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Ishiteji (Ύ莛), 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, leads to Ishiteji's temple grounds. The sprawling temple compound boasts multiple temple halls, a three-storied pagoda, various statues and an unique inner temple connected to the main grounds via a cave. New statues and religious objects are still 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, 220 yen, frequent departures) or in a 15-20 minute walk. Dogo Onsen is the terminus of three tram lines. It can be reached from JR Matsuyama Station by tram line 5 in 20 minutes or from Matsuyama-shi Station by tram line 3 in 15 minutes.

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 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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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • Comfort Hotel Matsuyama
      Mid-range
      Situated 600 metres from Botchan Train Museum, Comfort Hotel Matsuyama offers 3-star accommodation in Matsuyama and has free bikes. The property is around 1.1 km from Matsuyama Station, 1 km from Okaido Shopping Street and 2 km from Ishitegawa Park. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. 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 Comfort Hotel Matsuyama rooms include bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Languages spoken at the 24-hour front desk include English and Japanese. Popular points of interest near Comfort Hotel Matsuyama include Matsuyama Civic Center, The Museum of Art, Ehime and Yasaka Temple. The nearest airport is Matsuyama Airport, 7 km from the hotel.
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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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