I have the luxury of a 2nd rest day in Matsuyama. It’s the perfect place for a rest because there’s almost nothing to do in this city. Yesterday I started the day with breakfast in the local Starbucks which has been tastefully incorporated into Dogo Onsen station. Of all the things to see in Matsuyama, Trip Advisor suggested this station as number 5. In fact I would have put it at number 2.
The castle is interesting but not dissimilar to other Japanese castles. Naturally you have to exchange your shoes for slippers at the gate. Just imagine the enemy storming the castle, withstanding the barrage of rocks hurling down at them, struggling to undo their boots.
This morning I took a stroll in the park where there is a museum dedicated to the 19th century haiku poet Shiki. Haiku are tiny little droplets of Japanese poetry, each 17 syllables long and as delicious as a wagashi. Everything was in Japanese but I took an English audio guide which restricted me to 23 abrupt explanations.
My hotel has an excellent sushi bar and I’ve eaten there twice. Between those meals Google led me down some alleyways to a tasty burger bar.
Finally to round off my two rest days I went to another bath house. To mitigate the renovation of the classic bath house, Dogo Onsen has built a brand new facility nearby, offering a full range of services. I paid for the post bath experience upstairs (a cup of tea and a wagashi) and it’s worthwhile. In fact I’m sitting here at the moment. Everything is new and built to the highest quality. I bathed like a regular and now they are serving me tea like imperial royalty.