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EHIME Prefecture

Area: 5,676 km2
Population: 1,405 million
Region: Shikoku
Capital: Matsuyama

photo by yisris

Ehime Prefecture is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.
Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime Prefecture was known as Iyo Province. Since ancient times, the area was dominated by fishermen and sailors who played an important role in defending Japan against pirates and Mongolian invasions.
The name Ehime comes from the Kojiki and means “beautiful maiden.
The prefecture includes both high mountains in the inland region and a long coastline, with many islands in the Seto Inland Sea.

Bamboo Craft is a specialty of Ehime, renowned for its durability and beauty.

Matsuyama is the capital and the largest city in the Shikoku Prefecture.
Quite provincial yet hospitable to travellers, and a hub of business and shopping amongst the calm of the countryside, Matsuyama has much to offer.
It is best known for the Dogo Onsen, which is one of Japan's oldest hot springs.

Situated on the 130m tall Katsuyama Hill in the center of the city, Matsuyama Castle is one of three multi-wing, flat hilltop castles remaining in Japan. Four of its eight strategic gates are designated national cultural treasures, and with the wealth of historical artefacts within its walls — swords and armour, calligraphy and official documents from the feudal era — Matsuyama-jō is well worth the hike. The castle is accessible by hiking a wooded trail.

Dōgo Park & Yuzuki Castle Ruins. From mid-March through April, the typically peaceful Dōgo Park is overwhelmed by people who come to take part in the most ancient of activities, which is hanami, or viewing of sakura (cherry blossoms). Dōgo Kōen is an important part of Matsuyama's identity because it harbours the ruins of Yuzuki Castle, the former residence of the Kōno Clan.

Matsuyama Central Park provides a panoramic view of Matsuyama and features a playground for children.
Uwajima is a coastal city in southern Ehime Prefecture. It is home to one of only twelve existing original castles from the Edo Period, and the Tenshaen Garden, a lovely mid-sized Japanese garden which features a beautiful pound surrounded by over 20 varieties of bamboo trees.
Uwajima is also one of the top pearl producers in Japan. The waterfront around the city offers great coastal scenery.

Uchico is a pleasant town located approximately 40 km southeast from Matsuyama city. Most of the town attractions can be found on the Yokaichi Old Town, Uchiko's preserved historical district that looks just as it did over 100 years ago. The town is also home to the Uchiko History Museum which shows the life of Uchiko’s former residents.

Ozu is an old town home to Ozu Castle, originally constructed in 1331and re-constructed in 2004. The town still retains well preserved old fashioned alleys and houses.
By plane
Matsuyama Airport offers nonstop service from major airports such as Tokyo Haneda, Nagoya Komaki, Osaka Itami and Fukuoka, as well as from Okinawa.
There are also direct flights to and from Seoul and Shanghai. The Limousine Bus connects the airport to Dōgo Onsen.

By train
Take the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo to Okayama (3.5 hours) and transfer to a JR Shiokaze limited express train for Matsuyama (2.5 hours). The entire one way trip takes around 6.5 hours.

By bus
Highway buses connect Matsuyama with the rest of Shikoku, as well as with other major cities in Japan.
Ehime has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season.
The warm season lasts from end of June to end of September with an average daily high temperature above 26°C. The hottest month of the year is August, with an average high of 30.5°C and low of 24.4°C.
The cold season lasts from beginning of December to end of March, with an average daily high temperature below 12.7°C. The coldest month of the year is February , with an average low of 3.3°C and high of 8.8°C.
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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