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Matsuyama montage.jpg
From top left:Dōgo Onsen Honkan, Stone monument of Shiki Masaoka, Matsuyama Castle, Botchan train, The gate of Ishite-ji, Iyotetsu Matsuyama-shi Station, Gintengai Street
Flag of Matsuyama, Ehime.svg
Emblem of Matsuyama, Ehime.svg
Location of Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 33°50′N132°46′E / 33.833°N 132.767°E / 33.833; 132.767 Coordinates: 33°50′N132°46′E / 33.833°N 132.767°E / 33.833; 132.767
Region Shikoku
Prefecture Ehime Prefecture
First official recorded1 AD
City SettledDecember 15, 1889
  Mayor Katsuhito Noshi (since December 2010)
  Total429.40 km2 (165.79 sq mi)
 (June 1, 2019)
  Density1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address4-7-2 Nibanchō, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime-ken
Flower Camellia

Matsuyama (松山市, Matsuyama-shi, Japanese:  [matsɯꜜjama] ) is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan and also Shikoku's largest city, with a population of 509,835 as of June 1, 2019. [1] It is located on the northeastern portion of the Dōgo Plain. Its name means "pine mountain". The city was founded on December 15, 1889.


The city is known for its hot springs (onsen), among the oldest in Japan, and is home to the Dōgo Onsen Honkan, a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse dating from 1894. [2] A second favorite tourist spot is Matsuyama Castle. Eight of the eighty-eight temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are in Matsuyama.

History and culture

Matsuyama was in medieval times part of the Iyo-Matsuyama Domain, a fiefdom of Iyo Province consisting mainly of a castle town, supporting Matsuyama Castle. There was a nearby village at Dōgo Onsen to the east and a port somewhat farther to the west at Mitsuhama providing a link to the Japanese mainland (Honshū) and Kyūshū.

Dōgo Onsen was already famous in the Asuka period, as Shōtoku Taishi visited the spa in the year 596. It is also mentioned in passing in The Tale of Genji . The site of the former Yuzuki Castle is nearby.

Buddhist temples in Matsuyama include Ishite-ji (石手寺), Taisan-ji (太山寺), and Jōdo-ji (浄土寺), all dating back to the 8th century, although the oldest surviving buildings are from the early 14th century, as well as Hōgon-ji (宝厳寺), Taihō-ji (大宝寺) and Enmyō-ji (円明寺). Shrines of the city include Isaniwa Jinja (伊佐爾波神社), built in 1667.

The haiku poet Masaoka Shiki lived in Matsuyama. His house, now known as the Shiki-do, and a museum, the Shiki Memorial Museum, are popular attractions, and the centerpieces of the city's claim as a center of the international haiku movement. Other haiku poets associated with Matsuyama include Kurita Chodō, whose Kōshin-an was visited by Kobayashi Issa, Shiki's followers, Takahama Kyoshi and Kawahigashi Hekigoto, and Taneda Santōka. Santoka's house, known as Isso-an, is also a tourist attraction and is periodically open to the public. The Matsuyama Declaration of 1999 proposed the formation of International Haiku Research Center, and the first Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards were given in 2000. Recipients have included Yves Bonnefoy (2000), Cor van den Heuvel (2002) and Gary Snyder (2004).

The famed novel Botchan by Natsume Sōseki is set in Matsuyama. As a result, there are numerous sites and locales named after the main character, including Botchan Stadium, the Botchan Ressha (an antique train that runs on the city's tramway), and Botchan dango.

Matsuyama also figures in several works by Shiba Ryōtarō, notably his popular novel, Saka no Ue no Kumo [Clouds Above the Hill] (1969). In anticipation of the upcoming NHK Taiga drama adaptation of Saka no Ue no Kumo, a Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum was established in 2007.

Matsuyama was also the setting of a 1907 novel about the Russo-Japanese War, As the Hague Ordains, by American writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore. Matsuyama figures in the novel because the city housed a camp for Russian prisoners during the war. A Russian cemetery commemorates this important episode in Matsuyama history. The Russo-Japanese War is also remembered in Matsuyama because of the contributions of two Japanese military leaders, the Akiyama brothers, Akiyama Saneyuki and Akiyama Yoshifuru, who were born in the city.

The city today

A panoramic view of the city from Matsuyama Castle 2007-07-01 Matsuyama Panorama.jpg
A panoramic view of the city from Matsuyama Castle

In the twentieth century, various mergers joined the castle town with neighboring Dōgo, Mitsuhama, and other townships, aided by urban sprawl, creating a seamless modern city that now ranks as the largest in Shikoku.

As of the most recent merger, on October 1, 2018, absorbing the city of Hōjō, and town of Nakajima (from the former Onsen District), the city had an estimated population of 510,963 and a population density of 1,196 persons per km2. The total (merged) area is 429.40 km2.

