Located on the island of Shikoku, the Ehime Prefecture (愛媛県) is blessed with beautiful nature and a warm climate.
As home to the most number of temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, the prefecture is well known for showing hospitality and compassion to the pilgrims that travel through there.
Our staff tours around this attractive prefecture for a day, let’s see what he has to say!
Ehime is known to be the cycling paradise in Japan, and for good reason! The climate is mild, and there are multiple courses that vary in distances, so there is something for every cyclist.
There are also dedicated bicycle lanes on the Shimanami Kaido (しまなみ海道), a 60-kilometre toll road that connects Honshu to Shikoku.
Bicycles can be rented and dropped off at terminals on either end of the route and even along the way if cyclists get too tired and want to switch to riding the bus for the rest of the journey.
MATSUYAMA CASTLE 松山城
One of Japan’s twelve castles that survived the post-feudal era since 1868, this majestic building stands on Mt. Katsuyama and took us less than 10 minutes to ascend to the main keep using the ropeway.
We strolled about the inner circle of defense, known as Ninomaru, which used to serve as the lord’s office and residence, and has since been turned into a park with lots of flora and fauna.
I was extremely thrilled to stop at Dogo Onsen Honkan, a wooden public bathhouse which dates back to 1894, said to be the inspiration for my favourite Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away.
The charismatic building houses two old-fashioned indoor baths and other bathhouse facilities. Feeling fatigued, we chose Plan 2 on the menu, which included rental yukata and access to the public tatami room, as well as tea and crackers, all for 840 yen each.
Ehime is the top producer of citrus fruits in the whole of Japan, providing the nation with varieties such as Iyokan oranges (伊予柑) and mandarin oranges.
In order to taste the best of these yummy fruits, we made a pit-stop at 10-Factory, a café and store specialising in mikan (みかん) products. We loved the hipster vibes and delicate packaging of all their products, and especially enjoyed the refreshing citrus sherbet and juice. Unable to decide what souvenirs to buy, I bought a bit of everything, from jam to dried mikan and even mikan coffee!
TAI MESHI 鯛めし
This traditional local dish is served differently in the eastern and southern area of Ehime.
We tried the eastern version, made with sea bream sashimi dipped in seasoning on steaming rice!
This feature was adapted from WAttention Singapore magazine, Nov/Dec 2016 Vol. 35)