Cinema on the planet

005 – Azusa Kawabata


Matsuyama Travelogue Part 2: Sightseeing

前編の「伊丹十三記念館」は、楽しんでいただけましたでしょうか?  初めて訪れた愛媛県松山市。文学の街としても有名ですが、ロケ地としても数多くの映画に登場しています。今回は、思い入れのある映画作品のロケ地を中心に巡りました。駆け足ですが、旅の参考になれば幸いです。

Did you enjoy the report on the Itami Juzo Museum? It was my first visit to Matsuyama, the capital city of Ehime Prefecture. It is famous as a city of literature, but also served as a film location for many movies. This time, I’d like to share my visits to many locations for movies that I love. It may only cover the highlights, but hopefully it’ll help others who might visit Matsuyama.



Matsuyama Castle can be seen while walking around the city.



The city is easily accessible from Matsuyama Airport. There’s lots of greenery, and it is close to both the ocean and the mountain. The tram may be a convenient mode of transportation, but it also simply makes me happy to ride on it.


   Filming locations for 3 movies in Matsuyama

“Give it All”  Dir. Itsumichi Isomura

“Destruction Babies”  Dir. Tetsuya Mariko

“Crazy Uproar”  Dir. Minoru Shibuya

◎ロケ地map  Map of filming locations

①大街道周辺 ②三津浜&港山 ③道後温泉

①Okaido area ②Mitsuhama & Minatoyama ③Dogo Onsen

『がんばっていきまっしょい』“Give it All”(①②③)

『ディストラクションベイビーズ』“Destruction Babies”(①②)

『てんやわんや』“Crazy Uproar”(③)

《①大街道周辺》 ①Okaido area



But first, breakfast. The long established Udon restaurant, “Kotori” (first opened in 1949), offers Nabeyaki-Udon, popular among locals as Matsuyama’s soul food. I got there fifteen minutes before the opening time of 10:00 AM, but there was already a waiting line.

メニューは「鍋焼きうどん」と「いなりすし」の2種類のみ。ほんのり甘めの出汁にツルツルっとしたうどんがこれまた美味しくて堪らない! この蓋付きのアルミ鍋が可愛い。伊丹さんも「ことり」のうどんが好物でよく来られたとか。

There are only two dishes on the menu: Nabeyaki-Udon and Inari-sushi. The smooth, textured udon in slightly sweet soup stock was so delicious! And it comes in a cute aluminum pot with a lid. Juzo Itami used to be fond of Kotori’s udon and was a regular.


Coincidentally, my table happened to be the same table where the main character Etsuko of “Give It All” sits. Having the same vantage point as a movie’s character is the best part of visiting film locations.

   ②Mitsuhama & Minatoyama area


I moved to the port town after quickly finishing breakfast.



From Matsuyama City Station, take Iyotetsu Takahama line for about fifteen minutes to Mitsu Station. Walk through the local shopping street, and it takes about fifteen minutes to get to Mitsuhama’s port.


Seto Inland Sea!



The bank on the other side is Minatoyama. There’s a shipyard, and I can imagine tough “men of sea” at work there. This location was used as the town where the brothers from “Destruction Babies” grew up.



What I wanted to do here was take a ferry ride called “Mitsu no Watashi”, which is featured in both “Give It All” and “Destruction Babies”. This ferry has been a municipal transportation between Mitsu and Minatoyama since the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). Open all year round, it’s free of charge. The distance is only 80 meters (262 feet)!



Soon after I got on, it already arrived on the other side. I couldn’t stop by Minatoyama Station, which was right next to where I was, but it’s used in “Give It All” as the closest station for a boat club’s practice.

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The shipyard was closed for the weekend. The town was silent, as if asleep. Rusty steel in piles and a gigantic crane dominates the yard; this powerful landscape could easily be a film location.
The first fight scene in “Destruction Babies” was around here. It makes me shiver just thinking about that scene.

船が対岸に停泊している場合は、写真のスイッチを押すと、迎えに来てくれます。(スイッチを押す前に私の姿を確認したようで、フライングで来てくださいました…。スイッチ、押したかった! 笑)

When the boat is on the opposite shore, flip the switch in the photo and the ferry will come right back to pick you up. (Before I flipped the switch, they already saw me and came…. I wish I could have flipped the switch! LOL)



I returned to Mitsuhama and started walking around.

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The quasi-Western style architecture of the “Old Hamada Clinic” and the “Ishizaki Steamship Headquarters Building” were built in the Taisho Period (1912-1926). The shopping arcade and back alley has traces of nostalgic remnants from the Showa Period (1926-1987), like a rusty tin roof and old wooden surfaces that have been exposed to the outside for quite some time, the type of landscape that can only be seen after it’s withered with time.


