Blogs from Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama October 7th 2013

Monday was my last day trip from Takamatsu and I headed over to the west of Shikoku to Matsuyama. When I left the hotel it was bright and sunny. However, by the end of the 2 and a half hour train trip, dark clouds were rolling in. The trip itself was quite nice though because the train line runs along the north coast of Shikoku, sometimes right alongside the water. I grabbed a map from the tourist information centre in Matsuyama. The fellow there, who I think said he lived in Australia at some point, recommended I catch the streetcar (tram) to the entrance that has a cable car running halfway up the hill. I had been planning on walking there, but that sounded like a better idea. I jumped on what I thought was the ... read more

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama April 17th 2011

Op de 10e dag zijn we naar Matsuyama gegaan. We deden dit per veerboot. Er zijn veel snellere boten, die binnen een uur op de plaats van bestemming zijn, maar onze boot was een van de tragere soort. De reis duurde 3 uur waardoor we in alle rust om ons heen konden kijken en ook nog een beetje konden bijkomen van de afgelopen dagen. Eenmaal aangekomen pakten we een bus en een tram om al vrij snel aan te komen bij ons hotel, welke zo'n beetje in het centrum van Matsuyama zat. Vanuit hier gingen we al vrij vlot met de groep aan de wandel om de belangrijkste punten van de stad te zien en ons te kunnen oriënteren. Patrick liet ons een tram-dagkaart kopen. Normaal is dit niet nodig, omdat je de kosten van de ... read more
Het kasteel
Kappa!
Lekker eten

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama September 28th 2009

Konnichiwa, von Kyushu aus sind wir nach Hiroshima gefahren und haben von Natur auf Geschichte umgeschaltet. Mit Hiroshima verbindet jeder unmittelbar den Abwurf der ersten Atombombe 1945, und in der Tat steht Hiroshima ganz im Zeichen dieses furchtbaren Ereignisses. Das heisst aber nicht, dass die Stadt ein furchtbarer Ort waere und nur Truebsal geblasen wird. Tatsaechlich ist neben dem Gedenken Frieden das alles bestimmende Thema; das Beduerfnis nach Frieden ist in Hiroshima besonders gross, und es gibt viele Aktionen dazu. Von Hiroshima aus haben wir einen Ausflug auf die sehr huebsche huegelige kleine Insel Miya-jima gemacht. Auf dem Gelaende des bekanntesten Schreins hat gerade eine traditionelle Hochzeit einschliesslich traditioneller Tanzdarbietung stattgefunden. Nach dieser faszinierenden Darbietung haben wir die hoechste Erhebung erklommen und eine phantastische Aussicht... read more
Taenzer im Schrein von Mija-jima
Eingangstor zum Schrein
Abendstimmung

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama October 2nd 2008

I'm currently on my final night here on Shikoku Island. I ended the day soaking in the very renowned hot spring onsen, Dogo-Onsen. This is the oldest one in Japan, about 3000 years old. The structure now was recently built but it's done in the traditional style, very tastefully done. It's got about 6 actual bath areas spread over three floors, not including the private bath for the Emperor and his family (although no Emperor has been here since about 1951). I took the most expensive option, about $13, which includes a tour of the facility, the bath itself, and a chance to relax in a private room overlooking the area below, sipping on green tea and sweets. The bath area is a stone, and the waters have minerals in them said to cure diseases (of ... read more
Dogo Onsen
Yukata wearing patrons
Wedding?

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama September 1st 2008

i was so busy concentrating on not getting lost in its suburbs that i forgot to glance behind me at the castle, and at the cute little city uwajima had been. another place passed through and left behind. we'd shared an existence for about a day and a half, but now i'd probably never see it again in my life. for several miles i walked uphill along a stream into which yellow leaves were falling from the trees. a buddhist would regard it as a symbol of transcience. the henro signs pointed me across a bright yellow field where i surprised a gold snake with a lime green head. they dont scare me but i scare them. (later, i almost trod on a black one in the forest. i can just see my parents reading this ... read more
tenshean garden
butsumokuji
uchiko street

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Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama July 7th 2008

Ehime is the most populated prefecture on Shikoku. Kagawa (the one I live in), Ehime, Tokushima and Kochi divide the tiny island into four (unequal) parts. Five months into my stay in Japan and I never visited the other three prefectures. _ One afternoon at work in early July my manager asked me to go to the Niihama School’s since that school had suddenly lost its teacher. I agreed and caught a train early to Iyo Saijo in Ehime that Sunday completely clueless as to what exactly I was doing when I got there. The ride took a little over an hour and I saw some more of the Shikoku countryside. At the station I was greeted by very friendly co-workers and students. Everyone piled into cars and drove through the quaint town up into the ... read more
Splishing and splashing
Peaceful
Cool mountain water

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama March 28th 2008

Hittin' the books Its hard to say how or why most traditional practices were formed or if what they began as still resembles what that have involved into now, but its fair to say that the Japanese festival, or matsuri could only be nurtured on the cut of islands of Japan, and could have only become what they have without outsiders to gawp and cry “what the hell is going on here!?” for 400 hundred years or so. I write this currently comatosed by the depths of an early spring fever, as my body finally shut down after 2 of the busiest (and possibly most stressful) months of my life. They included my school shutting down, the changing of teachers, graduation ceremonies, my parents visiting me, cycling from my house to Kyushu over 600km, running a ... read more
white gloves in the air
capn cool
trams

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama March 27th 2008

There are few other places that I would rather call home in Japan than Matsuyama. It is one of those cities that one takes an almost immediate liking to. The old wooden floored trolleys that slowly make their circuit around the city, the hundreds of people going their different ways on old school or super chick bicycles and Matsuyama’s crown jewel, it’s castle, sitting on top of a mountain of green in the city center, gives the city a feeling of an older Japan, seemingly thousands of miles away from its pumped-up counterparts on the main island of Honshu. Although Matsuyama is the biggest city on the rural island of Shikoku there isn’t much that feels big about it. For the most part it retains the feeling of what it really is, an old castle town ... read more
Sunday Stroll
Setting Sun
Sakura Season

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama July 21st 2007

Sayounara! Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama By Marbar July 21st 2007 The aparto is looking bare. My head pounds from the last 3 nights of sayounara parties. I haven't eaten so much grub in this country since I got here. It's all part of the sayounara process here in Japan. I thought Minnesotans were long on goodbyes. My process here started 2 months ago and snowballed into the past five days. People I thought I had already bid farewell to continued to call for one more dinner. Oh, you're busy? How about lunch? You must eat one last real Japanese meal before you leave! Now I have just over 24 hours to scrub the flat, cancel cell phone accounts, close b... read more
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Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama June 24th 2007

Sometimes its those little things you never noticed before that bring a smile to your face. Like the signs posted at my train station about proper self conduct while riding. Or the excitement on the faces of new 1st grade elementary school students who have never seen you before and realize they can actually communicate with you. And one ought to never forget the joy of playing "dress-up" with her girlfriends. Even though the bulk of my "travels" are done I am still finding things are not too boring in the small inaka (country) town of Hojo. ... read more
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