Sendai Stroll: Taking a Walk Around Japan’s City of Trees With Chinese Influencer Etsuna

27.November.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, is a two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo. The city has earned the nickname Mori no Miyako, or ‘City of Trees,’ due to the abundant rows of zelkova trees lining many of its streets. It bustles with charm and is enjoyed by locals and tourists for its history, sights, and events, such as its associations with the Japanese regional ruler Date Masamune, the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival, and more. However, there are many other incredible locations that Sendai has to offer that aren’t as well known as the popular sites, so today we are joined by Etsuna who is giving us the latest in what can be found in the city.

 

Along The Coast

The coast of Sendai was struck by a tsunami when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck back on in March 2011. Today, the area is continuing its re-development efforts. New facilities have and are being built, including plenty of new spots the area never had before. Sendai is home to a memorial hall for remembering those affected during the disaster which is a must-visit if travelling to Sendai.

 

Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

Feel the sea breeze and ocean water of Tohoku against your skin

Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium opened in 2015 as the larrgest aquarium in the Tohoku region. The first floor is themed on the waters of Tohoku where many rare aquatic species from the Sanriku Coast are housed. The second floor is centred on sea creatures found in the oceans around the world such as tropical fish, jellyfish, marine mammals, and other familiar faces.

 

Visitors can even meet ascidians there which are famous in the Sanriku Coast.

The large fish tanks let in a lot of natural light, recreating the beauty of the Sanriku sea.

There’s also a special spot where you can get up close to some of the fish!

The aquarium offers an optional program where visitors can feed the penguins.

“It’s a pretty big aquarium,” said Etsuna. “It was great to see all of the different things they have on display. I had a lot of fun feeding the penguins too!”

 

Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (May change depending ont he season)
No Fixed Holidays
TEL: 022-355-2222
Access: 10-minutes by shuttle bus (free ride) from JR Nakanosakae Station
Price: Adults ¥2,200 / Seniors, High School and Junior High School Children ¥1,600 / Elementary School Children ¥1,100 / Infants ¥600 (All Tax-Inclusive)

Official Website: http://www.uminomori.jp/umino/

 

Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market

Fresh fish at an affordable price

Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market is like the kitchen of Sendai. The food shops there were opened by locals. Visitors will find many different bites to eat when visiting. Etsuna visited Sushi Yoshi, a restaurant in the area so popular that there’s always a line.

The restaurant’s name, Sushi Yoshi, suggests that it’s a sushi restaurant, but they actually serve common delicacies like rice bowls and set meals.

Maguro Sanshudon | ¥1,500

This rice bowl contains three kinds of maguro tuna, so much in fact that you can’t even see the rice!

“You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price. You might have to wait in line, but it’s totally worth it!”

 

 Sushi Yoshi
Address: 4-3-1 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 6:30-13:30
Closed: Wednesdays and Sundays
TEL: 022-232-8042
Access: 20-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

 

Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center

Learn the story of the disaster

Inside Arai Station, which is the last stop on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, you can find the Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center where visitors can learn all about how the Great East Japan Earthquake affected Sendai through the exhibition rooms and in the communal space.

The first floor features a panel with a 3D map of how the tsunami inundated the region as a result of the earthquake.

Up on the second floor is a permanent exhibition showcasing the restoration and restoration efforts of the community as well as real photos from around the time of the disaster.

There are also staff members there who survived the disaster and can describe their experiences as well as current issues facing Sendai.

“I got teary when the speaker told me about the hardships they faced at that time,” explains Etsuna. “The people of Sendai are living their lives looking forward, and I have a lot of respect for them.”

 

Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
Address: Kutsugata-85 Arai, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / Day after public holiday / New Year Holidays
TEL: 022-390-9022
Access: Arai Station
Entry: Free

Official Website: http://sendai311-memorial.jp

 

Sendai Arahama Elementary School

The school that still stands after the earthquake disaster

On the day of the Tohoku earthquake, many local residents fled to Sendai Arahama Elementary School where 320 people were trapped including the evacuees, children, and teachers, before managing to escape safely to the roof. The school is now open as a memorial to preserve the memories of those who survived.

The tsunami that struck after the earthquake made it to the second floor of the school. These first two floors have been kept untouched and are as they were on the day.

There are photos as well as video footage exhibited on the fourth floor where the tsunami didn’t reach.

From the school building’s roof you can gaze at the peaceful coastline.

“Seeing the place that was hit by the tsunami up close has really changed my outlook on life. There is green in the surrounding area. I felt life budding all around.”

 

Sendai Arahama Elementary School
Address: Shinborihata-32-1 Arahama, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 9:30-16:00
Closed: Mondays / Every 4th Thursday of the month / New Year Holidays
TEL: 022-355-861
Access: 15-minutes by bus from Arai Station
Entry: Free

 

Akiu Area

Akiu Onsen is a spa town known to locals as the ‘living room’ of Sendai. It’s a 30-50 minute bus ride from Sendai Station. It has been nicknamed one of Japan’s Three Baths alongside Bessho Onsen and Nozawa Onsen, both in Nagano Prefecture. It’s another place that Date Masamune frequented many times.