For lunch, I went to “Hinode”, a restaurant near Mitsu Station. People I have met on the trip had unanimously recommended the place to me. I heard Mitsuhama-yaki (their version of okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake) was one of their local soul food staples.

席が空いている、ラッキー! と思いきや、店主は大忙し。実は、持ち帰りで利用する人も多いらしく、注文の電話がひっきりなし。店内で食べたい人は予約時間になると来店しているようでした。少し落ち着いてきた頃だったので待たせてもらい、無事に食べられることに。松山ならではの甘辛いソースがかかったふわふわの生地、肉に玉子、そしてキャベツがたっぷり。

I was lucky to find many available seats, but on the contrary, they were extremely busy. It turned out that most customers order take out, so the phone was ringing non-stop. Those who were dining in seemed to be arriving at the time of their reservation. It was just after the busiest time, so I only waited a little while before being able to eat. The fluffy pancake was topped with a Matsuyama style sweet and salty sauce, with meat, egg, and lots of shredded cabbage.


I couldn’t go this time, but the Tai-meshi (Sea bream rice) speciality restaurant “Taiya” was on my list too. This quaint building is a vintage Mori family residence, and it is a registered tangible cultural property. Tai-meshi is Ehime’s local dish, and there are differences between Nanyo’s (the south such as Uwajima) and Chuyo (the central such as Matsuyama). Taiya follows the Chyuo-style of cooked sea bream with rice. I’ll show you the Nanyo-style later.

「島のモノ喫茶 田中戸」は、残念ながらイベント出店のためお休み。かき氷も食べたかったー、またの機会に…!

The cafe “Tanakado” was unfortunately closed, as they were out on a pop-up event. I wanted to eat their shaved ice, but until next time!

《①大街道周辺》 ①Okaido area



I returned to Matsuyama to visit the one and only art house movie theater here, the “Cinema Lunatic”. I’ve become familiar with the name of this place when I search for movie information, and I’m very fond of their programming and talk events. This theater has been on my mind for a while.


I was torn between re-watching Edward Yang’s “A Brighter Summer Day” on a big screen again or catching Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s “Dust in the Wind”. I ended up choosing the latter.

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I really like the owner’s decorations that demonstrate their love for the cinema, from the movie posters and flyers on the wall to the postcards and books being sold at the theater.


The theater had its 20th anniversary in 2014, and they sold a cotton towel with a printed anniversary design by artist Hiromi Sumida.


The screening room has a quiet atmosphere with 160 seats. I liked their consideration for audience members, shown by providing cushions for every seat. Also, there’s a nice discount if you watch more than two movies a day.


There’s a bakery right in front of the theater called Mitsubaya (first opened in 1950). You can buy pastry, savories, and sandwiches to snack on before or after screenings.

《③道後温泉》 Dogo Onsen


On the last day, I visited Dogo Onsen (hot spring). It only took 20 minutes from downtown by tram. It’s wonderful to be able to go to a hot spring this easily.

道後温泉での昼食は「丸水」の宇和島鯛めし。タレに入っている生卵を混ぜて薬味と鯛の刺身を浸し、タレごと温かいご飯にかけて食べる南予のスタイル。鯛の刺身は歯ごたえがよく、甘みもあって美味しい! 瀬戸内海の海の幸よ、ありがとう。

At Dogo Onsen, my lunch was Tai-meshi in Uwajima-style at a restaurant called “Gansui”. Mix the sauce with the raw egg, dip the Tai sashimi and condiments into this sauce, and then pour everything on top of the hot rice. This is known as Nanyo style. Tai sashimi has a nice, firm texture and has a sweetness to it. So delicious! Have to thank Seto Inland Sea for this blessing.


After walking through Dogo’s shopping streets, the Dogo Onsen Honkan (construction completed in 1894) was right in front of my eyes. Look at this regal presence! It’s still open to the public, even though it is registered as a national important cultural property.

道後温泉駐車場にある「空の散歩道」から見下ろすと、この迫力!! 純和風の木造建物である道後温泉本館は、様々な映画やドラマのロケ地に使われ、宮崎駿監督の『千と千尋の神隠し』に登場する「油屋」のモデルなのも有名なお話ですね。

You can go up to the promenade, twenty meters high from the ground, located in Dogo Onsen’s parking lot. The view is so awesome! It is a traditional Japanese-style wooden building, often used for film locations for both films and TV dramas. It is also famous as the inspiration for “Aburaya” in Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”.

