Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Matsuyama-shi Station is nearer to the center of town and its attractions including Matsuyama Castle and is a much more imposing structure than JR Matsuyama Station as it is built into a large Takashimaya department store with a Ferris Wheel on top and the underground shopping arcade Matsuchika Town below. Matsuyama-shi Station is also the older of the two stations having opened in 1888.
Matsuyama City Station is the terminus for rail, tram, and bus services of Iyo Railway (Iyotetsudo), the first private railway company to operate on Shikoku and the third private railway to run trains in Japan.
Matsuyama-shi Station has Iyotetsudo trains running on three lines. The 9.4km Takahama Line to Takahama, the 13.2km line to Yokogawara and the 10.7km Gunchu Line to Gunchuko (Gunchu Port).
Matsuyama City Station is also a station on three of Iyotetsudo's five tram lines that circuit the city. The next stop from Matsuyama City Station, Minami-Horibata is on all five lines. The lines are 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. There is no line 4, as 4 is considered an unlucky number.
Highway buses also run from outside Matsuyama City Station to Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Fukuyama, Kochi, Takamatsu and Tokushima. Local Iyotetsudo buses run within the city.
Iyotetsudo also operates the Botchan Ressha, a tourist steam train that runs out to Dogo Onsen. The small steam engines were imported from Germany and were in use from 1887 to 1954. They have now been reintroduced as a tourist attraction and are called Botchan as they are mentioned in Natsume Soseki's novel of that name.
Iyotetsudo also has airport limousine buses to Matsuyama Airport (410 yen; 23 minutes) and Matsuyama Tourist (Ferry) Port (510 yen; 26 minutes). A one day tram pass is 500 yen.
Iyotetsu Route Map (showing tram, rail and bus routes)
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