Dogo Onsen Honkan Dogo Hot Spring5(Matsuyama City).JPG
Dōgo Onsen Honkan
Botchan Ressha at Dogo Station, Matsuyama Dogo-station2004-7-3.jpg
Botchan Ressha at Dogo Station, Matsuyama
Matsuyama Airport(MYJ) Matsuyama Airport(MYJ)2.JPG
Matsuyama Airport(MYJ)

Matsuyama is home to several universities including Ehime University (part of the Japanese national university system) and several private colleges, including Matsuyama University and Matsuyama Shinonome College.

Matsuyama has several important museums. The Museum of Art, Ehime is the city's main art museum, its collections emphasizing the works of regional artists. The Shiki Memorial Museum is a museum that focuses on the life and work of Masaoka Shiki, with special attention to his contribution to haiku. The Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum features exhibits connected with the novel and television series. There is a Juzo Itami museum dedicated to the film director.

Products (meibutsu) of Matsuyama include tarts and Botchan dango. In the 17th century, the lord of Matsuyama castle Sadayuki Matsudaira (松平定行) introduced the process of tart-making, originally brought to Japan by the Portuguese, to Matsuyama. At first it was a Castella with jam. According to legend Sadayuki made some changes, such as adding red bean paste. Now there are many kinds and makers of tarts in Matsuyama; some add yuzu paste or chestnut to the red bean paste. In addition to tarts, Botchan dango is also a product of Matsuyama. Botchan dango was named after the novel Botchan by Natsume Sōseki. It consists of three bean paste beads of three flavors, matcha, egg, and red bean paste. Within the paste is contained mochi.

Matsuyama is the site of a number of festivals, including the Dogo Festival, held in the spring, the Matsuyama Festival, held in August, and the Fall Festival, held in October, which features battling mikoshi.

The city is represented in the J. League of football with its local club, Ehime FC. The Ehime Mandarin Pirates also represent the city in the baseball Shikoku Island League Plus.


Matsuyama has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa; Trewartha climate classification Cf) with hot summers and cool winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, and is heavier from April to July as well as in September.

Climate data for Matsuyama (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1890−present)
Record high °C (°F)24.4
Average high °C (°F)10.2
Daily mean °C (°F)6.2
Average low °C (°F)2.6
Record low °C (°F)−7.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)50.9
Average snowfall cm (inches)0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm)8.28.511.210.59.513.
Average relative humidity (%)63636362647372707068676567
Mean monthly sunshine hours 129.2142.2175.1190.8205.9151.1189.0218.1164.3174.1144.9129.82,014.5
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency [3]


Matsuyama has a well-developed transport network. It is connected to the Japanese national railway network by Matsuyama Station on the Yosan Line. It also has a network of suburban railways run by the Iyo Railway, which is centred on Matsuyama City Station. Iyo Railway also operates a system of trams and busses, which serve as the city's main modes of public transportation. Matsuyama is one of the few Japanese cities that did not do away with its original tram system, which has continually operated from 1887. Matsuyama Airport offers flights to Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, and various other cities. There is regular ferry service to Hiroshima and regular night ferries to Kobe, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyūshū, and several other destinations. Also, a hydrofoil service exists between Hiroshima and a few other destinations.


Miura (boiler manufacturer), Iseki (tractor and engine equipment), [4] Hatada Ichiroku (Japanese style confectionery), Poem, a food processing division of Pom (Ehime Drink Company), and the retailing companies Fuji and Daiki all have their headquarters in Matsuyama.


Universities and colleges



Senior high schools

Public (Ehime Prefectural)

Miscellaneous school

North Korean school (Chōsen gakkō)

Notable people

Sister cities

Matsuyama has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also

Related Research Articles

Ehime Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Ehime Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku. Ehime Prefecture has a population of 1,342,011 and has a geographic area of 5,676 km2. Ehime Prefecture borders Kagawa Prefecture to the northeast, Tokushima Prefecture to the east, and Kōchi Prefecture to the southeast.

Iyo, Ehime City in Shikoku, Japan

Iyo is a city located in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. As of August 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 37,982 and a population density of 195.93 persons per km². The total area is 194.44 km².

Masaoka Shiki Japanese poet, author, and literary critic

Masaoka Shiki, pen-name of Masaoka Noboru, was a Japanese poet, author, and literary critic in Meiji period Japan. Shiki is regarded as a major figure in the development of modern haiku poetry, credited with writing nearly 20,000 stanzas during his short life. He also wrote on reform of tanka poetry.

Dōgo Onsen

Dōgo Onsen (道後温泉) is a hot spring in the city of Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Japan.

