Foods & drinks, products, events

Local Cuisine

Imotaki

(Moon-viewing Hotchpotch party)

ImotakiEhime is one of the leading producers of satoimo (taro), and Imotaki hotchpotch is the best way to enjoy taro. Cooked with other vegetables in chicken and kombu-kelp broth, Imotaki is popular in many parts of the prefecture. In harvest season, people go out to the dried riverbed to feel the autumn breeze and have a hotchpotch party while enjoying the phases of the moon.

Horaku yaki(Seafood BBQ)

Imabari

Horakuyaki CuisineTraditional BBQ developed by the local pirates, also known as Kaizoku yaki (literally means "pirates BBQ"), is still popular among people in Imabari. Fresh sea bream, shrimps, turban shells and other seafood caught from the Seto Inland Sea are sizzled on an unglazed flat stone or earthen dish. The stone helps to absorb the excess moisture and remain the taste and nutrition in the food.

Imabari Yakitori(skewered grilled chicken)

Imabari

Imabari YakitoriImabari has more yakitori restaurants than anywhere else in Japan with one restaurant for about every 10,000 people. The distinctive feature of Imabari yakitori is that it is grilled on a griddle. The excess fat is removed bringing out the full flavor of the meat. Grilled to a nice crisp, kawa (skin) is particularly nice. The juicy flavor of fried chicken, called senzanki, is also popular.

Tai Somen(Somen noodle with Sea bream)

Matsuyama and Uwajima

Tai-somenA sumptuous dish, also known as tai-men, found mainly in the central and southern areas, in which the somen (thin noodles) are arranged on a large plate in the shape of waves and a steamed tai is placed on top. It is eaten by dipping the somen and pieces of the fish into a sauce made from tai stock. In summer it is served chilled and in winter, hot.

Iyo Satsuma

Uwajima

Iyo SatsumaFresh fish is ground and mixed with mugimiso (barley and soybean paste) and served with a bowl of cooked barley rice. Iyo Satsuma is a traditional home cooking in southern area, and it is still loved by many local people because it can be prepared quickly,

Hana-saba(mackerel)and Hana-aji(horse mackerel)

Ikata

Hana-aji and Hana-sabaHana-saba and Hana-aji are the brand names of the mackerel and horse mackerel caught off the Sadamisaki Peninsula, the longest one in Japan. They are caught by the fishing rod, not by the net, of experienced fishermen. The meat of the fish caught in this area is lean and delicious thanks to the fast stream of Hoyo Strait and it is called the ultimate bounty of the sea.

Yawatahama Champom

Yawatahama

Yawatahama ChampomThick noodle is served in the simple soy-based broth mixed with chicken and fish stock. Various seafood and vegetables are stir-fried and topped on the noodle. This Yawatahama Champom noodle has been commonly served in the Yawatahama port town since 1950s.

Imabari Ramen

Imabari

Imabari RamenImabari Ramen was newly developed in 2009, in collaboration with a Ramen chef and the community people in Imabari. Thin noodle is served in clear broth made from fish stock. The local specialties such as Sumaki (fish paste) roll, chicken, lemon and nori-laver are topped on the noodle.

Tai-meshi(Rice mixed with Sea Bream)

Imabari, Matsuyama, Uwajima

Tai-meshiTai-meshi

One of the most popular traditional local cuisines of Ehime which boasts the biggest sea bream catch in Japan. The serving ways differs between eastern area (Imabari/Matsuyama) and southern area (Uwajima). In the eastern area, a whole lean sea bream is placed on rice in the pot and cook together. When the rice is ready, crumble the fish and mix well with rice to serve, while in the southern area, a bowl of rice is served with sea bream sashimi (sliced raw fish) dipped in the seasoning soy sauce mixed with raw egg on top, sprinkled with green onion as relish. In the southern area, it is also called "Hyuga meshi".

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Local Products

Mandarin Oranges

(grown throughout the prefecture)

Mandarin OrangesEhime is one of the leading producers of mandarin oranges thanks to the mild climate, fertile soil and three types of sunshine (direct sunrays, ones reflected from the surface of the sea and the surface of the stone walls). Ehime is also known for other citrus fruits such as iyokan orange, ponkan orange, kiyomi tangor and dekopon.

