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Matsuyama & Imabari

These neighboring cities sit on the northwest coast of Shikoku Island, in the Ehime prefecture. Matsuyama is the island's largest city, having absorbed some smaller nearby townships, and claiming a number of islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Imabari is to its north, at the mouth of the inland sea - a strategic wartime position that saw the city come under the control of various foreign entities. Both cities offer intriguing historic and cultural sites, from ancient bathhouses and majestic castles to more modern feats of engineering such as the Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge. A must-see when visiting Shikoku is the "Shimanami Kaido," a stretch of superlatively scenic highway that passes through several islands to link Shikoku to the Honshu "mainland." There are also the castles of each city - Imabari's being one of Japan's three Mizujiro (castles on the sea). Historic architecture spans temples, shrines and even a bathhouse - with Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama the oldest in Japan (some say the onsen's use dates back 3,000 years). Then, as a quirky counterpoint to the above, there's the Imabari Towel Museum, certainly a one-of-a-kind attraction.
These neighboring cities sit on the northwest coast of Shikoku Island, in the Ehime prefecture. Matsuyama is the island's largest city, having absorbed some smaller nearby townships, and claiming a number of islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Imabari is to its north, at the mouth of the inland sea - a strategic wartime position that saw the city come under the control of various foreign entities. Both cities offer intriguing historic and cultural sites, from ancient bathhouses and majestic castles to more modern feats of engineering such as the Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge. A must-see when visiting Shikoku is the "Shimanami Kaido," a stretch of superlatively scenic highway that passes through several islands to link Shikoku to the Honshu "mainland." There are also the castles of each city - Imabari's being one of Japan's three Mizujiro (castles on the sea). Historic architecture spans temples, shrines and even a bathhouse - with Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama the oldest in Japan (some say the onsen's use dates back 3,000 years). Then, as a quirky counterpoint to the above, there's the Imabari Towel Museum, certainly a one-of-a-kind attraction.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

Komyo-ji Buddhist Temple in Saijo

Take a day trip to nearby Saijo to see a temple with a difference. Designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando in 2000, this sleek, minimalist Buddhist site reinterprets the classic principles of temple architecture in a contemporary way, incorporating original 250-year-old elements into its design.

Uchiko Old Town

Swap big cities for quaint townships at historic Uchiko, a small traditional town around 25 miles outside of Matsuyama. With buildings from the Edo and Meiji periods, Uchiko boasts a wonderful historic ambience, with an old kabuki theater, a wax-making museum, old merchant houses, and a kite museum.

Shimanami Scenic Sea Route

Experience an unforgettable journey across the Seto Inland Sea on this 50-mile highway that links Shikoku to Honshu. Part of the trip traverses Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge, a three-part suspension bridge totaling more than 13,000 feet in length. There’s a dedicated pedestrian/cycling lane for those wanting to take in the sights at a more leisurely pace.

Imabari Towel Museum

Prepare for something a little different with a visit to Imabari Towel Museum, where all things towel come to life. There’s a towel manufacturing area where visitors can observe the towel-making process, towel “sculptures” of iconic figures, various towel merchandise, and an onsite café.

Dogo Onsen

Bathe as the imperial family once did in an original 19th-century bathhouse at Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs. Dogo Onsen Honkan was built during the Meiji period and features a network of narrow wooden corridors and private rooms. This honkan was said to have inspired the design of the bathhouse in Miyazaki’s animation Spirited Away.

Bansuisou Villa

Discover 19th-century Europe in the hills of Matsuyama at Bansuisou Villa, a French Gothic-style mansion built in 1922 by local nobility. Today this wonderfully preserved villa serves as an art gallery, showcasing works from prominent Japanese artists.

Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

Delve into some Japanese culture at Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum (“Clouds Above the Hill”), named after a book by historical novel and essay writer Ryōtarō Shiba. The novel – and museum – deals with Matsuyama history during the Meiji period, and includes information about the novel’s key protagonists as they pertain to the birth of the city.

Ishite-ji temple

Visit one of the island’s most important temples – Ishite-ji, a Shingon temple that comprises part of the “Shikoku 88” pilgrimage route. The site houses a number of Important Cultural Properties and boasts structures that date to the 13th and 14th centuries.

Matsuyama Castle

See one of Matsuyama’s must-visit attractions – Matsuyama Castle. Built on top of Katsuyama (a flat-topped mountain), it is one of only 12 “original” castles, intact since the end of feudal Japan, dating back to 1603, though it was rebuilt in 1868. With 200 sakura trees and views extending to the ocean, it is one of the city’s most picturesque sites.

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

Remembrance at Hiroshima’s Nuclear Temple

Remembrance at Hiroshima’s Nuclear Temple

Author : Ronan O'Connell
Hiroshima's 1,200-year-old Mitaki-dera temple is tranquil but it’s also, a pilgrimage site for the victims of the nuclear age.
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Guntû: What to Expect Aboard Japan’s Floating Ryokan

Guntû: What to Expect Aboard Japan’s Floating Ryokan

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The guntû is a small blue crab considered a delicacy in the Seto Inland Sea area of Japan, but the tasty little crustacean is also a floating five-star ryokan, one of the most exclusive venues in East Asia.
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From above you’d never guess that the tiny, forested islands of Teshima and Shodoshima host some of the finest permanent exhibitions in East Asia, but they do.
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Dozen Dream Destination: Kyoto for the Aman

Dozen Dream Destination: Kyoto for the Aman

Author : Travelogues
Perhaps the best reason to visit Kyoto in 2020 is to be among the first to sojourn at the highly anticipated Aman Kyoto, slated to open in November 2019.
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Dozen Dream Destination: Tokyo for the Summer Games

Dozen Dream Destination: Tokyo for the Summer Games

Author : Travelogues
In 2020 one of the world’s most densely populated cities will host the Summer Games and Remote Lands knows how to get you there in style.
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Japan Celebrates Ainu Culture with Upopoy Museum in 2020

Japan Celebrates Ainu Culture with Upopoy Museum in 2020

Author : John McMahon
The indigenous people of Hokkaido, the Ainu, are perhaps northern Japan's greatest cultural legacy, and this will be in full display in the run up to the Summer Games 2020.
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Play one-on-one with a giant panda
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Remote Lands teams up with Bill Bensley to create US$37,888 SE Asia tour
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The Grandest Tour – Aman Jet Expeditions 2020

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Aman Private Jet Expedition: Bali to Luang Prabang

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Kyoto to Greece Aman Private Jet Expedition 2020

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A Mindful and Cultural Journey - Aman Private Jet Expedition 2020

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Venice to Utah Aman Private Jet Expedition 2021

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The Grandest Tour – Aman Jet Expeditions 2021

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Kyoto to Greece Aman Private Jet Expedition 2021

Kyoto to Greece Aman Private Jet Expedition 2021

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