 

Rairaikyo Gorge

A stroll along the gorge path

Rairaikyo Gorge gets its name from the abundance of enormous rocks that have been eroded by the Natori River and given them strange shapes. The Kanji ‘rai’ used in the gorge’s name literally means ‘many rocks.’ The gorge is home to a 1-km path that people can walk along and soak up the incredible natural environment that offers sights to behold throughout the year. From late October to mid November, when the autumn leaves are in bloom, the area is also lit up in the evenings.

The heart-shaped hollow in the rocks as pictured above is considered a sacred place for couples.

Taking a stroll along the path one sees maple trees aplenty. Visiting during the height of autumn graces you with a colourful scene you wouldn’t want to miss.

“I feel healed having gotten to take a leisurely stroll through nature,” explained Etsuna. “The rocks of Akiu have some interesting shapes.”

 

Rairaikyo Gorge

Address: Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Access: Approx. 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station

 

Akiu-sha

A stylish, old fashioned cafe in the hot spring town


When taking a trip to Akiu Onsen, one hot spot that’s a must-visit is Akiu-sha, a restaurant that was renovated from an old private farm house from the Edo Period. During the day it serves lunch food and drinks while in the evenings it’s used for events like private parties.

There’s an open garden at the site which is sometimes used for weddings. At the back are vegetable plots tended to by the restaurant.

Akiu-sha Lunch | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)

The Akiu-sha Lunch is made with fresh vegetables grown in both their own plot as well as from around Akiu.

Akiu Saiseki Chocolate | ¥850 (Before Tax)

A white chocolate dessert inspired by the unique rocks of Akiu. Customers can use the little wooden hammer to break apart the dessert to create a rubble of chocolate.

The inside of the restaurant is spacious with towering beams holding it up.

“The vegetables are so fresh, I couldn’t believe how tasty they were! This flavour is unique to this place.”

 

Akiu-sha
Address: Nozoki-9-4 Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Food Orders 14:30 / Cafe Last Orders 16:00)
Closed: Tuesdays
TEL: 022-724-7767 (Bookings not possible)
Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

 

Akiu Winery

Taste and compare different original wines

Akiu Winery in Akiu Onsen was the first winery to open in Sendai. It’s home to an enormous grape field, and inside is the brewery itself as well as a dining area and shop. They serve an array of original wines.

As well as originals, Akiu Winery also stocks famous wines from Sendai.

Merlot Red Wine 2018 (Sample) | Koshu Sur Lie 2019 (750ml) ¥2,300 | Steuben Rosé 2019 (750ml) ¥2,000 (All Before Tax)

Akiu Winery’s line-up of wines are famous in Sendai.

At the back of the winery is the expansive grape field.

Craft Grill | ¥1,330

At the outdoor terrace you can enjoy a BBQ grill together with a glass of wine.

“The sight of the grape field made me feel like I was in France. You can enjoy a BBQ too so I definitely want people to come here!”

 

Akiu Winery
Address: Biwaharanishi-6, Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

Akiu Great Falls

The Three Great Waterfalls of Japan

Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan’s three most famous waterfalls alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi Prefecture and Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s about 15-minutes by car downstream from Akiu Onsen and is also accessible by bus.

They have a retro shop at the entrance of the waterfall.

Also located next to the waterfall is Akiu-Otaki Fudoson, a temple surrounded by dense green foliage and enormous gingko trees.

“Being in nature really relaxed me and took away the day’s stress! It’s quite a walk to the waterfall basin so you get plenty of exercise too.”

 

Akiu Great Falls
Address: Otaki Akiumachi Baba, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
TEL: 022-398-2323 (Akiu Onsen Tourist Information Center)
Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station (Running on weekends and public holidays only)

 

Around Sendai Station

Sendai Station can be considered as the doorstep of Japan’s Tohoku region. It of course runs JR East’s Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains as well as operates Sendai Subway services and buses. The area around the station is great for finding tasty local delicacies, shopping, and souvenir-buying.

 

WANOSHOKU NIKAI

Seri-nabe is Sendai’s new specialty food

If you’re asked to give an example of a famous speciality food product from Sendai, chances are people will jump straight to the city’s gyutan beef tongue, but what has been the talk of the town recently is seri-nabe. Seri-nabe is a type of hotpot cooked with Japanese parsley (‘seri’) – one of Japan’s seven spring flowers. Miyagi Prefecture boasts as a top class producer of Japanese parsley. The hotpot is served in a simple duck broth which allows the fragrance of the parsley to come through.

“I can’t get enough of the crunchy texture of the [parsley] roots! It was delicious, I had a refreshing soy sauce soup finished with ramen.”

 

WASHOKU NIKAI
Address: 2-5-15 Ichibanchō, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 17:00-Midnight
No Fixed Holidays
TEL: 022-224-6040

 

Iroha Yokocho

Bar crawl deep into the back streets

The side streets of the Sunmall Ichibancho arcade have a retro Japanese vibe to them, packed full of shops that make one feel nostalgic.

The long, winding alleys feature plenty of Instagram-worthy spots.

“This is a great spot for enjoying a bar crawl, just having a light drink and then moving onto the next place. Even if you don’t drink there’s tasty food to enjoy too!”

