Matsuyama Full-Day Private Trip with Nationally-Licensed Guide

This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Matsuyama!

Matsuyama, with the tranquil and beautiful Seto Inland Sea to the west and the mountains to the east, boasts a pleasant climate–mild thoughout the year with little rainfall. With its abundance of cultural offerings, Matsuyama features both the convenience of a city and the slow pace of the countryside.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
* Duration: 6 hours
* Starts: Matsuyama, Japan
* Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Historical & Heritage Tours




This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Matsuyama!

Matsuyama, with the tranquil and beautiful Seto Inland Sea to the west and the mountains to the east, boasts a pleasant climate–mild thoughout the year with little rainfall. With its abundance of cultural offerings, Matsuyama features both the convenience of a city and the slow pace of the countryside.

Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hour tour that’s best for you!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Dogo Onsen Honkan, 5-6 Dogoyunomachi, Matsuyama 790-0842 Ehime Prefecture

Dogo Onsen Honkan (道後温泉本館, Dōgo Onsen Honkan) is the symbol and main attraction of Dogo Onsen. The charismatic bath house was built in 1894 during the Meiji Period. Its wooden interior is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms, usually bustling with activity by staff and guests. Dogo Onsen Honkan is said to have served as inspiration for the award-winning animated film “Spirited Away” by Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli.

The Honkan offers two gender-separated, old-fashioned public baths made of stone. The main bath on the first floor is called Kami no Yu (Bath of the Gods), while the smaller but more distinguished Tama no Yu (Bath of the Spirits) is on the second floor. Large communal tatami rooms on the second floor and smaller private rooms on the third floor provide bathers with space to rest and enjoy a snack. Four different admission plans provide visitors with varying levels of access to the Honkan’s facilities (see details below under “Hours and Fees”).

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Dogo Onsengai, Dogoyunomachi, Matsuyama Ehime Prefecture

Dogo Onsen (道後温泉, Dōgo Onsen) is one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs, located to the east of central Matsuyama. The area is popular with tourists for its beautiful bath house and many ryokan. Dogo Onsen has also been a frequent destination for Japan’s most prestigious guests, the Imperial Family.

The main attraction in Dogo Onsen is the Dogo Onsen Honkan, a wooden public bathhouse, dating from 1894. The interior of the Honkan is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms, all of which bustle with bathers and staff. It is said to have served as inspiration for Miyazaki’s popular animated film “Spirited Away”.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Matsuyama Castle, Marunouchi, Matsuyama Ehime Prefecture

Matsuyama Castle (松山城, Matsuyamajō) is one of Japan’s twelve “original castles”, i.e. castles which have survived the post-feudal era since 1868 intact. It is also one of the most complex and interesting castles in the country. It is located on Mount Katsuyama, a steep hill in the city center that provides visitors with a bird’s eye view of Matsuyama and the Seto Inland Sea. There are about 200 cherry trees on the castle grounds, making this a lovely cherry blossom spot typically around late March to early April each year.

Matsuyama Castle was constructed between 1602 and 1628. In 1635, the castle got assigned to a branch of the Matsudaira family, relatives of the nation ruling Tokugawa, and it remained in their hands until the end of the feudal era. The current three storied castle tower was constructed in 1820 after the original five storied one had been destroyed by lightning.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ishiteji, 2-9-21 Ishite, Matsuyama 790-0852 Ehime Prefecture

Ishiteji (石手寺), located near Dogo Onsen to the northeast of Matsuyama’s city center, is the city’s most famous temple. It is number 51 of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Pilgrims dressed in white are a frequent sight at this large temple.

Ishiteji’s name literally means “stone hand temple”, referring to a local legend in which an aristocrat had held a stone tightly in his hand at his death bed after seeking the priest Kobo Daishi to no avail, and was later reborn with the stone still held in the baby’s hand.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Isaniwa Shrine, 173 Sakuradanicho, Matsuyama 790-0838 Ehime Prefecture

Isaniwa shrine is a popular Shinto shrine in Matsuyama. Many emperors have been enshrined at this place. Most of the buildings here have been designated as important cultural properties. The temple is about the corridors and angles. The corridors have interesting paintings which feature calligraphy and animals on the walls. If you have visited Ishiteji temple, it is a must-visit place.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Matsuyama Castle Ninomaru Historical Garden, 5 Marunochi, Matsuyama 790-0008 Ehime Prefecture

The Ninomaru Historical garden is truly a thing of beauty. It was built at the place where the Matsuyama castle palace buildings once stood. The garden ha a small fee of 100 yen which is worth it. The beautiful gardens allow you to wander through a natural setting and enjoy yourself. You shouldn’t miss a thing there and make sure you visit every waterfall there. You should go to the garden on sunny days.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Bansuiso, 3-3-7 Ichibancho, Matsuyama 790-0001 Ehime Prefecture

Bansuiso is one of the hidden gems of Japan because if you didn’t know where it was, you can never find it. It is quite a large villa built in the Gothic French-style. It is present where the castle starts but is completely hidden by trees and tall buildings. Many areas of the mansion have been opened to the public to appreciate the art and architecture behind the villa. It also has a nice garden where you can hang out freely.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Okaido Shopping Street, Okaido, Matsuyama 790-0004 Ehime Prefecture

The Okaido Shopping street is present about half of kilometer eastwards before turning northwards and a further 600 meter towards the tram stop. A large variety of different shops can be found here, including chain stores, cosmetic retailers, fashion boutiques, jewelry outlets, cafés, and restaurants. You can find everything here, from cough medicine to beer. So you should shop at this place.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Botchan Train Museum, 4-4-1 Minatomachi 1F Iyo Railway Headquarters Bldg., Matsuyama 790-0012 Ehime Prefecture

The Botchan train is a popular attraction between the routes of Matsuyama station and Dogo. This train is designed in the shape of old trains and its tiny locomotives and carriages are a great picturesque for the locals and visitors alike. On weekend and on holidays, the train becomes crowded but on weekdays, it isn’t crowded. Keeping in view the fact that the train costs only about 300 yen one way, you should board on it.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ehime Prefectural Museum, Horinochi, Matsuyama 790-0007 Ehime Prefecture

The Ehime Prefectural museum stands within walking distance from the Matsuyama castle and overlooks a wide area of lawns and trees. The large glass plate reflects the castle on its hills and looks quite stylish. The Japanese and art pieces inside the museum look quite fascinating. There are also some expositions in the museum. So anyone has a slight bit of interest in architecture should visit this museum.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ehime Children’s Castle, 108 Nishinomachi, Matsuyama 791-1135 Ehime Prefecture

The Ehime Children’s castle is present on the forest top next to the Tobe Zoo and the Ehime Prefectural Sports Complex. The name of the place in Japanese translates to ‘the children’s playground’ and it holds true to its name as there is everything here for children to enjoy. Apart from the 300 yen entrance fee, everything is free. The view of Matsuyama from the castle top is quite fascinating.

Duration: 1 hour