Not far (90 minutes) from Matsuyama is Uwajima, and rather than wander around Matsuyama I decided to take a day trip there instead. Uwajima was described as a “charming rural town, famous for it’s graphic sex museum and attached Shintō shrine (Taga-jinja). There’s also a traditional bull fighting arena (where the bulls fight each other), but that only happens a few times a year and this wasn’t one of them.
Uwajima was smaller and less charming than I had anticipated, but perhaps that was due to the time of year – a lot of businesses seemed to be in off-season mode, and there weren’t any tourists to speak of.
From the train station I headed towards Warei-jinja, which happened to be on the way to Taga-jinja and took my time.
The museum itself was a solid three floors of everything you can imagine and much you can’t. It was also jam packed full of everything but tourists. In the time I spent there (no pictures allowed, I’m afraid), the only other people touring the museum were a pair of college age japanese girls, reading everything and giggling a lot – I couldn’t read anything, so perhaps that’s why I covered the three floors in the time it took them to cover only one.
In any event, I decided to move on and take a stroll up to the castle, Uwajima-jō. This one was an 80m climb and dates to 1666 – the area provided views of the town, but not a lot else was going on and I decided not to tour the castle itself.
With not a lot going on in town and it being late afternoon, I figured dinner in Matsuyama would be a better choice, so I hopped on the train and headed back to the hotel. Nearby I located a yakitori/izakaya style restaurant and enjoyed a relatively inexpensive dinner. I met a couple who were in town from Tokyo, but were originally of Matsuyama and spoke a bit of english so helped me pick out a few things of the menu I was having trouble deciphering. I think they were there to visit friends/relatives and escape the ongoings in Tokyo.
Time to get back to the hotel and pack for tomorrows trip to Takamatsu.