Road Trip on Yosan Line (Part 2)

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Road Trip on Yosan Line (Part 2)


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Road Trip on Yosan Line (Part 2)

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We continue our two-day trip on the JR Yosan Line. On the first day, we stay at the Imabari Kokusai Hotel. From our room, we can see Oshima Island, the Seto Inland Sea and Imabari Castle. The castle was built in 1602 by Todo Takatori. Constructed with an interior moat, it is Japan's foremost water castle.

We find out at the hotel that fried chicken skin and seafood from the Seto Inland Sea are must-try items in Imabari. We go to a restaurant called Yorito, where we order the sashimi set and fried chicken skin.

The next morning, we catch the 8.10am train from Imabari Station and go to Asanami Station, which is six stops ahead. We reach Asanami Station after half an hour and have until 10.45am to roam around. We walk to the seashore where we meet a fisherman. He recommends we have breakfast at a cafe called Out There. It is frequented by cyclists who are headed to the Shinanami Kaido expressway, which connects Imabari and Hiroshima Prefecture. The eatery sells mainly hot dogs and its most popular items are the “meat dog” and a seasonal spicy chilli dog. It uses a special bun which is made in a local bakery. The meat dog features a sausage in the bun which is then covered in a meat sauce.

After breakfast, we take the train to Koyodai Station, five stops away. We arrive at 11.15am and our next train will depart two hours later. We drop by a salon near the station and the owner suggests we go to Northshore Ehime, which offers a perfect view of the Seto Inland Sea. We walk to the restaurant which has a resort-like atmosphere. We sip on iced tea with fruits while enjoying the gorgeous view of the ocean.  

Our next destination is Iyo-Wake Station, two stops away from Koyodai Station. We reach at 1.20pm and the train from here will only leave at 4pm. We visit a hair salon called Masa and ask the owner about recommended spots. We are told about Yoshino Mart, where one can buy fruits at surprisingly low prices. For example, a box of three peaches costs just 100 yen.   

We then make our way to another recommended place, Number 53, Enmyoji Shrine. It is the 53rd spot on the Henro pilgrimage to 88 sacred places. The temple grounds are over 720 years old while the buildings standing today were built in 1636. Inside the temple, there is an unusual sculpture of a dragon, said to be built by artist Hidari Jingoro.  

After this, we head to our goal of this two-day trip, Matsuyama. Matsuyama City is the birthplace of poet Masaoka Shiki and author Natsume Soseki. We meet some students on the train who tell us to go to a store at Ginten district, where one can drink orange juice straight from a faucet for 100 yen. We are however unable to find the faucet so end our trip by going to Matsuyama Castle. 

1) A must-try treat in Imabari is fried chicken skin
2) The Northshore Ehime restaurant is known for its beautiful ocean views and resort-like atmosphere