Towels

Imabari

TowelsImabari proudly claims its place for the No.1 producer of towels, in terms of both quality and quantity with 60% of the domestic market share. There is a variety of towel products available such as bathrobes and towel mufflers. New materials including kenaf and bamboo are introduced, and new techniques are employed to enhance texture and water absorbing property.

Sakurai Lacquerware

Imabari

Sakurai LacquerwareSakurai lacquerware is a traditional craft of Imabari with a history dating back about 200 years. The skill of the traditional craftsmen lives on in the makie and chinkin designs (using gold and silver) combining artistic quality and basic utility. The lustrous gloss of the red and ebony coloring is a favorite.

Taruto(sponge roll cake)

Matsuyama

TarutoTaruto originated in the 1,600s when the Matsuyama feudal lord brought back a recipe for a European confectionery from Nagasaki. It was originally a jam sponge roll but it was purportedly the feudal lord's idea to add sweet azuki (bean) paste to the cake. An elegant and stylish confectionery in which the azuki paste with citron is rolled into the sponge cake to form the Japanese hiragana character "no".

Botchan Dango(dumplings)

Matsuyama

Botchan DangoBotchan Dango are tricolored skewered rice dumplings covered with 3 different colored jam; red from azuki bean, yellow from egg yolk and green from tea. They have been loved by both residents and tourists alike. The dumplings were named after the novel called "Botchan" by Natsume Soseki, in which Botchan eats some dumplings on the way back from Dogo Onsen.

Goshiki Somen(five-colored thin noodle)

Matsuyama

Goshiki SomenGoshiki Somen noodle is colored with natural substances: yellow from eggs, green from tea, brown from buckwheat flour, red from plums and shiso (type of culinary herb), and white by wheat flour. With a history dating back about 300 years, somen dough used to be kneaded by hands and stretched into thin but strong noodle. Another delicious local specialty, Tai (sea-bream) somen, is also worth trying.

Iyo-kasuri(splashed pattern)Textiles

Matsuyama

Iyo-kasuri TextilesIyo-kasuri, one of the three major fabrics in Japan, is originated in the 1800s. Natural colors, rustic texture, and strength are useful for everyday life, and the product ranges from kimono, accessories to small ornaments. The contrast of the simple white patterns on indigo blue is so beautiful that many people still love them.

Tobeyaki Pottery

Tobe

Tobe PotteryShikoku is the nation's top producer of ceramic ware and Tobe holds a leading position in white porcelain production. The thick pure white porcelain is dyed with cobalt blue which gives Tobeyaki pottery its distinctive indigo blue patterns. Tobeyaki is not just made as artwork but as practical tableware for everyday use.

Kamaboko

(minced fish cake on the plate)

KamabokoFresh fish caught in the Seto Inland Sea and Uwa Sea are minced, placed on the plate and steamed. The bun-shaped fish cake is rich in calcium and other nutrients and it is a popular gift item.

local beer

(Dogo Beer, Umenishiki Beer)

local beer"Dogo Beer" and "Umenishiki Beer" are popular microbrew brands produced by the local traditional sake breweries. Seiryu (clear stream) beer sold at "Ishizuchi Chiroru no Mori" themed park is also popular.

Pearls

Uwajima

PearlsThe Uwa Sea, with rias deeply-indented coastline, is one of the ideal places to grow pearls in Japan. Cultured in calm water, the pearls grown in this region are called mermaid's tears, and used for rings and necklaces. They are very popular among women.

Jako-tem (Uwajima, Yawatahama), Jako-cutlet (Ikata-Cho)

Uwajima, Yawatahama / Ikata-Cho

Jako-tem

Jako-cutlet

Jako-tem tempura is deep-fried minced fish with bones freshly caught from the Seto Inland Sea and Uwa Sea. Jako-tem is available in most of the local restaurants and pubs. It is also a popular gift item. Jako-cutlet is Jako-tem with some vegetables deep-fried in batter, which recently became very popular.

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Festivals and Events

Matsuyama Autumn Festival

Matsuyama: October 5-7

Matsuyama Fall FestivalPeople in Matsuyama cerebrate the harvest season by actively carrying mikoshi (portable shrine) throughout the city. Kenka Mikoshi, or Portable shrines crushes, is held at Dogo Onsen Ekimae Station and Itsukushima Jinja Shrine in Mitsu, and the mikoshi bearers violently rammed their shrines to fight, as they chant "motekoi!" ("Bring it on! Bring it on!").

Saijo Festival

Saijo: October 8, 9, 14-17

Saijo FestivalSaijo Festival is the Autumn Festival in Saijo City. People parade the town, carrying mikoshi (portable shrines), colorful danjiri floats and taiko drum-floats at Isono Jinja Shrine and around the city. The houses on the streets light lanterns to create a mystical atmosphere. The highlight of the festival is kawairi (river crossing) at the Kamogawa River held on the evening of the 16th.

Niihama Taiko(Drum)Festival

Niihama: October 16-18

Niihama Taiko FestivalThe Niihama Taiko Festival, also known as Otoko Matsuri (literally means Men's Festival), is an energetic autumn event. Average traditional taiko-dai (drum floats) is about 2.5-ton, and is decorated with gold embroidery. They are hoisted and carried by more than 150 bearers each, shouting in rhythm as they parade around the city. Watch the variety of powerful festival competitions.

Uwajima Ushi-Oni(Bull Devil)Festival

Uwajima: 3rd weekend in July)

Uwajima Ushi-Oni FestivalThe largest festival in southern area. Huge models of ushi-oni, (devil’s head and bull’s body with 5-6 meter-long sword tail) parade the streets of Uwajima. Young people wear happi coats (traditional kimono-style jacket made by indigo or brown linen) and hoist ushi-oni, while children blowing takebora (short bamboo flute). Gaiya Carnival ("gaiya" means "terrific" in the local dialect), Uwajima Odori-Dance, and fireworks are also held.

Fireworks Festival

(Matsuyama, August)

Fireworks FestivalFireworks festival is held at Mitsuhama Port in Matsuyama in August. This is the largest fireworks show in Shikoku region. The ground and water fireworks displays are reflected on the surface of the sea to create fantastic scenes.

Fireworks Festival

(Imabari, August)

Fireworks FestivalFireworks from Japan and Europe are displayed along with the music at Imabari Port. Geometrical patterns are illuminated in the night sky. This is the light and sound show to entertain many people.

Ukai(Cormorant fishing)

Ozu: June 1-September 20

An ancient fishing style is used for tourist attraction at the Hijikawa River in Ozu. This is one of the three ukai fishing spots in Japan. After the sunset, usho fishermen manipulate 5 or 6 cormorants and people can enjoy the catch and meals with drinks on the boat. The fire at the bow of the boat creates enchanted atmosphere.

Togyu(Bullfighting)

Uwajima

TogyuUwajima hosts 5 series of bullfights a year as local events and as tourist attractions, and a pair of 1-ton bulls fight against each other. The beater called "Seko" stands beside the bull, and leads the fight, which is mainly pushing their backs each other. Any bull that runs away is eliminated. The bull wears colorful drapery when entering the bullring.

Cherry-blossom Viewing in Matsuyama

(Matsuyama Castle, Dogo Park) late March - early April

Cherry-blossom Viewing in Matsuyama

You can enjoy different hues of cherry pink on the mountain top of Matsuyama Castle; pale pink of Someiyoshino cherry (prunus yedoensis), and pink-red of Weeping cherry and Yoko cherry. It is selected as "best 100 cherry trees" in Japan. In Dogo Park, some 500 Someiyoshino cherry trees compete with each other for its beauty, and many people come to enjoy the view when they are in full bloom.

Cherry-blossom Viewing in Shimanami Sea Route

(Imabari, Kamijima) late March - early April

Cherry-blossom Viewing in Shimanami Sea RouteNoshima island (relics of pirates), Mt. Hirakiyama (in Hakatajima island) and Mt. Sekizenyama (Iwakijima island) are the greatest venues to enjoy cherry blossoms on the way of the Shimanami Sea Route. The contrast between deep blue of the Seto-Inland Sea and light pink of the cherry blossoms is breath-taking.

Azalea Viewing at Mt. Tomisu

(Ozu) April - May

Azalea Viewing at Mt. TomisuMt. Tomisu located in the center of Ozu City is like Mt. Fuji in shape, although it is only 320 meters high. The mountain has one of the largest azalea gardens in the western Japan. The mountain top is covered with rose-pink flowers during its peak season, which is spectacularly beautiful.