Home
Back

Matsuyama Castle (R, Matsuyamajō) is one of Japan's twelve "original castles", i.e. castles which have survived the post-feudal era since 1868 intact. It is also one of the most complex and interesting castles in the country. It is located on Mount Katsuyama, a steep hill in the city center that provides visitors with a bird's eye view of Matsuyama and the Seto Inland Sea. There are about 200 cherry trees on the castle grounds, making this a lovely cherry blossom spot typically around late March to early April each year.

Matsuyama Castle was constructed between 1602 and 1628. In 1635, the castle got assigned to a branch of the Matsudaira family, relatives of the nation ruling Tokugawa, and it remained in their hands until the end of the feudal era. The current three storied castle tower was constructed in 1820 after the original five storied one had been destroyed by lightning.

Matsuyama Castle provides an excellent example of a feudal castle. The main circle of defense (Honmaru) is located on the top of the hill, accessible through multiple, well defended gates. The main keep is one of only a few in the country that boast multiple wings. The complex also includes a secondary keep and multiple turrets, giving Matsuyama Castle a grand appearance and making it interesting to explore. Inside the castle, some exhibits offer information on Matsuyama's history and the feudal period.

In spite of the castle's steep hilltop location, a ropeway and a chairlift make it easily accessible. Riding the single-chair chairlift is a pleasant and popular way to ascend Mount Katsuyama. Alternatively, it is possible to climb up the hill in about 15 minutes from the base of the ropeway station or from the Ninomaru Garden.

The Ninomaru Garden lies at the southern base of Mount Katsuyama and comprises the former site of the second circle of defense (Ninomaru). More comfortably accessible from the city than the main circle of defense (Honmaru) at the top of the mountain, the Ninomaru served as the site of the castle palace where the lord's residence and offices were located.

None of the palace buildings survive today. Instead, the Ninomaru has been converted into a park that preserves the floor plan and layout of the former castle palace with elevated foundations, green spaces and ponds.

Getting there and around

Matsuyama Castle stands on a steep hill in the center of Matsuyama and can be accessed by ropeway or chairlift. The closest tram stop to the ropeway and chairlift station is "Okaido" in front of the covered arcade, from where it is a five minute walk to the lower ropeway station.

Okaido can be reached by tram line 5 from JR Matsuyama Station in ten minutes or by tram line 2 or 3 from Matsuyama-shi Station in five minutes.

