Matsuyama is a port city and the capital of Japan's Ehime Prefecture (northeastern Shikoku Island), with a population of around 520,000. The town was founded in 1889 and was best known for Matsuyama Castle (17th century, 5-story, stone-built castle) and its hot springs and wooden bathhouses (among Japan's oldest).
Traditionally for Japan, the current-day city was formed via mergers with several neighboring towns, the largest of which were Dogo, Mitsuhama, Hojo, Nakajima. The city is served by Matsuyama Airport, with domestic and international flights connecting to Naha, Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kagoshima, as well as to China (Shanghai), Taiwan (Taipei) and South Korea (Incheon-Seoul).
The city's transport links connect it to Japan's national railway system (via Yosan Line). Most suburban connections include are via Iyo Railway (trams). Regularly scheduled ferries connect Matsuyama with Hiroshima (day crossings) and also with Kobe (Osaka), Kokurakita-Ku, Kitakyushu and other seaports. The hydrofoil ferry service to Hiroshima is also available.
Popular annual tourists events held in the city include Dogo Festival (spring), Matsuyama Festival (August), Fall Festival (October). City's economy features as largest employers Miura (boiler manufacturer), Iseki (engines and tractor equipment) Hatada Ichiroku (confectionery), Poem (food processing division of Ehime's Pong Juice company), also the retailers Fuji and Daiki. As a cruise shore excursion from Port Matsuyama is offered bus tour to Uchiko (approx 24 mi / 40 km to the southwest) which in the late-19th-century became a major wax and paper production center.
As a cruise port, Matsuyama became popular with the homeported in Kobe ship Diamond Princess (Princess Cruises). The 3250-passenger liner included Matsuyama in its summer 2019 Japan cruise program, based on 7-day "Japan Explorer" and 14-day "Southern Islands Explorer" itineraries (shown below).
7-day "Japan Explorer" (prices from USD 820 pp)
|Date / Time||Port|
|18 May 17:00||Departing from Kobe, Osaka-Kyoto, Japan|
|19 May 08:00 - 18:00||Kochi, Japan|
|20 May 09:00 - 18:00||Hiroshima, Japan|
|21 May 06:00 - 18:00||Matsuyama|
|22 May 07:00 - 16:00||Miyazaki, Japan|
|23 May 12:00 - 22:00||Busan, South Korea|
|25 May||Arriving in Kobe, Osaka-Kyoto, Japan|
14-day "Southern Islands Explorer" (prices from USD 1450 pp)
|Date / Time||Port|
|01 Jun 17:00||Departing from Kobe, Osaka-Kyoto, Japan|
|02 Jun 08:00 - 18:00||Kochi, Japan|
|03 Jun 07:00 - 18:00||Matsuyama|
|04 Jun 08:00 - 20:00||Miyazaki, Japan|
|05 Jun 08:00 - 18:00||Kagoshima, Japan|
|06 Jun 11:00 - 22:00||Busan, South Korea|
|08 Jun 06:00 - 17:00||Kobe, Osaka-Kyoto, Japan|
|10 Jun 07:00 - 18:30||Naha, Okinawa Island, Japan|
|11 Jun 08:00 - 17:00||Ishigaki Island, Japan|
|12 Jun 07:00 - 18:00||Keelung, Taipei, Taiwan|
|15 Jun||Arriving in Kobe, Osaka-Kyoto, Japan|