By Plane -- Flights connect Matsuyama with Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, and Okinawa. The flight from Tokyo takes 1 hour and 25 minutes and costs ¥32,000 for a one-way ticket, though tickets purchased for certain flights at least 28 days in advance can run as low as ¥13,300. Buses connect the airport to downtown in 30 minutes for ¥400.
By Train -- The easiest way to reach Matsuyama is by JR train from Okayama (on Honshu island), with 15 departures daily; the trip takes 2 hours and 40 minutes, and the fare is ¥6,120. There are also hourly departures from Takamatsu, taking about 2 1/2 hours and costing ¥5,500.
By Bus -- A JR bus (tel. 03/3844-1950; www.jrbuskanto.co.jp) departs nightly from Tokyo Station at 8:20pm and a Nishi Tokyo Bus (tel. 03/5376-2222) departs nightly from Shinjuku Station at 7:10pm; they arrive respectively at Matsuyama Station the next day at 8:36am and at Matsuyama Shieki (City Station) at 7:10am. One-way fare for either is ¥12,000.
By Boat -- Matsuyama is also linked by ferry to several ports on Honshu and Kyushu islands, including Osaka (overnight: 8 2/3 hr.), Oita (near Beppu; 3 3/4 hr.), and Hiroshima (70 min. by high-speed boat). The fare to Matsuyama is ¥6,300 from Osaka, ¥6,900 from Hiroshima and ¥3,200 from Beppu. Boats dock at Matsuyama Port (Matsuyama Kanko Ko), where buses transport passengers to Matsuyama Station in about 20 minutes for ¥45.
The Matsuyama City Tourist Information Office (tel. 089/931-3914; daily 8:30am-8:30pm) is inside JR Matsuyama Station to the left as you exit the wicket. Be sure to pick up the booklet "Shikoku Passport"; although in Japanese only, it provides many discounts on attractions, hotels, and restaurants. The Dogo Tourist Information Center (tel. 089/943-8342; daily 8am-8pm) is across the street from the Dogo Onsen streetcar stop. The Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC), located between Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen (tel. 089/917-5678; www.epic.or.jp; Mon-Sat 8:30am-5pm), provides information on Ehime Prefecture, including Uchiko, Tobe, and the Shimanami Kaido cycling path. You'll also find English-language newspapers and three computers you can use for free. To reach EPIC, take streetcar no. 3, 5, or 6 heading toward Dogo Onsen to the Minami-machi stop. Backtrack and look to the right for the INFORMATION sign with a question mark; the office is in a barrack partially hidden behind another building. More information is available online at www.city.matsuyama.ehime.jp and at www.mcvb.jp/convention, the latter also with good city maps.
In addition to EPIC, above, you can also check e-mail at COMS, on the second floor at 6-4-20 Sanbancho (tel. 089/943-5776; Tues-Sat 9am-8:30pm and Sun/holidays 9am-5pm) for ¥100 an hour. It's a 7-minute walk from either Matsuyama Station or Matsuyama Shieki; or take the streetcar to the Minami-horibata-cho stop. By the way, in the same building is the Matsuyama International Center (tel. 089/943-2025), which also offers information about the area.
Orientation & Getting Around
JR Matsuyama Station, which serves long-distance trains, is on the west edge of town, with most attractions, hotels, shopping, and restaurants spreading to the east. Matsuyama Castle lies less than 2.5km (1 1/2 miles) due east of the station. Just southwest of the castle is the Okaido shopping arcade, a covered pedestrian passageway lined with restaurants and shops and considered to be the heart of the city. Dogo Onsen, Japan's oldest hot-spring spa, is on the eastern edge of the city.
The easiest and most convenient form of transportation in Matsuyama is streetcar. The no. 5 line runs from Matsuyama Station to the Okaido arcade, Matsuyama Castle, and Dogo Onsen. The fare is ¥150 per trip or ¥400 for a 1-day pass (Ichinichi Joshaken). An old-fashioned locomotive-style streetcar nicknamed "Botchan" (after a novel by Natsume Soseki set in Matsuyama) runs between Matsuyama Station and Dogo Onsen. This costs ¥300 per ride, but if you have the 1-day pass you're entitled to one ride for only ¥100.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.