taxi
08. Matsuyama City Centre (Shopping, dinner)