Matsuyama, Shikoku's largest city, faces the Seto Inland Sea and has a warm climate. Matsuyama Tokyu REI is south of Matsuyama Castle and near Dogo onsen, Japan's oldest hot springs and Matsuyama's source of pride. Guestrooms are built for functionality and decorated in modern, sophisticated themes.
Single room is of great variety, such as standard room which is simple and functional and premium room which is 30 square meters wide.
Twin room is bright and functional. You can spend satisfying time for both buisness and leisure.
Japanese green tea set, coffee set, slippers, bath towels, face towels, body wash, facial & hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush set, razor, shower cap, hair brush, q-tips, nightwear (yukata robe), deodorizing spray
Restaurants and Bars
Pino monte offers you original dishes based on French, Italian or Japanese dishes using various ingredients in season.
Japanese and Western Buffet Breakfast
Please start a good day with good breakfast at our hotel.
The restaurant offers you various dishes for breakfast, such as local cuisin using local products of Ehime, freshly squeezed juice, fried egg and omlete made in front of you.
Buffet breakfast (J/W)
Junior meal JPY800
3 to 5 years old JPY600
Up to 2 years old complimentary
The Splendour Falls On Castle Walls
Matsuyama Castle doesn’t actually look too different from other Japanese castles. Built of stone and wood, their white plastered walls with distinctive curved black tiled roofs, stamp the castles with the same corporate look. Matsuyama Castle, however, perched on 135 meter high Mount Katsuyama, means you can enjoy rather splendid and different perspectives of the Castle as you clamber up any one of four trails, than if you were to take the rope-way or chairlift.
I felt dwarfed walking by the 14 meter high stone walls made of massive hunks of granite on the edge of the verdant 'Forest of Matsuyama Castle', rich with a wealth of trees like camphor, cinnamon, laurel, Japanese blue oak, fern, and only about 550 different varieties of plants. It is a splendor that really does fall on and around Matsuyama’s castle walls. I also felt dwarfed by history, walking on the Kuromon Trail, in use since the Edo period.
The castle's granite walls look like random rocks thrown around, and with no super glue, either. This turns out to be a correct perception. They are stones piled up at random, but the corner stones have been cut into rectangles for buttressing, with no gaps in sight. As I walked up, I did note the concave slope of the walls described as being like a concertina, a folding screen or fan.
This trail goes past the Ninomaru Historical Park, which I’m told many skip, including me, there being an entrance fee involved. Ninomaru was the location of the Lord's residence and offices. As it has been reproduced as a park following the original castle’s floor plan, it supposedly augments understanding of the castle. It is tenderly nicknamed The Lover’s Sanctuary. I saw some of it from up on my trail.
After weaving my way through the splendor on the walls, two levels, daunting gates and secretive turrets, Matsuyama Castle at the peak looked more foreboding and untouchable than from the ground. All castles have this indomitable look. As bastions of defense and deterrence they can never do warm and cuddly. But the view from the castle was serene, the Inland Seto Sea, Matsuyama and nearby regions safe from all marauders and enemy warlords.
Matsuyama Castle is actually special, not only because of its imposing three stories and vast grounds, but because it is an "original" castle, one of only twelve left throughout Japan. Built in 1603, much of what is seen is as it was since the last time it was changed around 1854. Not many castles survived like this, so relatively intact. Many succumbed, first to the end of the feudal regime, then the Second World War, not to mention the usual fires. Many were reconstructed using concrete, no longer the original wood and granite. Some castles are new born babes, like Hiwasa Castle which was built from scratch in 1964 to attract tourists.
The title came from Tennyson’s poem The splendour falls on castle walls.
To get on the Kuromon Trail, use the Castle entrance at the Ehime Art Museum. The tram stop is Minami-horibata.
about 15 minutes by ropeway & walk from Matsuyama Tokyu REI Hotel
Walking on Cloud, Sea, and Sky
I have always wanted to walk the Shimanami Kaido. It is the world's longest suspension bridge structure, connecting Onomichi in Hiroshima, Honshu, to Imabari, the Shikoku terminus. So I did feel a thrill when I tumbled out the bus onto the Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge, one of the nine bridges that makes up the 60 kilometer long Shimanami Kaido.
The whole Shimanami is prominent for being the only connecting channel that runs through several islands in the Inland Seto Sea. The Kurushima Kaikyo Bridge is the one that links Oshima Island to Imabari. It is made up of three successive suspension bridges with six towers. Walking on it brought me spectacularly close to its impressive height, breadth, and size. When heavy vehicles whizzed by, I think I felt the bridge bounce a little.
The Shimanami Kaido is the only land transport system between Honshu and Shikoku that accommodates walkers and bikers. It was heartening to see signs and amenities for both groups, such as viewing points, no toll charge, a broad, clearly marked biker and pedestrian path, an SOS call box and an elevator to take people up and down the four levels of the bridge.
On my sunny day, the sea appeared one with the blue sky, with puffs of clouds to break up the monotony of the blue, a fitting backdrop for the white bridge, going on for miles, hanging over the sea. I know nothing about bridges and engineering, but I could imagine the brain work, the efficient teamwork, manual strength and labor, even belief and passion, that went into creating and assembling the bridge. Although a heavyweight structure, it looked elegant, the slim white arched pylons like steel lace. It really is a beautiful bridge. Opened in 1999, the biking and pedestrian path was made specially to enable us to walk and cycle in the beauty of uncluttered sea, sky, and cloud. They wanted everyone to “feel one with the harmony of nature”. They succeeded.
I took the lift to the ground floor. It opened onto another angle to the bridge, now showing its full height from bottom up. Next to it was a hamlet of houses so close to each other, it would be awful if there were bad neighbors. An esplanade and forested trails made for more walking, with boats for hire. You could swim, for right there was the sea and beach.
I walked to a lighthouse, with a tiny antique shrine. I wanted to shake the shrine bell as is the custom to announce one’s arrival to the shrine’s deity, but it did not look as if anyone had rung it in eons. So I thought it best to let them continue sleeping.
To walk the bridge, take the Oshima bus from Platform Two at the bus station, and get off at Umashima. Bus schedules are available at the Tourist Office at Imabari Station. You can walk as far as you like, even to Onomichi.
about 35 minutes by express tarin from Matsuyama Station
Map & Directions
3-3-1, Ichiban-cho, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime 790-0001
10 minutes by tram from JR Matsuyama Station
10 minutes by tram from Dogo Onsen
30 minutes by airport bus from Matsuyama Airport to Ichiban-cho