Trip to Shikoku in 2015 spring – Part 2, from Toyo port to Matsumaru via Matsuyama.

2015 spring Shikoku
At Matsuyama castle. Plum trees were blooming.
At Matsuyama castle. Plum trees were blooming.
At Matsuyama castle. Plum trees were blooming.

Continue from Trip to Shikoku in 2015 spring – Part 1, taking Orange Ferry from Osaka to Toyo port.

Ferry arrived at Toyo port. This port is 10 minutes away from JR Nyugawa station. Nyugawa is located at west part of Ehime prefecture in Shikoku island.

Breakfast was issue in that morning. I could not find the place to eat breakfast. Breakfast was available in the ferry. But we had to wake up before 6:00 am. It was too early and too tough for my daughter. I googled before we departed but I could not find any places near Nyugawa station. There were some convenience stores and first food. But those were at least 10 minutes walk away from the station. I could not find any solutions but the bus arrived at the station.

Bakery Little Mermaid at the station

JR Nyugawa station. Bakery is left side of the entrance of the station.
JR Nyugawa station. Bakery is left side of the entrance of the station.

I found the bakery at the station! It was bakery chain store, “Little Mermaid”. We of course did not hesitate to go in. There were lots of fresh breads and pastries.

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My breakfast was some pastries and tetra pack milk coffee.
My breakfast was some pastries and tetra pack milk coffee.

If you take Orange ferry and take the train at Nyugawa, this is the perfect place to have an easy breakfast. I dropped by Iyo-Saijo where is located a few stations away from Nyugawa to visit my friend’s grave. And then we moved to Matsuyama.

Japanese castle is actually perfect place for kids to play!

I took Limited Express Shiokaze to get Matsuyama.

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Main entrance of Matsuyama station
Main entrance of Matsuyama station

I needed to take a break at Matsuyama. Otherwise my daughter would complain. She did not like to keep on moving by train. I think most of kids do not want to take a train for a long time. They want to get off and play! I planed to take a few hours break for visiting Matsuyama castle and lunch.

When I planned this trip, I thought Japanese castle was not kids friendly spot. But I found the article that said it was a perfect place for kids. I changed my mind. I love castle and no doubt to put Matsuayama castle in the plan. Especially Matusyama castle is one of twelve castles that have the original tower.

We took the street car to get the nearest station, “Daikaido” to the castle.

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We arrived Matsuyama castle.

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Narrow steep stairs and complicated small isles made lots of fun for my daughter. She loved the castle! It was very hard to leave for her.

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Moved to Uwajima by short formation express train, Uwakai

After break in Matsuyama, we headed to Uwahima by another limited express Uwakai. If I had a time, I wanted to take a detour route and enjoy the view of shoreline. But I had to get the fastest route because it was very busy trip.

It was only three cars formation.
It was only three cars formation.
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We arrived at Uwahima. But we transferred trains only there.

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Small train trip to Matsumaru on Yodo line by local train

We took local train of Yodo line. It was another one hour trip to get Matsumaru station. The local train is a commute train. It has only long bench seat. I actually do not like it.

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In peak season, there are lots of attractive trains on Yodo line, such as World Slowest Shinkansen train. But it was shoulder season. I had no choice to take local commute train.

We arrived Matsumaru station. This is located almost middle of Yodo line. The staff from the hotel showed up at the station and picked us up. We stayed at Morinokuni hotel. This was one of the biggest objects in this trip for me. I will talk about the hotel in next post.

Continue to next post, Trip to Shikoku in 2015 spring – Part 3, staying at Morinokuni Hotel in Nametoko canyon.


  1. Arieh Tabic says:

    Dear Takeshi san,
    After a very enjoyable 24 day trip this last March/April, my wife and I plan to return to Japan in October/November 2016 to enjoy the koyo season., for about 25 days. The previous trip covered the area between Nikko and Miyajima, i.e. Tokyo, Ito, Shimoda, Hakone, Kanazawa, Takeyama, Shirakawa-go , Kyoto, Akoh, Bizen, Okayama, and Hiroshima. We had 21 day JR passes, which worked perfectly! We prefer to do different things this coming trip but we do not gave a planned itinerary yet. We will return to Tokyo, Hakone/Fuji (which was too hurried last time!), Kyoto and Nara, and probably Okayama/Akoh (where we have friends).
    We would like some “early input” from you if possible, since this trip, we would like to include Shikoku and Kyushu Islands, if possible. So some basic questions –
    1. Does the normal JR Railpass allow travel on all the lines on Shikoku Island? And Kyushu Island?
    2. For an estimated 4-5 days on Shikoku, will rail travel be sufficient, or would you also recommend renting a car?
    3. For example, is the itinerary you chose for your visit all covered by rail travel and the normal JR Railpass? (Apart from the ferry, which we won’t use, I think).
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • Hi Arieh san,

      1. Yes. It covers all JR lines throughout Japan. Of course Kyushu and Shikoku are included.

      2. Actually Shikoku is one of the hardest place to travel by both train and car. If you travel between Okayama (or Takamatsu) and Matsuyama, Okaayama and Kochi, or between Takayamatsu and Tokushima, there are many express trains running. But as you see my travel report, train runs very few in country side. Even if you travel by car, it’s better than train but highway is limited in country side. Shikoku is the smallest island in four major islands in Japan. But you will spend many hours to travel. I have done this trip for 3 night and 4 days. But it was super busy. Especially it was very hard to travel Matsuyama – Uwajima – Kochi. But this area is very very scenic.

      3. Yes. All JR trains are covered.


      Takeshi /

  2. Elaine says:

    Takeshi san,

    You take good photos. Makes me want to follow your footsteps to see those places myself.

    Good job.

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