Ehime Prefecture is situated in the northwestern part of Shikoku. Ehime literary means “lovely princess”. As the name indicates, the climate is warm and mild and it is rich in the beautiful nature. It is surrounded by Seto Inland Sea, or the Aegean Sea of the Orient, and Shikoku Mountains Range including Mt. Ishizuchi, the highest peak in western Japan. Blessed with the abundant nature, our unique history and culture as well as traditional spirit of hospitality have been cultivated. Seto Inland Sea has given a great impact on the development of Ehime since the ancient time as the main maritime route, connecting the old capital Kyoto and Kyushu. The Inland Sea is also famous for the distinguished beauty of many dotted islands on the blue sea. The surrounding area was designated as a national park for the first time in Japan. In Shimanami-Kaido area, you can enjoy the combined beauty of the unchanged nature and the cutting-edge technologies of magnificent bridges. Cycling on the bridges, cruise, and delicious seafoods amuse you as well.
Dogo-onsen Hot Spring, a 3,000 years-old oldest hot spring in Japan, has established a monumental status as the No.1 destination in Ehime. It has attracted many residents, tourists and pilgrims, including the emperors and imperial families, for a long time. You can enjoy the noteworthy tradition in Dogo-onsen Honkan (Main Building), the symbolic communal bathhouse. Ehime is one of four prefectures where the Shikoku Pilgrimage extends. It is a grand loop trail of about 1,200 kilometers, connecting 88 temples tied with a legendary Buddhist priest Kukai (774 – 835). 26 temples from the 40th Kanjizai-ji Temple to the 65th Sankaku-ji Temple are locatedin Ehime. Walking pilgrims in white is a signature sight especially in spring. People in Shikoku including Ehime are proud of the culture of hospitality to travelers. They have succeeded the tradition of the compassionate attitude to the pilgrims for generations.