"I want to visit Hiroshima and Matsuyama!" For those of you saying this to yourself, we have just the travel plan for you. Miyajima Island, the home of the World Heritage Registered Itsukushima Shrine; Hiroshima's World Heritage Peace Monument, the Atomic Bomb Dome; Kure Harbor, still holding the appearance of a naval port; Japan's oldest onsen, Dogo Onsen. All of these can be enjoyed at the same time with this luxurious plan.
Miyajima to Hiroshima / Miyajima Harbor Departure 4:00PM Hiroshima Harbor Arrival 4:22PM
Hiroshima to Kura / Hiroshima Harbor Departure 9:30AM Kure Harbor Arrival 9:53AM
Kure to Matsuyama / Kure Harbor Departure 12:23PM Matsuyama Sightseeing Harbor Arrival 1:17PM
Dogo Onsen is one of Japan's 3 oldest onsens. It is a 100% natural onsen, with no addatives or artificial heating. Shiki Masaoka, Hirobumi Itou, Tekkan & Akiko Yosano and other famous Japanese have visited this place. Also, the onsen itself is depicted in Souseki Natsume's novel "Bocchan."After you've had a bath at "Bocchan Onsen," you'll find many other thigns to do like lounging- like Bocchan- in the halls of the onsen while having tea and crackers. Don't forget to check out our original line of mandarin orange scented soap and unique souvenir towels!
Matsuyama Castle, the largest in Shikoku, stands towering over the city of Matsuyama City on the peak of Katsuyama Mountain. Established by Yoshiaki Katou during the Edo Period (1603 - 1868). It's tower is currently in the same state which it was in when it was rebuilt in the first year of the Ansei Period (1854), and is one of the 12 remaining tower castles of Japan. With a height of approximately 132 meters, a great panorama may be viewed from its tower. Access is easy via the ropeway lift. It is also famous as a sakura viewing spot during the spring.
Seto Inland Sea, designated as Japan's first national park in 1934, has since witnessed the coming and going of 80 years. Since medieval times, the beauty of Seto Inland Sea has been highly praised. Philipp Franz von Siebold, upon visiting Japan during the Edo Era (1603 - 1868) wrote, "Upon each changing of our ship's course, I am struck by a new and beautiful view of the islands, with Japan (Honshu) hiding among them. The coast of Shikoku is nothing short of amazing." Ferdinand von Richthofen, Germany's famous geographer who gave the "Silk Road" its name, introduced Seto Inland Sea to the world by writing, "It is a graceful landscape that spans over a vast domain. There is nowhere more beautiful in all the world. In the future this place will no doubt earn the right to be called one of the world's most fascinating places, and draw many people to it." In the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912), the man known as the father of modern tourism, Thomas Cook, praised Seto Inland Sea when he visited Japan: "I've been to almost all of that lakes which one could cal a proper lake in England, Scotland, Switzerland and Italy. Seto Inland Sea is finer than them all, taking all of their good aspects and combining them into one beautiful spectacle." And now, after 80 years, Seto Inland Sea only shines more radiantly than ever.
Selected as a three star tourist attracting in the guide book "Michelin Green Guide Japan," a historically important location and an active public bath-house: That's Dogo Onsen. The onsen was built in the 27th year of the Meiji era (1894) and will celebrate its 120th anniversary in April 2014. Its elegant, retro appearance has charmed visitors for years. Constructed under the watchful eye of the first mayor of Dogo Yunomachi Town, Isaniwa Yukiya, and built using the techniques of the master craftsman Sakamoto Matahachiro, Dogo Onsen was a building that combined the pinnacle of Japanese and Western technique. One year after the onsen's construction, in 1895, literary master Natsume Souseki moved to Dogo in order to teach English at Matsuyama Middle School. Souseki became very fond of Dogo Onsen, including it in his book "Bocchan." "The onsen, most of all, is splendid." he wrote. It is believed that Souseki actually visited the then brand new onsen on many occasions. Dogo onsen, known from long ago as "the onsen of beauty," has gathered much attention as a place where one can enjoy aesthetics, spiritual cleansing, sightseeeing, gourmet dining and historical and literary enrichment.
These sacred places were founded by the great Buddhist teacher known as "Kuukai" some time during the Kounin Era (815 AD) as a means of protecting the people of the land from natural calamities. The legend of Eimon Saburo, a rich farmer from Iyo Matsuyama who set out on a pilgrimage to these sacred places in order to seek penitence for his rude actions towards Kuukai, has been passed down to today. It is said that his journey was the beginning of Shikoku's pilgrimage tradition. The journey, exceeding 1450 kilometers, would take about 40 to 60 days on foot, or 10 days if one were to use a palenquin. Each sacred place has a different name: Tokushima's is called "The Place of Spiritual Awakening," Kouchi's is "The Place of Discipline," Ehime's is "The Place of Enlightenment" and Kagawa's is "The Place of Nirvana." Of the 88 temples located in Shikoku, 8 of them are located in Matsuyama. Among these 8 temples are Ishiteji Temple, the temple known as the legendary starting point of the pilgrimage. An auspicious, lucky year which only occurs once a century is soon approaching, and Ishite Temple is planning all kinds of commemorative preparations.