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Dōgo Park and Yuzuki Castle Site

A pleasant oasis of green in the middle of Dōgo

Dōgo Park and Yuzuki Castle Site

Close to Dōgo Onsen Honkan and Dōgo Station is Dōgo Park, which is largely taken up with a fairly imposing hill. Not surprisingly perhaps, this is the site of an old fortification, the long-vanished Yuzuki Castle.

Dōgo Park is perfect. Not too big, you can walk around it, or over it, in fifteen minutes. It has flat bits and a hill, places to play and places to sit, flower beds and vistas, and history, natural and human. The park is also full of cherry trees, which are quite inconspicuous for most of the year, but in springtime, they present a fantastic sight, forming a pink ring around the central hill. In spring, the blossoms attract bees, and vast numbers of people who come to party after the winter cold.

The park has lots to see and do. It has a grassy area where ball games are permitted. This overlooks an area for kids with slides and swings. The hill has various paths up it, dotted with shrines and viewing platforms. The observation platform at the top offers a magnificent panoramic view of Matsuyama, the castle, and the Seto Inland Sea. Part of the castle moat remains, and it’s full of lilies, bullfrogs and turtles. There are also kingfishers which attract photographers and birdwatchers. And there’s an old stone fountainhead from Dōgo Onsen, dating from the Nara Period (8th Century).

Dōgo Park was once Yuzuki Castle, the medieval residence of Shugo Kono in what used to be Iyo Province. There’s nothing that resembles a castle anymore, but there’s a well-made replica of a samurai compound, and a very good little museum.

The park is close to many other attractions, but it’s well worth a visit in itself, if only to see the people of Matsuyama taking their leisure in a little local oasis. If you fancy a picnic in the park, the nearby Fuji supermarket just south of the park sells everything required.

Information

Name in Japanese: 道後公園

Pronunciation: dōgo kōen

Address: Dogo Park, 1 Dogokoen, Matsuyama, Ehime

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