 

Iroha Yokocho

Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
TEL: 022-223-3151

S-PAL Sendai

A fashion mall connected to the station

S-PAL is a fashion mall directly connected to Sendai Station, home to apparel stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, sundry sellers, and more. Here are some sundry stores selling a variety of miscellaneous items perfect as souvenir purchases.

 

Nakagawa Masashichi

This is an old-time chain that has been around for 300 years. Specialising in lifestyle goods, this S-PAL branch is the only one in all of Tohoku.

Its interior design has a retro feel to it with shelves and tables piled with cute bits and bobs.

Kaya-ori Tea Towel | ¥440 (Tax Included)

A specialty product of Tohoku, this tea towel is made using the traditional weaving technique of kaya-ori. Exclusive to Tohoku.

 

IORI

IORI is another shop you’ll only find in the Tohoku area. They sell imabari towels which are perfect as gifts to yourself or another.

Handkerchiefs | ¥600 Each (Tax Included)〜

These handkerchiefs are only sold in Sendai and feature a variety of embroidered motifs like the windsocks of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, kokeshi dolls, the helmet of Date Masamune, and more.

 

KANEIRI STANDARD STORE

A select shop stocking stationery and other trinkets that promote the culture and craftsmanship of Tohoku. This store is right next to Sendai Station and has plenty of souvenir-worthy items, so it’s absolutely worth a visit.

As well as lifestyle goods, the store also sells items made in Miyagi, like kokeshi dolls.

Matsukawa Daruma | ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

These Matsukawa Daruma are super cute, especially the blue one which is inspired by the Sendai Domain, also known as the Date Domain.

 

Dagashiya Zousan

Dagashiya Zousan sells old-time Japanese sweets and confections, stocked with many popular treats from Tohoku adored by both kids and adults alike.

The traditional sweets are all packed together along the shelves and up the walls.

 

The popular souvenir shops of Sendai

You can’t go home after a fun trip without picking up a souvenir, so here’s s line-up of shops that have been surging in popularity recently in Sendai, all of which sell Sendai-specific items.

 

Drinkable zunda at Agurienomori Mitte

Drinkable Zunda | ¥370 (Before Tax)

Zunda are mashed green soybeans boiled and turned into a sweet paste. They are also a local delicacy. Zunda mochi are very famous, but zunda beverages are popular too. This shop sells a variety of zunda treats to pick from.

 

Bamboo grass kamaboko at Kanezaki-ya

There are many makers of sasa-kamaboko, or bamboo grass fish paste, but what makes Kanezaki-ya’s so great is how it retains the original umami flavour and plump texture of the fish.

 

Zaou cheese at Tohoku Meguri Irotoiro

Zaou Cream Cheese, Vanilla Cream Spread | ¥557 Each (Before Tax)

A food select shop selling a range of different ingredients. Their kaou cheese with sweet vanilla is their most popular item.

“It’s a fashion mall so of course they sell clothes, but they had a bunch of other stuff too, everything from traditional Japanese daruma to food. I really recommend S-PAL Sendai if you’re searching for souvenirs!”

 

S-PAL Sendai
Address: 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Restaurant wing open 11:00-22:00)
No Fixed Holidays
TEL: 022-267-2111
Access: Connected directly to Sendai Station
Official Website: https://www.s-pal.jp/sendai/ 

 

“Sendai looking and progressing into the future as it overcomes the effects of the disaster. It’s a place with amazing food, fun shops, and is teeming with nature. If you’ve never been to Sendai before, then be sure to visit and have fun!”

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  • MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS: The Most ‘Kawaii’ Accommodation Experience in Harajuku

    15.April.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    I visited MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS -SAKURA- with Chinese talent Etsuna and Japanese model Ren Koseki. This accommodation and Harajuku hot spot is gaining much attention right now for its interior design which offers the full ‘kawaii’ experience wherever you look. It is produced by ASOBISYSTEM, a company that aims to promote Harajuku culture to the rest of the world.

    It is located just an 8-minute walk from Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Line or 10 minutes on foot from Harajuku Station via the JR Line. Its ideal location places it very close to the most popular areas in Harajuku including Takeshita Street, Ura-Harajuku and Omoteando. It is even within walking distance from the New National Stadium which is set to be completed in November 2019 and will serve as the venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

    The concept of this single-room accommodation is ‘SAKURA’ which is the Japanese word for cherry blossom making it the perfect place to be in right now for the spring season. Its gorgeous and unique layout is overlooked by a huge cherry blossom monument in the bedroom which also works as a light to create a magical atmosphere.

    Pink is the base colour for the room which is perfect for parties and girl-only get-togethers. The is the main bed and separate simple beds to accommodate up to 5 guests. But it can house as many people as you like if they’re just coming to play! This fantastic system is made possible by Airbnb.

    You’re sure to snatch an Instagram moment in front of this neon sign which reads 桜―that’s ‘sakura’ in Japanese!

    The room even comes with an iconic dresser fitted with a huge mirror. This means you and your friends can all put your makeup on together at the same time before you head out. There’s a hair drier as well as hair straighteners which Ren is using in the photo.

    There’s even a rooftop area which provides a panoramic view of Harajuku. This space can be used for parties, BBQs and whatever else you can think of! But keep in mind that the roof can be reserved by non-guests too in which case access will be restricted. Be sure to find out in advance if you’re thinking of using it.

