Kikuma is a small town between Matsuyama and Imabari. For over 750 years, the town has produced roof tiles. The wooded hills provide ample timber for stoking kilns, and the warm, dry climate of Setouchi is good for drying tiles quickly, while the Inland Sea is ideal for shipping the finished product. This made premium Kikuma tiles one of Japan’s representative traditional crafts. At the Kawara-kan, there are many examples of the artistic tiles produced here, and a studio for visitors to make their own creations.
The town still has many old buildings including a sake brewery, as well as a pretty port. A short distance inland are two waterfalls, the Kasen Falls. Further up the coast from the old town is the Taiyo Oil refinery which is popular with photographers, especially at night.
Kamo Shrine in Kikuma stands against a hillside near a little river that runs down to the Seto Inland Sea. The area retains the atmosphere of the Showa Period when the forestry industry thrived in the nearby mountains. Until recently, hundreds of horses were kept here to drag logs down from the mountains. Once a year in the two-day autumn festival, the horses are run up the slope to Kamo Shrine, ridden by boys in their early teens. Today just 18 horses are kept by local farmers for the purpose of running in the festival, which is an Intangible Cultural Property.
Name in Japanese: 菊間
Address: 822 Kikumachohama, Imabari, Ehime 799-2303