How to get to and around Matsuyama

Hours and Fees

Matsuyama Castle Keep

Hours

Closed

Admission

Ninomaru Park

Hours

Closed

Admission

Ropeway & Chairlift

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Matsuyama

Top rated in Matsuyama
Budget:
    • Cinnamon Guesthouse Dogo
      Budget-friendly
      Open from 2015, Cinnamon Guesthouse Dogo offers female only and mixed dormitory rooms with free WiFi. Dogo Onsen Station is a 4-minute walk away. Each bunk bed in the dormitory rooms come with a curtain to secure your privacy. Bathroom facilities and toilets are shared with other guests. Guests can cook their own meals in the shared kitchen with free-use kitchenware and seasonings. There is no laundry facility on site, however, guests can take a 10-minute stroll to a nearby public coin launderette. The nearest super market is a 5-minute walk away, while the nearest convenience store is just a 2-minute walk from Cinnamon Guesthouse Dogo. The property is a 40-minute bus ride from Matsuyama Airport and Matsuyama Tourist Port. Matsuyama Castle is a 15-minute train ride away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.1Booking.com
    • Kowakuen Haruka
      Luxury
      Situated in Matsuyama, 500 metres from Joshin-ji Temple, Kowakuen Haruka offers accommodation with an open-air bath, private parking and a garden. This 4-star ryokan offers a 24-hour front desk and a lift. The accommodation features a hot spring bath, public bath, family-friendly restaurant and free WiFi. At the ryokan, units have air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with streaming services, a safety deposit box and a private bathroom with a bidet, slippers and a hair dryer. The units are fitted with a kettle, while some rooms also boast a balcony and others also feature garden views. At the ryokan, units are equipped with bed linen and towels. Buffet and Asian breakfast options with warm dishes, local specialities and fruits are available each morning at the ryokan. The ryokan is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. A bicycle rental service is available at Kowakuen Haruka. Matsuyama Shrine is less than 1 km from the accommodation, while Miyukiji Temple is a 17-minute walk from the property. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 10 km from Kowakuen Haruka.
      View on Booking.com
      8.9Booking.com
    • Funaya
      Luxury
      Boasting a 390-year history, Funaya offers hot-spring baths, a beautiful Japanese garden and a sauna. Just 200 metres from Dogo-Onsen Train Station, it provides traditional rooms with futon bedding and tatami (woven-straw) floors. Each air-conditioned Japanese-room at Funaya Ryokan comes with a flat-screen satellite TV, fridge and tea maker. The en suite bathroom has a bathtub and slippers. Isaniwa Shrine and Dogo Park are a 5-minute walk away, and Dogo Giyaman Glass Museum is a 10-minute walk. Matsuyama Castle is about 3 km away. The hotel is a 30-minute tram ride from JR Matsuyama Train Station and a 40-minute bus ride from Matsuyama Airport. On-site parking is free. Guests can relax and unwind with a massage, or enjoy with footbath within the hotelfs peaceful garden. Free wired internet access is provided in the lobby. Japanese cuisine is served at Aoigoke Restaurant, and tea and coffee can be enjoyed at Garden Terrace Komorebi.
      View on Booking.com
      8.9Booking.com
    • Dormy Inn Matsuyama Natural Hot Spring
      Mid-range
      Dormy Inn Matsuyama Natural Hot Spring features rooms in Matsuyama near Matsuyama Civic Center and The Museum of Art, Ehime. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. The accommodation offers a sauna, hot spring bath, restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. The units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries and a wardrobe. At the hotel all rooms come with bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near Dormy Inn Matsuyama Natural Hot Spring include Yasaka Temple, Okaido Shopping Street and Botchan Train Museum. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 8 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      8.7Booking.com
    • Hotel Vista Matsuyama
      Mid-range
      Hotel Vista Matsuyama features accommodation in Matsuyama near Matsuyama castle and Matsuyama Civic Center. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage space and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 300 metres from Okaido Shopping Street. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Hotel Vista Matsuyama the rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers an American or Asian breakfast. Popular points of interest near Hotel Vista Matsuyama include Yasaka Temple, Botchan Train Museum and Ishitegawa Park. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 8 km from the hotel.
      View on Booking.com
      8.7Booking.com
    • Yamatoya Honten
      Luxury
      Set in Matsuyama, 600 metres from Joshin-ji Temple, Yamatoya Honten provides accommodation with a hot spring bath, a public bath and an open-air bath. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a lift, along with free WiFi. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, slippers and a wardrobe. The ryokan offers some units that feature a safety deposit box, and units are equipped with a private bathroom with a bath and a hair dryer. There is a coffee shop and bar. The ryokan is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Matsuyama Shrine is less than 1 km from the ryokan, while Miyukiji Temple is a 19-minute walk from the property. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 10 km from Yamatoya Honten.
      View on Booking.com
      8.7Booking.com
    • REF Matsuyama City Station by VESSEL HOTELS
      Luxury
      REF Matsuyama City Station by VESSEL HOTELS is situated in Matsuyama, within 1.3 km of Matsuyama Station and 1.2 km of Yasaka Temple. The 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The hotel has a sauna and a 24-hour front desk. All rooms in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV. At REF Matsuyama City Station by VESSEL HOTELS the rooms include bed linen and towels. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Botchan Train Museum, Matsuyama Civic Center and The Museum of Art, Ehime. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 6 km from REF Matsuyama City Station by VESSEL HOTELS.
      View on Booking.com
      8.6Booking.com
    • Dougoya
      Mid-range
      Situated in the popular Dogo Hot Spring area, Onsen Ryokan Dougoya provides traditional Japanese-style accommodation with natural a hot spring bath and a lovely garden. Free WiFi is available in guest rooms. The ryokan is just a 5-minute walk from famous Dogo Hot Spring Bathhouse. It is a 8-minute walk from Dogo Onsen tram stop, which is an 18-minute ride away from JR Matsuyama Station. Iconic Matsuyama Castle is a 15-minute tram and a 5-minute lift ride away. Each room at Dogoya is fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and futon bedding. Private rooms feature a low table and seating cushions. Bathroom and toilet are shared with other guests. Two 24-hour shower rooms are available on site. Free toiletries and free towel rental are available in the hot spring bath and shower. Private use of public hot spring bath is available during limited hours. Guests can relax in the common room with a flat-screen TV. Free luggage storage and a free safety deposit box to store valuables is available.
      View on Booking.com
      8.6Booking.com
    • 3LDK Denchi
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 1-star accommodation, 3LDK Denchi is set in Matsuyama, less than 1 km from Yasaka Temple and a 10-minute walk from Okaido Shopping Street. There is a private entrance at the guest house for the convenience of those who stay. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and Botchan Train Museum is 100 metres away. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bath, slippers and a hair dryer. A microwave, a fridge and kitchenware are also offered, as well as a kettle. At the guest house, the units include bed linen and towels. The guest house is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Popular points of interest near the guest house include Matsuyama Civic Center, The Museum of Art, Ehime and Matsuyama Station. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 6 km from 3LDK Denchi.
      View on Booking.com
      8.6Booking.com
    • Hotel Taiyo Noen Nibancho
      Mid-range
      Situated in Matsuyama, 400 metres from Yasaka Temple, Hotel Taiyo Noen Nibancho features accommodation with free bikes, private parking and a restaurant. This property is located a short distance from attractions such as Botchan Train Museum, Miyukiji Temple, and Matsuyama Civic Center. The property provides a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi is available. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Popular points of interest near Hotel Taiyo Noen Nibancho include Okaido Shopping Street, Ishitegawa Park and Matsuyama castle. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 8 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      8.6Booking.com