Onsen was a district located in Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

Akiyama Yoshifuru

Akiyama Yoshifuru was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and is considered the father of modern Japanese cavalry. He was Vice Admiral Akiyama Saneyuki's older brother.


The Iyotetsu Co., Ltd. is the main transport provider in Matsuyama, Ehime, Shikoku, Japan. The company operates railway, tram, and bus lines, and also has many subsidiaries, which include a bank, department stores, travel agencies, and various other businesses.

Ichitsubo Station Railway station in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan

Ichitsubo Station is a railway station on the Yosan Line in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. It is operated by JR Shikoku and has the station number "U01". The station is also called No-Ball Station named after Noboru (昇), the name of a haiku poet, Masaoka Shiki, who spent his childhood in Matsuyama.

Iyo Province Former province of Japan

Iyo Province was an old province of Japan in the area that is today Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku. Iyo bordered on Awa, Sanuki, and Tosa Provinces. It was sometimes called Yoshū (予州).

Saka no Ue no Kumo (坂の上の雲), or "Clouds Above the Hill" is a Japanese historical novel by Shiba Ryōtarō originally published serially from 1968 to 1972 in eight volumes. A three-year NHK television special drama series based on the novel and also entitled Saka no Ue no Kumo was shown in thirteen episodes from 2009 to 2011.

Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum or Sakano-ueno-kumo Museum is a museum located in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, and inspired by the novel Saka no ue no kumo, written by Ryōtarō Shiba. Matsuyama City leads community development mainly with this museum. The museum was constructed by Tadao Ando. He is also known for the construction of Ryōtarō Shiba Memorial Museum.

<i>Saka no Ue no Kumo</i> (TV series)

Saka no Ue no Kumo (坂の上の雲) is a Japanese war drama television series which was aired on NHK over three years, from November 29, 2009 to December 2011, as a special taiga drama. The series runs 13 episodes at 90 minutes each. The first season, with 5 episodes, was broadcast in 2009, while seasons two and three, each with 4 episodes, were broadcast in late 2010 and 2011. While most episodes were shot in Japan, one of the episodes in season two was shot in Latvia. The TV series is based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Ryōtarō Shiba and adapted by Hisashi Nozawa.

Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama Higashi High School Public school in Japan

Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama Higashi High School is a Japanese high school in Matsuyama, Ehime founded in 1878 as Matsuyama Middle School.

Kyoshi Takahama Japanese writer

Kyoshi Takahama was a Japanese poet active during the Shōwa period of Japan. His real name was Takahama Kiyoshi (高浜清); Kyoshi was a pen name given to him by his mentor, Masaoka Shiki.

Yuzuki Castle

Yuzuki-jō (湯築城) is a former Japanese castle near Dōgo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. The Kōno clan ruled Iyo Province from Yuzuki from the fourteenth century. Fortified in the sixteenth century, the castle was destroyed by the army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1585 during the Sengoku period. Its ruins, excavated in 1988, now form part of Dōgo Park. A samurai complex has been reconstructed and the area is popular for its hanami. The area has been designated an Historic Site.

Taisan-ji (Matsuyama)

Taisan-ji (太山寺) is a Shingon temple in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. It is Temple 52 on the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage, and Temple 3 on the Thirteen Buddhist Sites of Iyo. The Hondō is a National Treasure.

<i>Botchan Ressha</i>

The Botchan Ressha (坊っちゃん列車), or simply Botchan, is a diesel-powered replica of a small-gauge steam locomotive installed in the city of Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan in 1888 as the original Iyo Railway, which was the first railway company in Shikoku and third in the nation. The reconstructed locomotives are now a tourist attraction, alternating with electric trams on two of the Iyo Railway's city lines.

Isaniwa Yukiya

Isaniwa Yukiya (1828–1907) was the first Mayor in Dogo Yunomachi (道後湯之町) which is famous for Dogo Onsen. He made today's Dogo Onsen while he was the Mayor. He thought the tourism era would come in the future, so he made a plan to make the city into a resort city.

Hōgon-ji (Matsuyama)

Hōgon-ji (宝厳寺) is a Buddhist temple of the Ji sect in Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan. It is famed as the birthplace of the Buddhist sage Ippen, who founded the Ji (time) sect as an offshoot of the Jōdo sect in 1276.

Kurita Chodō, was a Japanese poet of the Edo period (1600–1867), regarded as a leading figure in poetry world in Matsuyama former Iyo Province.


  1. "Matsuyama (City (-shi), Ehime) - Population Statistics and Locations in Maps and Charts". January 3, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  2. "Dogo Onsen".
  3. 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency . Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  4. "Company Outline." Iseki. Retrieved on March 31, 2018.
  5. ウリハッキョ一覧. Chongryon. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.().