    How did you find your stay at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS -SAKURA-, Etsuna and Ren?

     

    Etsuna: “From a foreigner’s perspective, I really felt the Japanese-ness towards the sakura which is great. The dresser is huge too, I’m happy that two people can do their makeup at the same time! The place is not only cute, but it’s made in such a way that the functionality of the room is easy to use. It felt heart-warming to be there.”

     

    Ren: “When it comes to lots of girls wanting a place to get together, not for travel but just to hang out, love hotels are the mainstream, but ‘fun’ and ‘cute’ don’t really stand together in a place like that. But here, five people can stay together, and no matter where they take photos it’s going to look cute! Plus it’s in Harajuku, you can get some stylish-looking food and drinks from nearby cafés for takeout and stay up late. That sounds amazing. I can think of so many things!”

    SAKURA is located on the 5th floor of a building, but if you have a lot of luggage you can contact the staff in advance and they will carry it up for you. MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS offers a very special experience where you get to stay the night in Harajuku. And SAKURA is just the start. We plan to open even more rooms on the other floors with different concepts, so look forward to it!

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  • Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA

    13.June.2021 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.

     

    Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.

     

    Stargazing on top of the water

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.

     

    Calm the heart with an enchanting performance

    When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.

     

    Indulgent drinks and food

    Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.

  • Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan

    07.June.2021 | SPOT

    Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.

    The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.

    Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.

  • The Promised Neverland x Hotel Keihan Room Plan Collaboration Begins

    05.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Hotel Keihan launched a new guest room plan in collaboration with the anime series The Promised Neverland at its Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, and Sapporo branches on Tuesday. It also released a collection of exclusive merchandise which can be bought at each hotel’s front desk.

    Guest Rooms

     

    Exclusive Merch Line-Up

    Pins | ¥550 Each (Tax Included)

    Key Rings | ¥550 Each (Tax Included)

    Lobby display

    The hotel plan was originally scheduled to take place for three months but has been extended by a further month to accommodate for travel restrictions as well as guest demand. New prices have also been introduced to make it more accessible to people. Fans of the anime series can get their hands on a range of items not available anywhere else too including pins, key rings, folders, and more.

     

    The hotel room designs are inspired by both seasons of The Promised Neverland and come with life-size panels, wall decorations, and more, so fans can look forward to getting sucked into the world of the anime series.

     

    (C)白井カイウ・出水ぽすか/集英社・約束のネバーランド製作委員会

  • All About Matsuyama | Final Episode: Introducing the New Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre

    30.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The reception staff are ready and waiting to greet customers with a smile

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre finally opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. You’ll find it on the first floor of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi which isn’t even a one-minute walk from Okaido Station. It features an interior fusion combining history and culture with a design inspired by Matsuyama Castle while also throwing in a contemporary feel.

    Six giant screens serve as the perfect place for tourism-related PR of Matsuyama

    The first sight many visitors will lay their eyes on upon entering the information centres are the six screens spanning 1.5 meters high and 4.5 meters across the wall. Here, a variety of promotional material centred on the highlights of Matsuyama will be displayed.

     

    The information centre offers many useful services, including for foreign customers who don’t speak Japanese. There is a translation and interpreting service, money exchange, rental electrical outlets for smart devices, and more. The staff themselves are multilingual, but the interpreting service includes access to a call centre which you can access using the free WiFi or using an iPad. The availability of foreign currency exchange is also extremely beneficial as Matsuyama is a city abundant with long-standing shops that have been around for decades and longer. Another convenience with the centre is easy access to public transport. If you’re looking to travel around the prefecture, we recommend paying a visit to the centre first as it’s sure to provide valuable information. You can even rent mobile batteries for your smartphone to lessen the stress when sightseeing.

    The pictogram shows the many handy services available

    Visitors will also find a comprehensive duty-free counter inside the information centre which covers all stores in Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Dogo Shoten, and Ropeway Shotengai. You must spend over ¥5,000 (before tax) on products to be duty-free eligible. Since it’s a comprehensive service, if you have multiple receipts you can be exempt from tax as long as all your receipts exceed ¥5,000. Participating stores have special stickers plastered up inside so tourists can quickly and easily identify them.

    Stores participating in the duty-free service have stickers and signs to show it

    For example, if you spend ¥500 at participating stores in Dogo Shotengai, ¥1,000 in Okaido Shopping Street, and ¥3,500 in Gintengai Shotengai, and take all three of those receipts adding up to ¥5,000 to the information centre, you can get your items duty free. But keep in mind that the receipts have a validity period on them, so be sure to check opening hours.

