Matsuyama is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture and the largest city in Shikoku. Its name means “pine mountain”. The city has some excellent bars and restaurants, offering a choice of regional specialities like sea bream and wild boar, not to mention wonderful sake. Matsuyama is home to Dogo Onsen, the oldest hot spring bath house in Japan. Dogo Onsen is featured in the Michelin Green Guide, and was the inspiration for the popular animation Spirited Away. Another favorite sight is Matsuyama Castle which sits atop a large hill in the middle of the city. Eight of the eighty-eight temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are located in Matsuyama, and pilgrims are a common sight. Picturesque Buddhist temples in Matsuyama include Ishiteji, Taisanji, and Jodoji, all dating back to the 8th century. Ishiteji is a particularly weird place, which includes an amazing series of tunnels in the hill behind it. Major Shinto shrines include Isaniwa Jinja and Tsubaki Jinja. The haiku poet Masaoka Shiki lived in Matsuyama. His house, now known as the Shiki-do, and a museum, the Shiki Memorial Museum, are popular attractions, and the reason for the city’s role as the center of the international haiku movement. The novel Botchan by Natsume Soseki is also set in Matsuyama. Matsuyama also figures in several works by Shiba Ryotaro, particularly the 1969 novel, Saka no Ue no Kumo (Clouds Above the Hill). This was the focus of a major branding exercise undertaken by the previous major, which resulted in long-running NHK drama adaptation of the novel, and a museum designed by the renowned architect Tadao Ando. Another cultural site worthy of note is the Itami Juzo Museum dedicated to the famous film director. Physically, Matsuyama is a compact city. The centre is served by a tram system with beautiful tram cars from the 50s and 60s, as well as a picturesque replica steam train, the Botchan Ressha. The city is surrounded by mountains and incorporates a number of hills, giving it a green, rural feeling. Within the city limits are a number of sandy beaches facing the translucent waters of the Seto Inland Sea. The city still has many old buildings dating back to the Meiji Period and earlier. There are several stylish buildings by the architect Shichiro Giko, including the flamboyant Bansuiso Villa. Matsuyama Airport has regular flights to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major Japanese cities, as well as selected Asian destinations, including Shanghai and Seoul. There are regular ferries to Hiroshima, including an express ferry that takes only an hour. Night ferries go to Kobe, Kokura, and Kitakyushu.