Near to the onsen is a chic retail area with small stores selling sake, clothes, gifts and the same Matsuyama Tart that I received as O Settai two days ago and is a local delicacy. I bought some small gifts, but was conscious of the size and weight of everything, which I will be carrying on my back along roads and up mountains for the next two or three weeks. It was about lunchtime when I came out of the onsen and I was hungry, I went into an authentic noodle restaurant by myself for the first time. This did not seem such a daunting prospect now after Fujiisan introduced me to them, I even managed to muster up enough Japanese to negotiate a set meal which wasn`t really on their menu, I was very proud of myself! I had "Kitsune Udon", which translates as Fox Noodles. This dish does not contain fox meat, it is udon noodles in broth, topped with fried sweetened tofu pouches. In the late afternoon I visited Matsuyama Castle, which reminded me of Kochi Castle, a series of wooden towers and buildings on a natural rock, with a fantastic view of the modern city all around it. Matsuyama Castle was very pretty in the late afternoon early spring sunshine, some blossom is also starting to arrive. A group of photographers had set up their cameras on tripods to capture the perfect shot of the castle in the evening sun framed with sakura.
- Distance walked today = 0km
- Distance walked so far = 543.3km
- