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Ishiteji (ΞŽθŽ›), located near Dogo Onsen to the northeast of Matsuyama's city center, is the city's most famous temple. It is number 51 of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Pilgrims dressed in white are a frequent sight at this large temple.

Ishiteji's name literally means "stone hand temple", referring to a local legend in which an aristocrat had held a stone tightly in his hand at his death bed after seeking the priest Kobo Daishi to no avail, and was later reborn with the stone still held in the baby's hand.

A tastefully maintained sheltered temple approach lined by shops of wooden facades lead to Ishiteji's temple grounds. The sprawling temple compound boasts several halls and temple buildings, a three-storied pagoda, various statues and an unique inner temple connected to the main grounds via a cave. Interestingly, statues and religious objects are periodically added to the temple.

Ishiteji is known for its Niomon Gate, a designated national treasure. The main hall and pagoda are also designated important cultural properties, and all of these structures exhibit the typical architecture style of the Kamakura Period (1192-1333). A treasure house displays some of the temple's most important artifacts.

Of further interest, Ishiteji hosts a curious looking inner temple located beyond a cave behind the main hall. The dimly lit cave is about 200 meters long and is remarkable by itself, branching off in two directions and housing many Buddhist statues, carvings and drawings.

Visitors who emerge from the cave and cross a street will arrive at the slightly unkempt inner temple grounds, which feature a large, golden dome-shaped hall. The building and statues here reflect a very different, somewhat peculiar, style than those on the main grounds. In particular, carvings and drawings of the historical Buddha Shaka reduced to the bones, just before he gained enlightenment, leave a deep impression. A huge statue of Kobo Daishi, a celebrated figure in Japanese Buddhism, stands on top of the forested hill above the temple.

Getting there and around

Ishiteji Temple can be accessed from the Dogo Onsen tram stop in a short bus ride (5 minutes, 160 yen, frequent departures) or in a 15-20 minute walk. Dogo Onsen is the terminus of three tram lines. From JR Matsuyama Station, take tram line 5 (20 minutes, 170 yen). From Matsuyama-shi Station, take tram line 3 (15 minutes, 170 yen).

How to get to and around Matsuyama

Hours and Fees

Ishiteji Temple Grounds

Hours

Closed

Admission

Treasure House

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Matsuyama

Top rated in Matsuyama
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    • 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 also a bar on the ground floor. 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.
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    • 3LDK Denchi
      Budget-friendly
      3LDK Denchi is situated in Matsuyama, 2.7 km from Matsuyama castle and 3.5 km from Miyukiji Temple. The property is set 1.7 km from Matsuyama Civic Center, 1.8 km from The Museum of Art, Ehime and 1.9 km from Ishitegawa Park. The guest house has family rooms. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. Featuring a private bathroom with a bath and free toiletries, rooms at the guest house also have free WiFi. Popular points of interest near 3LDK Denchi include Botchan Train Museum, Yasaka Temple and Okaido Shopping Street. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 6 km from the accommodation.
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    • 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 hotelfs 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.
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    • Dormy Inn Matsuyama Natural Hot Spring
      Mid-range
      Dormy Inn Matsuyama Natural Hot Spring is set in Matsuyama, within 1.5 km of Ishitegawa Park and 1.9 km of Matsuyama Civic Center. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Local points of interest like Matsuyama castle and The Museum of Art, Ehime are reachable within 2.1 km and 2.1 km, respectively. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The wellness area at Dormy Inn Matsuyama is comprised of a hot spring bath and a sauna. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Yasaka Temple, Okaido Shopping Street and Botchan Train Museum. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 7 km from Dormy Inn Matsuyama Natural Hot Spring.
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    • Daiwa Roynet Hotel Matsuyama
      Luxury
      Daiwa Roynet Hotel Matsuyama offers accommodation in Matsuyama near Matsuyama castle and Botchan Train Museum. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All guest rooms at the japanese-style business hotel feature air conditioning and a desk. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at Daiwa Roynet Hotel Matsuyama. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Okaido Shopping Street, Yasaka Temple and Ishitegawa Park. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 8.5 km from Daiwa Roynet Hotel Matsuyama.
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    • DogoYaya
      Luxury
      Ideally set in the Dogo Hot Spring district of Matsuyama, DogoYaya is situated 500 metres from Joshin-ji Temple, 800 metres from Matsuyama Shrine and 1.4 km from Miyukiji Temple. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. All rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. Buffet and ? la carte breakfast options are available each morning at DogoYaya. Matsuyama castle is 2.3 km from the accommodation, while Okaido Shopping Street is 2.7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 8 km from DogoYaya.
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    • Hotel Tsubakikan Honkan
      Mid-range
      Offering Onsen baths (hot-spring bath) and a beauty salon, Hotel Tsubakikan Honkan is a 9-minute walk from the Dogo Onsen station. Guests can enjoy traditional Japanese meals at the dining room. Free Wi-Fi is available at the lobby area. Rooms include a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, and an electric pot with complimentary green tea. The hotel features a karaoke room, a shop, and a vending machine. The Onsen bath is an outdoor open-air bath, which is available from 05:30 to 09:30 and from 15:00 to 0:00. Guests with a meal plan can enjoy a Japanese and Western style buffet breakfast and dinner on site. Tsubakikan Honkan Hotel is a 10-minute drive from the famous Matsuyama castle, and a 14-minute drive from Bansuiso villa. The Dogo park is a 12 minute walk, and the Ishite Temple is a 25-minute walk away.
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    • Hotel Taiyo Noen Nibancho
      Mid-range
      500 metres from Yasaka Temple, Hotel Taiyo Noen Nibancho is situated in Matsuyama and features air-conditioned rooms. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. 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 Botchan Train Museum. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 7 km from the accommodation.
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    • Yamatoya Honten
      Luxury
      Set in Matsuyama, 600 metres from Joshin-ji Temple, Yamatoya Honten offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking and a bar. The property is around less than 1 km from Matsuyama Shrine, 1.8 km from Miyukiji Temple and 2.4 km from Matsuyama castle. The ryokan has a hot spring bath, a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, slippers and a wardrobe. The private bathroom is fitted with a bath, a hairdryer and free toiletries. An Asian breakfast is available every morning at the ryokan. Okaido Shopping Street is 2.8 km from Yamatoya Honten, while Yasaka Temple is 2.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 8 km from the accommodation.
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    • Candeo Hotels Matsuyama Okaido
      Mid-range
      Candeo Hotels Matsuyama Okaido is situated in Matsuyama, 1.5 km from Ishitegawa Park and 1.6 km from Matsuyama castle. The property is located 1.8 km from Matsuyama Civic Center, 2 km from The Museum of Art, Ehime and 2.3 km from Miyukiji Temple. The property is non-smoking and is set 3 km from Matsuyama Shrine. All rooms in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV. The rooms at Candeo Hotels Matsuyama Okaido have air conditioning and a desk. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Candeo Hotels Matsuyama Okaido can conveniently provide information at the reception to help guests to get around the area. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Okaido Shopping Street, Botchan Train Museum and Yasaka Temple. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 7 km from Candeo Hotels Matsuyama Okaido.
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