The day started strangely by a small mistake: instead of taking the express to Uchiko, we took a little train that traveled along the coast. Absorbed as we were, me in the contemplation of the landscape (Shikoku, is definitely the country of Totoro) Xim in writing postcards, we also missed our connection. So we put three or four times longer than expected to arrive at Uchiko.
Uchiko is the capital of the wax, the center of kabuki theater, a center of architecture with its protected historical center and we found … a ghost town. Or almost.
We wanted the deep Japan, just for us, off the beaten tourist highways or trails, we got it. More seriously, the street whose architecture is protected has beautiful facades, quite notable. You just should come up with a solid guide because you will only find some explanatory signs in Japanese. The wax museum scared us from the outside (and did not give us envy to enter at all). So we head back to Matsuyama by express (23 minutes).
In our festival program, we then had the Dogo Koen (the Dogo Park) located not far from our ryokan. At the top was a castle now destroyed, but were able to enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
And what we perceived there? A temple that looked very nice. We go, in this small temple full of incense which is offered to us after a hundred steps to climb. This does not even scared us (we are in the era after the Shimanami kaido, remember …).
We then descended to Dogo onsen, setting that inspired Miyazaki for his Spirited Away. I was not very movited to visit it, I let myself be convinced by Xim. What a good idea ! We could see the bath of the emperor, the rooms equipped for personal use. Little surprise: we could also see the room called “Botchan Room”, allegedly used Natsume Soseki, author among others of Botchan, who happens to pass Dogo Onsen. If we did not bathed in this onsen (we prefer the atmosphere more simple and unobtrusive of the bath of our ryokan: same source of hot water and we’re just the tzo of us in the bath), we could taste a little bit the atmosphere of this old onsen facility.
Finally, we are gifted enough to improvisation. However, we have already terminated our program for tomorrow.