     

    The Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre serves as the perfect site for bringing in all kinds of tourists, including foreign travellers, to Matsuyama post-COVID. The information also goes by the cute nickname “Dan Dan info.” Dan dan is an old Ehime phrase meaning “thank you” and ties in with the smiling and hospitable welcome staff wish to greet guests with. It’s exciting to look into the future and see how Matsuyama’s tourism and economic growth will develop in its shopping districts, stores, and elsewhere. Make one of your first stops the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre when visiting the city.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 8: Souvenirs Are Part of Matsuyama’s Fun and Are Everywhere

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    From tasty treats to home and lifestyle goods, Matsuyama has no shortage of souvenirs

    Popular sightseeing spots and delicious food you can’t get anywhere else—these are all part of the fun experience to be had when travelling. To wrap up your time there and memorialise all that’s happened, nothing’s better than picking up a little souvenir. In Episode 8 of All About Matsuyama, we take a look at the many wonderful items you can take home with you as souvenirs from food to traditional handicrafts, special dyed fashion and accessories, and more. MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has picked out a range of delightful treats like Matsuyama’s famous tartes, jakoten, three-colour botchan dango as well as Tobe ware porcelain which is an Ehime tradition, and iyo-kasuri fabric which is one of Japan’s three main kasuri fabrics.

     

    First on the list is the ‘tarte,’ a speciality product of Shikoku which is more of a sponge cake. They’re made of a soft and fluffy sesame seed-coloured sponge and coarse red bean paste. A famous treat of Matsuyama, you can find these tarts just about anywhere in Okaido Shopping Street, near Dogo Onsen, and elsewhere.

     

    Jakoten is considered a soul food of Ehime Prefecture. It’s made from fish that are blended into a paste and fried. You can find jakoten everywhere in Matsuyama, but every restaurant serves theirs with different textures and flavours. Many places fry them fresh, so be sure to try a bunch to compare the flavours and then you can decide which to buy as a souvenir. There are even places so popular that they have lines outside them before they even open.

     

    The botchan dango is something many of our readers have probably seen or heard about. These three-coloured skewered dango are served bite-sized, cute enough to snap a photo of. The ones sold at Dogo Onsen are something of a speciality. They have their name from Natsume Soseki’s novel Botchan. You’ll find them all around Dogo Shotengai.

     

    Tobe ware is a traditional type of porcelain from Tobe in Ehime, known for its smooth touch and durability. This traditional porcelain has been handed down from old times until today, and in recent years, ceramists have been hammering out their own unique shapes, so have become popular as stylish, everyday use lifestyle items.

     

    You can’t talk about Ehime’s traditional craftwork without mentioning iyo-kasuri fabric. Matsuyama used to have huge production output of this fabric type, which stands as one of three of Japan’s most famous kasuri fabrics alongside kurume-gasuri from Fukuoka and bingo-kasuri from Hiroshima. Production has dwindled in modern times, but if you go to Art Labo KASURI Rekishikan, you can learn all about iyo-kasuri. There are lots of gorgeous iyo-kasuri products to buy like cute pouches, bags, and more.

     

    And that’s our list of must-grab souvenirs. There are of course endless other things you can get your hands on, so if you’re lost on what to pick up, try asking at the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre.

     

    Stay tuned for the next and final episode of All About Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 7: Mitsuhama Port is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    The Mitsu Ferry, managed by Matsuyama City, has been running for over 500 years

    We’ve covered much about the land in this series, so in Episode 7 of All About Matsuyama, we’re heading to the sea. Mitsuhama Port sits in the western part of Matsuyama, Ehime. Mitsuhama is a port town that flourished during and following the Edo Period as the ‘front door to the ocean.’ Visiting the town is a trip down memory lane as there are still pseudo Western-style buildings from the Meiji and Taisho periods that suffered damage from the war, as well as traditional Japanese houses, and more. The Mitsuhama Shotengai shopping district was once a bustling place for the fishing and trade industries. Today, buildings have been renovated and taken on new managers who have turned places into stylish cafes, galleries, and other businesses, creating a quaint mix of new and old.

     

    Matsuhama Port is a 15-minute car ride from Matsuyama Station, which itself is connected to other must-visit spots we’ve covered in this series such as Matsuchika Town and Gintengai. If you’re looking for a place to walk around, the port area is somewhere you can really stretch your legs. It’s right outside Mitsu Station from where you can see Mitsuhama Shotengai lined with concrete shops. The street has an old-timey Japanese nostalgic feeling to it. The number of young people frequenting the local shops and houses that have been renovated into various stores is on the rise which is changing its image from a former port town to a hip place to go for shopping. In the summer there are firework festivals and events held by the shopping district, so it’s quickly becoming one of Matsuyama’s new tourist spots.

    A luxurious sea bream meshi-zen set meal

    If you’re strolling through Mitsuhama Shotengai, one place we absolutely want to recommend people visit is Taimeshi, a restaurant that set up shop inside a Japanese house that’s registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. They have only one order on the menu as pictured above: the Taimeshi-Zen, a sea bream set meal, which is made even more enjoyable by the restaurant’s elegant decor.

    Mitsuyamayaki is a fast food delicacy of Mitsuhama

    Everyone needs to try the local fried food as well. The most popular is their okonomiyaki, a common food in Japan. However, the type served in Mitsuhama, known as Mitsuhamayaki, is a little different from the Osaka or Hiroshima styles. They load the batter with noodles and garnish with chikuwa fish-paste, an ingredient long-loved in Mitsuhama, and the secret ingredient—fish flakes. Beef is used as the meat filling. The result is the kind of flavours you’d imagine tucking into in a port down. Each restaurant that serves Mitsuhamayaki serves theirs with their own original sauces too, so no two places will be exactly the same. Try several to compare the tastes.

     

    Something else that can’t be passed up when visiting Mitsuhama is the Mitsu Ferry, a boat with a 500-year history that rides up and down the river and is free of charge. Not only has it been used since the Muromachi Period for transporting goods, it also enjoys 40,000 passengers every year having been recognised as a tourist spot in recent years.

     

    Baishinji Station, which is right next to Minatoyama Station and is how you get to the Mitsu Ferry, is known for being the location of the final episode of the 1991 Japanese drama series Tokyo Love Story. There, visitors can also gaze at the gorgeous view of the Seto Inland Sea, pay a visit to Baishinji Garden to enjoy the plum and cherry blossoms, and more.

     

    Matsuyama is vast and full of many places to enjoy. Mitsuhama is one of these locations and is easily accessed by train from the city centre. It’s a tranquil place where you can feel both the preserved old atmosphere and the modern changes. It’s sure to continue growing as one of the city’s must-visit sightseeing spots.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 6: Feast Your Eyes Upon the City’s Food

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    One of the biggest attractions to anyone travelling abroad, or even domestically, is the food. In Episode 6 of All About Matsuyama, we give you a mouth-watering tour of Matsuyama’s food scene. Every area of the city is bursting with flavours to be savoured, so here’s our list of places we can’t recommend enough, all located around Okaido Shopping Street, Matsuyama Gintengai, and Matsuchika Town.

     

    Higiriyaki

    Higiriyaki is a sweet local treat from Matsuyama with chewy skin and filled with hot adzuki bean paste

    The first delectable treat MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON recommends begins at a shop in Okaido Shopping Street. The ‘higariyaki’ is a local food that was first created during the Taisho period in Japan and is also the name of the shop that sells them. It’s said that the first higariyaki was made at Zenshoji Temple which is located in front of Matsuyama Station. The temple is nicknamed “Ohigiri-san,” and the dessert’s name derives from the Higiri Jizo god that is worshiped there. Its dough is made with high quality wheat flour and eggs and is stuffed with an azuki bean paste recipe that has been preserved and passed down since it was first created. You get to see the higiriyaki being made fresh before you when ordering one.

     

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma

    Every cup of their refreshing juice is freshly squeezed

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma is a juice and gift shop managed by Noma Kajuen, a fruit grower in Ehime which ships tasty mikan oranges around Japan. noma-noma not only serves fresh juice but ice creams, parfaits, drinkable jelly, and other takeout items too – all made with mikan. They have plenty of fruity gifts too, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try some sweet Ehime mikan.

     

    Roken Manto

    The only place left making steamed bread with koubokin yeast fungus

    Next on the menu is Roken Manto which is famous in Matsuyama for its steamed bread. This bread is made with koubokin yeast fungus and has been since 1931. No preservatives or other additives are used so they don’t have a shelf life – you can only buy and eat them from here. The bread was adapted in Kurashiki from the Chinese steamed bun to cater to Japanese palettes. Fillings include pinto beans, raisins, cheese, cocoa, and more. None are overly sweet so make for a nice easy bite. They are particularly popular with male customers who you often see in droves buying them in the evenings and late into the night.

     

    Nabeyaki Udon Asahi

    A bowl of their sweet udon will leave you feeling happy

    We’re moving locations now – towards Matsuyama Gintengai. Nabeyaki Udon Asahi is a famous udon bar in Matsuyama known for its sweet tasting nabeyuki udon, something of a soul food to the locals. The restaurant opened in 1947 and has been frequented by locals since. Their udon is simple but delicious, made with a sweet broth, chewy noodles, kamaboko fish paste, chikjuwa fish paste, and boiled egg. The restaurant itself has a retro vibe to it which serves as the perfect setting for your bowl of udon. It will definitely have you wanting a second visit. One thing to note is that the restaurant closes once all noodles have been served, so we recommend visiting in the early afternoon.

     

    Usuzumi Yokan

    The quality of the adzuki beans elevate this dessert to sublime new heights

    The usuzumi yokan is a famous sweet of Matsuyama which was first made over 1,000 years ago when Empress Jito visited Dogo. Its surface has a sheen to it, and inside are white beans made to look like cherry blossom petals, giving it an extravagant appearance. It’s a sweet famous across Japan having won awards at national confection competitions. You can order them to have-in at this cafe if you like – and their gorgeous Tobe ware plates are available to buy too. Both would be great as souvenirs bought together.

     

    Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi

    The crunchy, mouth-watering tonkatsu is nice and light and not fatty at all

    Last up on our list takes out to Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi in Matsuchika Town. They serve up some seriously succulent and juicy meat covered in a crunchy layer and served with an in-house sauce. Their menu is long, and all set meals come with a bowl of grated Japanese yam soup. Matsuchika Town is full of popular eateries with lots of takeout items to enjoy, so we recommend visiting there before moving away from the station area.

     

    Matsuyama is loaded with restaurants so you’ll never go hungry. The places on this list, and many others, are waiting for your arrival.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 5: A Shopping Paradise at Every Turn

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Five unique shopping districts loved by Matsuyama locals

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    When visiting Matsuyama, some of the must-visit hot spots include places like Dogo Onsen and Matsuyama Castle. While it’s true you’re sure to enjoy a satisfying sightseeing experience visiting these worthwhile locations, if you’re looking for an even truer Matsuyama experience, you’ll want to hit up the city’s shopping districts. In Episode 5 of All About Matsuyama, we’re looking at five different shopping districts, each with their own unique characters, and all loved by the locals.

     

    The five places we’re looking at are: Okaido Shopping Street, a bustling street and the biggest shopping district in all of Ehime; Matsuyama Gintengai which is lined with a diverse bounty of stores; Matsuchika Town which is the only underground shopping centre in Shikoku; Ropeway Shopping Street, a beautiful street with an inherently ‘Japanese’ feel to it; and Dogo Shotengai which connects the local station to the main Dogo Onsen site. All five of these places should be listed alongside Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen as tourist hot spots.

     

    Let’s begin with Okaido Shopping Street. Located right by Okaido Station, the street runs 483 meters from Shiden Street to Chifunemachi Street. It’s an enormous, brightly-lit arcade with plenty of things to enjoy throughout the day from the morning farm market to the wine and dine experiences to be had in the evenings. No matter the hour, Okaido Shopping Street is bustling, so if you’re looking for some fun in Matsuyama, this is the place.

     

    Next on the list is Matsuyama Gintengai, which runs from Chifunemachi Street to Matsuyama City Station. It connects directly to Okaido Shopping Street and is split into four districts: Sanchome and Yonchome. This 600 meter space is frequented by young and old shoppers alike, with delectable desserts to tuck into and lifestyle items to adorn your days with.

     

    Matsuchika Town can be accessed via an elevator from Matsuyama Gintengai. It’s connected to Matsuyama City Station and is the only underground shopping district you’ll find in the whole of Shikoku, one of the five main islands of Japan. It’s on the smaller side when compared to Okaido and Gintengai, but as well as various stores, it has a well-known rest and meeting spot which is a symbol of the shopping centre.

     

    Ropeway Shopping Street is a 500 meter road that runs from Matsuyama Ichibancho—which is across from the same Shiden Street that links to Okaido Shopping Street—to the Matsuyama Ropeway cable car station that goes to Matsuyama Castle. It’s home to many old-time shops stocking second-hand books, Japanese instruments, and more. It’s also a barrier-free shopping centre which is something of a rarity in Japan.

     

    The final site on this list is Dogo Shotengai, which is about 10-minutes by train from Okaido Station. It’s an L-shaped arcade that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. It’s known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. There are many people who walk around the area from the surrounding hotels in yukata. It really has that ‘hot spring town’ vibe.

     

    And that’s our list of five unique shopping districts adored by the locals. Be sure to jot them on your list of places to go when travelling to Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 4: Japan’s Famous Bathhouses Dogo Onsen & Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu

    27.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Dogo Onsen is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan

     

    Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu incorporates Asuka Period-style architecture

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    In Episode 3 of All About Matsuyama, we head to Dogo Onsen, another famous location that should be added to your Matsuyama bucket list adventures.

     

    Dogo Onsen is Japan’s oldest hot spring, located along Dogo Shotengai, a shopping district that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. Dogo Shotengai is known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. Dogo Onsen is a 3-story hot spring facility in the heart of Dogo which became the first public bathhouse to be registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 1994.

     

    Conservation and repair work began on Dogo Onsen in January 2019 in order to preserve the bathhouse which boasts a long history spanning over 120 years. It is the first public bathhouse in Japan to operate as an Important Cultural Property while undergoing large-scale reparation.

     

    The preservation work is scheduled to take 7 years during which the Dogo Reborn Project is taking place. The Phoenix from Osamu Tezuka’s manga of the same is watching over the revitalization of Dogo Onsen which will be ‘reborn’ like a phoenix. The project is holding a range of events such as light-ups, projection mapping, animations that people can watch, and more.

    Please note however that project mapping is temporarily suspended until May 31, 2021 due to COVID-19.

     

    Dogo Onsen’s history spans more than 120 years. Its on-site sister location, Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, opened in 2017. This bathhouse is constructed in the style of the Asuka Period. Asuka-no-Yu, like the main Dogo Onsen building, is home to Bijin no Yu, a rare kind of water with a soft texture which flows from the source and is neither heated nor cooled.

     

    Dogo Shotengai, which links together Dogo Onsen and Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, is an L-shaped arcade and runs from Dogo Onsen Station. It has a roof which means you can walk from the station straight to the bathhouse without getting wet on a rainy day. There are around 60 shops to look around, and if you wear a yukata, you’re sure to enjoy the real Dogo experience. Head back in time in Japanese history with a visit to the Dogo area.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 3: Matsuyama Castle’s History Overlooking the City Throughout History

    27.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Matsuyama Castle from high above

    Matsuyama’s shitamachi castle town

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    In Episode 3 of All About Matsuyama, we’re taking a look at Matsuyama Castle, an absolutely indispensable location when travelling to Matsuyama which has and still watches over the development surrounding shitamachi castle town.

