For the second part of our island trip exploring Shikoku, we decided to take a journey from Kochi into Ehime. There are several routes that are possible to take, with the most beautiful one (yet the longest) taking the coastal route around the edge of Kochi into Ehime. This will take you into some famous spots such as Cape Ashizuri. The decision on whether or not to take this route can only be made by looking at your watch and deciding if you have time.
For us, it was decided to head north and then east into Matsuyama (on the Matsuyama Expressway) which is the major city in Ehime prefecture.
To start out the day, it is recommended to go visit Katsurahama on Kochi’s coast to see some of the beautiful sea and beaches that the prefecture has to offer.
The Matsuyama expressway is a nice drive. There are some beautiful views of the villages to be seen but most importantly, there is usually no traffic and you will normally be able to enjoy at least three lanes on which to drive.
When in Matsuyama, you can see many things in the largest city in Shikoku. For example, visiting the oldest onsen still running in Japan, at Dogo Onsen. After that, take a nice pleasant walk through the shopping district, stop and have some world famous orange juice and then head on to some excellent restaurants that this city has to offer.
If time permits, it is well worth taking a side trip to Uchiko, which is about 40km away from Matsuyama in Ehime. This is famous for wax and paper production.