Wednesday, February 26, 2020


The symbol flower of Matsuyama city is camellia.  We found some pink color camellias around the Aska-no-yu Annex bath house.  They were lovely.  It was fine day.  We bought some mandarin (small sweet citrus, like oranges) at a shop and ate them at the park.  Spring will come soon.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Some of Sakura (cherry trees) have already begun to  bloom at Matsuyama Castle. We have very mild winter this year. Looking back to 30-40 years ago, Sakura started to bloom in April. The climate is surely changing.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


We noticed a black mark on the grounds of Ishite temple. It was caused by the burning of a large old pair of straw sandals. On February 2, the temple had a setsubun festival, where rice cakes were scattered and the sandals were burned. The sandals are burned every 4 years during the leap year. However the previous pair of sandals were kept for 8 years.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020





At the gate of Ishite-temple, we saw a big new pair of straw sandals that was made and replaced about 10 days ago for the first time in 8 years. It’s said that they will bring strength to pilgrims’ legs. In the temple grounds, we happened to see a young pilgrim from overseas, but before gathering the courage to say hi to him, we lost sight of him. We wish the pilgrims including him a safe pilgrimage with the big new sandal power!


Saturday, January 25, 2020

 Spring is just around the corner. Plum trees are in bloom with red and white blossom around the foot of the castle tower. The castle with a long and distinguished history stands amid the pretty blossoms, the beauty is indescribable. The combination of the two colors, red and white, is said to bring good fortune. Also the Japanese plum tree, Ume, is considered to be a tree that brings good luck.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

 We kicked off our activities for 2020 today. In the precinct of Isaniwa Shrine, Ema (photo; large signboard depicting rats) is displayed and welcoming people who visit and pray for safety and peace throughout the year. The year 2020 is the year of the rat in the Japanese zodiac introduced from ancient China. The Japanese zodiac is the old system used to tell time and give direction. It is based on a 12-year cycle, each year has a symbolic animal. In order, the 12 animals are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, boar.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Season’s greetings and best wishes for the New Year from Matsuyama, JAPAN!!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

last three leaves

hanging on Sakura tree

Matsuyama castle


In 2020 Tokyo Olympic will be held and I'm sure many tourists visit not only Tokyo,but local areas such as Matsuyama.  We team Camellia members would love to share our knowledge about tourist attractions here in Matsuyama. We are looking forward to seeing you!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


We were privileged to see a short moment after strolling around Ishite temple.


A black cat, sitting on a short arched bridge over a pond, was looking at the red trees


as if it seemed to value the last autumn leaves. It went away four or five seconds later.


The Japan Meteorological Agency says it will be warm this winter, but winter is coming soon.


Saturday, December 7, 2019


In commemoration of the 130th anniversary of the municipal government of Matsuyama city, panels showing the history of Dogo Hot Spring are exhibited in seven places around Dogo Town. Besides the exhibition, a stamp-rally is being held between November 15th and March 1st 2020.  It starts from the Tourist Information Center. The link is Japanese, sorry!


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Autumn is a beautiful time of year. The air is crisp. After enjoying the beautiful autumn leaves at Matsuyama Castle, we had lunch at a newly opened Soba(buckwheat noodle) shop. Soba noodles are served with a separate sauce to dip them in. They are so yummy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Autumn leaves have started changing at Ishite temple in mid-November. Global warming seems to delay leaves turning a beautiful red. We are a little worried about it.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

After the great typhoons, the autumnal sky is serene. The main building of Dogo Hot Spring shows its gratefulness under the silver moon. Projection mapping on the building is now taking place every 15 minute from 19:00 to 21:30 every day for free.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Autumn is the harvest season.


All over Japan festivals and other events are held to pray for a bountiful harvest or give thanks for what has been gathered.


The Shinonome Shrine which stands at the foot of Matsuyama Castle raises flags during the festival and people pray to the gods.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019


There was a great silence after a few pilgrimage groups left Ishite temple.


Then cicadas started singing at once as if seemed to regret saying good-bye to their short summer.


It was still hot, but the mackerel sky stretched high above the three-storied pagoda.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019


A portable shrine, mikoshi, was waiting for its right time on the street in the Dogo area, just in front of the Tourist Information Center. On October seventh morning, every town’s mikoshi in the area will get together and ram into each other. It is called fighting mikoshi. The autumn festival in Matsuyama, including the Dogo area, is famous for its fighting mikoshi,  which excites many people who come to Matsuyama for the autumn festival. Why not come and join in on the excitement for yourself?  