     

    Matsuyama Castle sits at the heart of Matsuyama. It was built in 1603 on top of Mount Katsuyama which stands towering at 132 meters tall. At the foot of the mountain are two enclosures: Ninomaru and Sannomaru. The castle grounds are so big that you wouldn’t be able to see everything in a single day. It’s also home to only one of 12 existing original castle towers in Japan, is featured in Japan’s Top 100 Castles list, and was selected as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Historical Sites in Japan. It also ranked as the third best castle in Japan in a 2020 list. You clearly can’t pass up a visit to Matsuyama Castle when travelling to Matsuyama!

     

    There are several ways to get to Matsuyama Castle. You can take the walking route upwards which takes about 30 minutes, but many people take the Ropeway or lift. You can buy a ticket for the Ropeway at the station outside Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping District. You will be greeted by Matsuyama Castle’s mascot character Yoshiaki-kun.

     

    Matsuyama Castle was built following the Battle of Sekigahara by Katō Yoshiaki who was awarded for his service as a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The main tower is the only part that has been preserved in its original form. Other parts of the keep have been restored throughout the years due to fires. Several parts of the castle have been designated as Important Cultural Properties including the main tower which can be accessed by visitors who can see what the castle was like when it was first built.

     

    The castle is surrounded by a towering 14-meter stone wall which, though was built in order to prevent enemies from infiltrating, has an air of beauty to it. Two stone walls were built on the mountain slope to stop people from entering via the hillside too. This wall is considered a nationally precious example of Japanese history and is a must-see when visiting Matsuyama Castle.

     

    It’s rare for a castle like this in the middle of a city to have such a history. The view from the very top of the castle keep, which is an extra 30 meters on top of the 132m tower, is a wonderful sight to behold as you gaze across Matsuyama. Many people visit the castle during the daytime, but the castle is actually one of the city’s most beautiful night time spots too. Whichever time of the day you decide to visit, you’re sure to learn much about Matsuyama’s history.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 2: Bargain Shopping Experience With machipay

    26.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan— in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    Machia in Matsuyama Gintengai offers support for the machipay Service

    In Episode 2 of All About Matsuyama, we’re looking at ‘machipay,’ a special service exclusive to Matsuyama that opens opportunities for a great value shopping experience.

     

    Matsuyama’s shopping districts serve as the foundation of the lives of those residing in Matsuyama. Even visiting as a tourist for shopping and sightseeing you can enjoy an inherently ‘Matsuyama’ experience. Something that will make that experience even better is using the city’s machipay service which combines points, electronic money, and coupons all in one place. The service was created for both locals living in the city as well as tourists to create a more convenient shopping experience.

     

    The machipay card and app feature three functions: Points, Electronic Money, and Shopping Coupons. It is compatible at countless popular stores around Matsuyama including Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street, and elsewhere. Every ¥100 of electronic money spent using the service nets you one point, and one point is equivalent to ¥1. Putting money on the card and paying with it means you’ll start collecting lots of points which can be used at these various stores. Coupons offered around the shopping districts and its stores can also be saved onto your machipay app, making it a very handy shopping companion.

     

    But shopping isn’t the only way to earn machipay points. Attending events in the city, getting involved in voluntary work, and other activities that involve living in or like the people of Matsuyama will also garner you points.

     

    The “machica Card” which is used for the service is sold at the machia shop (pictured above) in Matsuyama Gintengai everyday from 10:00-19:00. There’s also an app. As of April 30, 2021, there are 1,200 stores in Matsuyama that are participating in the service.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Matsuyama, make sure to use machipay.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 1: The City’s History at Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

    26.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan— in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture.

    Outside the Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

    In Episode 1 of All About Matsuyama, we head to Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum. This museum, established in 2007, is located near Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street, an area lined with many independent stores which enjoys a relaxed atmosphere. The museum is inspired by the Japanese novel Saka no ue no kumo by Ryōtarō Shiba which was originally published serially between 1968 and 1972. A television drama adaptation aired in Japan from 2009 to 2011. The story is set during the Meiji period and follows three characters all of who are from Matsuyama: Akiyama Yoshifuru, his brother Akiyama Saneyuki, and their friend, Masaoka Tsunenori, also known as Masaoka Shiki. The museum exhibits a different theme every year: some themes have included an exhibit centred on these three characters, another on the Meiji Period when Japan modernised rapidly, and more, as well as other individual showcases.

     

    But discoveries aren’t only to be found in the museums exhibits. Visitors should also pay attention to the building’s architecture which was conceived by international self-taught architect Tadao Ando. Its intriguing design stacks together two triangles. When creating the blueprint for the building, Ando ensured to create a form that would not interfere with the natural landscape or surrounding trees and nature. The museum has a relaxing atmosphere to it and every floor has slopes which connect to one another, so visitors can expect to enjoy an unrushed time there.

    The staircase has a unique design which lacks common support columns

    Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum is also one of the zones that is part of Matsuyama’s Field Museum Project which aims to turn the entire city into a ‘roofless’ museum, with every part of it offering something for locals and tourists to enjoy that is inherently Matsuyama.

     

    The museum sells its own exclusive merchandise too, and there’s even a cafe to enjoy a drink and bite to eat after or during visitors’ stroll around the various exhibits.

     

    If you’ve yet to visit Matsuyama, or have plans to, then Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum is a place we can’t recommend enough for putting on your list of must-visits.

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