Matsuyama is the capital of Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku. This lively city is most famous for its feudal era castle (a national treasure), one of the few well-preserved Japanese castles in existence, as well as Dogo Onsen, possibly the oldest hot spring area in Japan.
Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), one the famous Japanese novelists in Japanese history, particularly enjoyed going to Dogo Onsen, and his novel Botchan was based on his experiences in Matsuyama and uses the city as one of the settings. Ishiteji Temple is located near Dogo Onsen and is part of the "88 Temple Pilgrimage", one of the most famous religious pilgrimage routes in Japan. Its Niomon gate is a designated cultural property, and the architectural style of the temple comes from the Kamakura Period (1192-1333).