Many first time visitors to Japan head for Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, and perhaps Nara, as these are the most well-visited places in Japan. Perhaps you’ve visited these areas and want to explore deeper in Japan. Matsuyama is an excellent option for travelers. Matsuyama is the largest city on the island of Shikoku in the Ehime Province. Best known for the nearby Dogo Onsen, Matsuyama also has castles and temples to be admired.
With only half a million residents, Matsuyama is a very manageable city, with a reliable tram system for getting around. If you are planning a trip to Matsuyama, this guide will help you find the best area for tourists, whether you prefer traditional Japanese accommodation, or a more modern hotel option.
We will cover off all types of Matsuyama accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Matsuyama hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Matsuyama, the best Matsuyama hotels, best places in Matsuyama to visit, the best places to stay in Matsuyama, hotels near Matsuyama attractions, Matsuyama neighborhood guide and many more.
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Matsuyama-Shi – Where to stay in Matsuyama with family
Just south of the downtown area is Matsuyama-Shi, or Matsuyama City, one of the main train stations of Matsuyama. This central area is an excellent choice for Matsuyama accommodation, whether you are seeking a family friendly hotel, or a budget friendly hostel.
In just 30 minutes walk, you can be at Shiroyama Park, The Ehime Museum of Art, or Matsuyama Castle, a 17th century castle that looms over the city from its perch on a hill. The hike up is great exercise, or if you prefer, you can take the Matsuyama Castle ropeway, or a chairlift option as well.
Best places to stay in Matsuyama-Shi:
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Matsuyama-Shi:
Guesthouse Miso Soup
Katsuyamacho – Where to stay in Matsuyama for tourists
Another excellent central location to stay in Matsuyama is the Katsuyamacho area, which is on the Eastern edge of Shiroyama Park and Matsuyama Castle. This area is home to the largest shopping street in Shikoku, and has easy access to other areas of the city, including the airport and Dogo Onsen, via bus or the local tram at Okaido station.
In addition to the best shopping in town, the area hotels offer amazing views of the castle. Visitors will find many restaurants in the area as well.
Best places to stay in Katsuyamacho
Dogo Onsen – Where to stay in Matsuyama for first timers
Dogo Onsen is Japan’s oldest public baths and hot springs. On the northeastern edge of the city, just 20 minutes by train from the city center. In this area, there are several Matsuyama Ryokan hotels to choose from, and this traditional Japanese accommodation is a quintessential part of any Japan vacation.
If you plan to spend much time at the springs, this is a great place to stay, and you can easily reach other areas of Matsuyama via three tram lines. Other attractions in this area include a shopping arcade, the Shiki Memorial Museum, Ishiteji Temple, Isaniwa Shrine, and Dogo Park, which has castle ruins.
Note: a seven-year construction project at Dogo Onsen began in January 2019, so check ahead to see which facilities are open during your visit.
Best places to stay in Dogo Onsen
Iyotachibana – Where to stay in Matsuyama on a budget
South of the city center, across the river, is the area around Iyotachibana Station. This residential area is a quieter option to find family friendly accommodation. In this district, one can find neighborhood parks and supermarkets, shopping malls and restaurants.
For a healthy walk, the Matsuyama Castle is 40 minutes on foot, but the Iyotachibana train station will offer faster access should you wish to visit the city center of Matsuyama.