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Matsuyama Japan

Nestled between green mountains and azure waters, Matsuyama is the capital of Japan's Ehime Prefecture. One of the largest cities on Shikoku Island, Matsuyama is known for its hot springs, Buddhist temples and museums.

With a handful of temples and castles, the city of Matsuyama provides plenty of insight into Japanese culture and history. Start your day with a visit to Matsuyama Castle – a 17th-century structure perched atop a hill offering panoramic views over the village below. Once you walk inside the castle, you'll come face-to-face with displays of samurai swords, armour and traditional Japanese garments. Another site on the grounds of Matsuyama Castle is The Museum of Art, Ehime. There's a collection of nearly 12,000 exhibits, including paintings by Monet and Cezanne, alongside artworks by local artists. Dogo Onsen Honkan is another major attraction. One of the oldest bathhouses in Japan, this place is said to be the inspiration behind Miyazaki's award-winning film, 'Spirited Away'.

Known as the 'Citrus Kingdom', Matsuyama grows over 30 varieties of citrus fruits that are used in the preparation of various items, including sponge cakes, ice cream and sake. When you're in the city, grab a bite of 'botchan dango' – tri-coloured Japanese sweets served on a skewer. The flavourful 'mitsuhamayaki' – a pancake cooked on a hot plate with savoury fillings – is also worth trying. Top off your food journey with a drink at Minakuchi Shuzo, a 19th-century brewery.


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