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本館正面玄関の「道後温泉」と書かれた額は、渋谷実監督作品『てんやわんや』(1950年公開、獅子文六 原作)の撮影時に、道後温泉と一目で分かるように作られたものがはじまりだとか。

The sign at the main entrance was first made for the movie “Crazy Uproar” by Minoru Shibuya (made in 1950, based on Bunroku Shishi’s novel), to be easily recognizable as Dogo Onsen. When I re-watched this film, the original sign was different from the one being used currently (now a second generation).

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一六本舗 道後本館前店」の2階の茶寮には伊丹十三記念館のアンテナコーナーがあり、記念館の模型などが展示されています。

Ichiroku-Honpo (Ehime’s famous sweet shop), located in front of Dogo Onsen, has a cafe on the second floor. You can find the Itami Juzo Museum’s pop-up shop there, which features a model of the museum building.


I sat by the window featuring a view of Dogo Onsen. I enjoyed the sweets set menu which comes with an Ichiroku Tart, Bocchan dango, and Matcha tea. Udon is also available a la carte if you feel like having a savory dish instead.


After a break, I went to the next stop. Walking for about five minutes from the hill from Dogo Onsen, the Isaniwa Shrine’s stone staircase awaits you. These are the stairs that the girls from the boat club in “Give It All” used for training. There are more steps than I imagined!


After walking up all of the 135 steps, you can see the solemn and beautiful Isanami Shrine.


Looking down at the city from the top.


After coming down the stairs and back onto the street, you can relax your feet with a foot-bath at “Funaya” close by.

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The foot-bath, “Iyono-yu” at “Yamatoya Honten” was also very good. There are many public foot-baths available for free, and you can enjoy them even if it is only a short visit.


Tourist information for Matsuyama is available at the website run by the Dogo Onsen Inn Association.

《おまけ》 Extra:


Visiting local cafes is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. I’d like to show you one in the Okaido area.

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自家焙煎珈琲の「CAFE B.C」(1969年創業)。1階のカウンター席も2階席も居心地が良くて、朝と夕方と2度伺いました。

“Cafe B.C.”, a cafe and coffee roaster, opened in 1969. Both the counter seat on the first floor and the tables on the second floor were so comfortable that I ended up visiting twice, in the morning and in the afternoon.

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This is “Cafe Marimo”, also a coffee roaster. A temple and shrine carpenter constructed the interior; therefore, the counter made with a Hinoki cypress barely has any damages even though 50 years have passed. It still retains its beauty.


While I was listening to the cafe’s female owner talks about Matsuyama, a regular customer who is a local student came over and started talking about the actor Ken Takakura. He started to watch Ken Takakura movies because he was her favorite actor. Things are handed down from older generation to the younger generation here. Good and historical things continue to keep living in Matsuyama; its people and everything else.


I visited Cafe Marimo briefly, right before heading to the airport. But what I found there was a confluence of pleasant feelings and nostalgic wonderment that lovingly symbolizes this town.
Thank you, Matsuyama!


《①大街道周辺》Okaido area


  3-7-2 Minatomachi Matsuyama Ehime


Cinema Lunatic
3-1-9 Minatomachi Matsuyama Ehime


3-5-24 Minatomachi Matsuyama Ehime

2-2-20 Okaido Matsuyama Ehime


Café Marimo
2-6-10 Nibancho Matsuyama Ehime

Mitsuhama & Minatoyama area

Mitsu no Watashi
Matsuyama city website


  11-8 Misugicho Matsuyama Ehime

《③道後温泉》Dogo Onsen area


Dogo Onsen Honkan
6-8 Dogo-yunomachi Matsuyama Ehime


Isaniwa Shrine
  173 Sakuradanicho Matsuyama Ehime

丸水 道後店

Gansui , Dogo
13-10 Dogo-yunomachi Matsuyama Ehime

一六本舗 道後本館前店

Ichiroku Honpo , Dogo Honkanmae
20-17 Dogo-yunomachi Matsuyama Ehime

text & photo



大街道にある「たけうち」の労研饅頭が美味しかったので、 全種類制覇したい!お土産にもオススメです。

Azusa Kawabata
Graphic designer

Roken-Manto (steamed bun) from”Takeuchi” in Okaido area was so tasty. I want to complete all flavors! Great for souvenirs too.

English translation

Cinema Studio 28 Tokyo Los Angeles branch


This article makes me hungry for Tai-meshi! Now I need to visit Matsuyama!