Mighty Matsuyama Castle stands on a 132-meter mountain in the middle of town, and the views of the city from here are stunning. Dating from 1603, it's one of the cooler castles in Japan. Inside you can watch footage of the post–World War II reconstruction; the shaping and joining of wood and the stamping out of straw wattle for the walls is astonishing. There is no concrete, no rebar, and only enough nails to hold down the floorboards. Dark-wood passageways carry the
smell of old smoke from the numerous fires the castle has suffered.
To get to to the castle, walk 30 to 40 minutes uphill or ride the ropeway up and walk about 15 minutes to the castle. The station is on your right as you walk north from Okaido shopping arcade up Ropeway Street. Don't bother with the "lift," a short ride that's easily walkable. Don't miss the lovely Ninomaru garden just west of the castle.
5 Maru-no-uchi, Matsuyama, 790-0008, Japan