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Today we visited Ishite-ji. Personally this is my first time in six months to visit this temple. Unfortunately it was raining, and not many people were there. But thanks to the rain, the extreme summer heat was eased a little. And I felt somehow refreshed. Does the rain falling in this holy place have power to wash one’s dirt away? Maybe.




Wednesday, August 21, 2019


This is the north side of Dogo Onsen Honkan with the current front door. Do you know it has been partly open even under earthquake resistance construction? The local people are trying to make this historic building more attractive under construction, using its historical value and Japanese pop-culture. Why don’t you come and check it out?  


Saturday,  August 17, 2019


We are in the middle of the summer vacation. The mascot character of Matsuyama Castle “Yoshiaki-kun” the first lord of our castle, gives you a hearty welcome every weekend in August.


He is so cute and friendly.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Children are on summer vacation.  Many families visit Ishite Temple.  There is a cave behind main hall.  The inside is very cool.  But we recommend that you take a light because it’s so dark.  The summer in Japan is very hot and humid.


Wednesday,  July 24,  2019


Under the large scale seismic retrofitting work, the whole building of Dogo Hot Spring is currently covered with fantastic artworks.  The series of these artworks are created and provided by Dogo Reborn Project.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

There are many restaurants along the rope way street. We visit one of them today. On the plate are various local dishes.  And orange juice from a tap!   

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Matsuyama city officials announced that the rainy season started today.  Strolling at Ishite Temple, we found the leaves were growing thick around the stupa behind the hydrangeas, which looked more beautiful in the moist air.


Saturday, June 1, 2019


It has been one month since the Reiwa era started.  On the top of Matsuyama Castle hill, local people and tourists from inside and outside of Japan were strolling under the June sunlight.  We sincerely hope the new era will continue to be peaceful for people


Wednesday, May 29, 2019


There are many Buddhist statues and monuments in Ishite temple.  This is a Five stone statue.  Some beautiful flowers and message stones praying for world peace are around it.  We also pray that the world is peaceful


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

 The luxury cruise ship, Diamond Princess called on our town.  It brought over two thousands tourists to Matsuyama.  Their destinations were diverse, Uchiko town, Shimanami-line, etc. Six of them had reserved our full-day tour.  We strolled around Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Town and so on.  The photo taken at the castle tower shows how huge the cruise ship is. The distance between the castle and the pier is approximately 7 kilometers / 4.5 miles.

Diamond Princess

The cruise ship will touch at Matsuyama on May 21 & June 3. Matsuyama-city has arranged English-speaking volunteers in many places to help guests. I wish all cruise guests fully enjoy Matsuyama!


Saturday, May 19, 2019

New restaurants and souvenir shops have opened along the ropeway street. One of them is this shop. Here you can make “Himedaruma (Princess doll)”,one of Matsuyama’s souvenirs, by yourself. Indigo-dyeing experience is also available. Each of them takes about 60 minutes. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

  The era in japan correlates with reign of each emperor.  Former Emperor, Akihito, abdicated the throne on April 30 and his son, Naruhito, assumed the throne on May 1.  We are celebrating the beginning of the new era all over Japan.


平成/Heisei means achieving peace, 1989-2019

令和/Reiwa means beautiful harmony

(Image ;in front of Dogo Asuka Hot Spring)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


We went to Ishite temple. Wisterias are blooming, and new leaves are getting green. There are quite a few pilgrims chanting a sutra in harmony. There seems to be a peaceful feeling this spring at the temple.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Here are some pictures we would like to show you. 

Aren't they beautiful?

This sea is called Iyonada which is a west part of Seto-island sea.

Enjoy the sea view in Ehime.


Saturday, April 6, 2019


The cherry blossoms are in full bloom this weekend. The castle was crowded with locals and tourists today. Cherry blossoms/Sakura & 1.view of downtown 2.3.spring festival 3.the mayor 4.5.6.turrets and stone walls 7.camellias 8.tea ceremony 9.dumplings provided with green tea. “Bread is better than the songs of birds.” We say “Dumplings rather than flowers(cherry blossoms).”  Let’s have a blast this Sakura season!

