Sunday, 27 September 2015

Hiroshima and Matsuyama 5-Day Itinerary: Day Three

Read Day 1 here - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Manga Library
Read Day 2 here - Miyajima, Mount Misen
Read Day 3 here - Ferry to Matsuyama
Read Day 4 here - Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Onsen, Ishiteji Temple
Read Day 5 here - Return journey

We purchased a one-day tram pass (600 yen) and rode it from Miyajimaguchi to the Hondori (本通) area which took almost an hour. We roamed around the area and had lunch at Coco Ichi before taking the tram to Hiroshima Port Ujina Terminal.

At the terminal we bought our ferry tickets to Matsuyama (松山). There are two types of ferries: car ferry and super jet. The former takes 2.5 hours to reach Matsuyama and the latter takes 1 hour at double the price. There is currently a promotion for foreign visitors to Japan for the ferries. We were able to save 1600 yen for the car ferry option by showing our passports and paid 2000 yen for the one-way ticket.

Car ferry from Hiroshima to Matsuyama
The car ferry is not very frequent so please check the schedule ahead of time here. Although 2.5 hours sounds long, it didn't feel like a burden at all. We sat in the comfortable boat which sold snacks at convenience store prices and enjoyed the view. I really enjoyed the scenery of the ride because there were mountains, islands and blue water in every direction. The port towns that I have seen in Japanese animated movies came to life as we passed by different islands lined with little houses at the base.

Matsuyama Kanko Port
We finally arrived at the Matsuyama Kanko Port by 6pm. The sun was setting and the view was gorgeous. Initially we were going to visit the Mitsuhama Port (三津浜) so we took the train instead of the limousine bus to leave the ferry terminal. It is easier to just take the Iyotetsu limousine bus that will take you straight to the Dogo Onsen (道後温泉) area for 620 yen.

We walked about 10 minutes to Takahama Station and rode the Iyotetsu train to Mitsuhama Station (160 yen). It is a one kilometre walk from the station to Mitsuhama Port. We were hungry by that time so we ate dinner at an Italian restaurant across the street from the station. After dinner we figured everything would be closed at the port anyways so we did not walk to the port and instead walked to the JR station.

Not realizing that trains were very infrequent at the Mitsuhama JR station (1 train per hour), we just missed our train and had to wait an hour for the next one. Mitsuhama JR is only 1 stop and about a 5 minute ride from Matsuyama JR station but we had to wait an hour for it. It cost 210 yen.

Dogo Onsen
When the train finally came at 9pm, we were elated and quickly arrived in Matsuyama. From Matsuyama, we took the tram line 5 (160 yen) to Dogo Onsen Station. Our hostel for the next two nights, Sen Guesthouse, was less than 10 minutes walk away. The Dogo Onsen area was still crowded with people in yukata at 10pm. Perhaps this was due to the holiday because the next night at 10:20pm, all the shops were closed and there were much fewer people walking around.

Read Day 1 here - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Manga Library
Read Day 2 here - Miyajima, Mount Misen
Read Day 3 here - Ferry to Matsuyama
Read Day 4 here - Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Onsen, Ishiteji Temple
Read Day 5 here - Return journey
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