Matsuyama (松山市 Matsuyama-shi) is the capital cityof Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan and also Shikoku’s largest city, with a population of 516,459 as of December 1, 2014. It is located on the northeastern portion of the Dōgo Plain. Its name means “pine mountain”. The city was founded on December 15, 1889.
The city is known for its hot springs(onsen), among the oldest in Japan, and is home to the Dōgo Onsen Honkan, a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse dating from 1894. A second favorite tourist spot is Matsuyama Castle. Eight of the eighty-eight temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are in Matsuyama.
The city is also famed for being the setting of Natsume Soseki’s popular novel, entitled “Botchan”. Often read as part of the Japanese school curriculum, the novel describes Matsuyama during the turbulent Meiji Restoration. Natsume’s novel helped make the city renowned throughout Japan.