Sunday, March 31, 2019


We guided a guest from U.S and Tokyo around Matuyama Castle.  That day there were so many people to watch beautiful cherry blossoms. We got on the cable car.  It was fun because we could see cherry blossoms both side like as the pink tunnel.  We had ice cream there.  It was so delicious.  Then we went up the castle tower.  It was a fine day.  We could enjoy special view from there. Two daughters of the guest love animals. They took some pictures with dogs and cats there. It was all five people very nice person. We spent a wonderful spring day with them. Thank you for contacting us!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


Spring is a good season for pilgrims.  We heard some chanting by pilgrims, monks and priests in the temple area.  Near the Ishite temple there are some parks at the river.  It is fun to have picnic at the river, too!  In Japanese the act of cherry blossom viewing is referred to as “Ohanami”.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


This is a cherry blossom tree at Dogo Park.  It is designated as the sample tree for our region.  If the tree has five or six flowers blooming, the start of the cherry blossom season is announced. Some officers from the city hall were on a stakeout for the blossoms all day.

 What a peaceful and exciting day! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

合格(Goukakumeans “pass the entrance examination”.  From January to March is the season of entrance examinations in Japan.  So many students go to some temples and shrines to wish for their success.  We also wish them good luck! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Due to the seismic retrofitting work of the building, the north entrance is temporarily open instead of the west entrance.  The north entrance was originally the front of the building.  So it is a valuable opportunity for the visitors to use the original front entrance.


Saturday, February 2, 2019

 Today’s our guest was a Japanese guy. He is a local high school student and interested in guiding in English. I hope he learned about Matsuyama Castle more today and will guide it in near future.

 By the way, various events such as treasure hunting are being held around the castle now. Let’s join and enjoy them!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Ishite temple was getting ready for Setsubun, the last day of winter according to the old lunar calendar. The temple ground was clearer than usual, and in the center was a pile of sprigs, to make a fire-offering. Behind the pile, a platform was being prepared, where people would throw rice cakes on that day, February 3. Even though the weather remains cold, spring is not too far away.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Preservation repair construction of Dogo Onsen Honkan began.  It’ll take about 7 years.  But the main building won’t be closed completely.  We can take a bathe on the 1st floor.  (We can’t use the 2nd and 3rd floors.)  The entrance has been moved from the west to the north side. During construction, we can see some pictures of the phoenix around the building.  And there is a foot bathe with a wonderful view at the top of the hill next to the main building.  Please enjoy it, too!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

 松竹梅, syou-chiku-bai, the combination of pine-bamboo-Japanese plum (ume blossom) symbolizes happiness in Japan.  New year’s greetings from Matsuyama Castle.  Today’s castle was breathtakingly beautiful under the crystal-clear sky.  We wish you all have a great new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

 The end of the year is drawing near.  This is a picture of a bell tower in Ishite-ji.  At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the priest rings the bell 108 times.  Human is said to have 108 worldly desires, and those are erased one by one with the sounds of the bell.  Then we can start the New Year feeling refreshed.

  Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018


We met a nice couple from Germany.  We guided them at Matsuyama Castle and they with talked us about European castles. It was very interesting.  We went up the castle tower then enjoyed chatting on the hill.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


They just finished the customary year-end cleaning yesterday, the main building of Dogo Hot Spring is shining.  The souvenir shops in Dogo shopping arcade leading to Dogo-onsen offer a variety of products in Ehime Prefecture.  Towel/Imabari, Porcelain/Tobe, Sake/Uchiko, Jakoten(fish cake)/Uwajima etc. etc.  There are a lot of good souvenirs other than these.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


When we arrived at Ishite-temple, a temple priest was chanting a Buddhist sutra. The sky looked darkish and heavy, and the sound of sutra really matched in such a weather. The priest’s sutra echoed around the quiet temple ground with a few worshippers. We just stood and listened to it in awe feeling for a while. Colored leaves were falling down. Now we realized the arrival of winter.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

 On Saturday morning, the ropeway station of Matsuyama Castle was constantly visited by quite a few tourists. They looked like they couldnt wait to enjoy a beautiful day under the autumn sky, under the castle tower.


matsuyama ya/aki yori takaki/tenshukaku

 (Matsuyama/higher than the autumn sky/the castle tower)


by Shiki Masaoka

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

 It was a balmy Indian summer day.

 We strolled around Dogo town. There are three bathhouses run by Matsuyama city in Dogo, 124 y-o the main building, 65 y-o Tsubakino-yu and brand new Asukano-yu. Asukano-yu reaches its first birthday on 26th December.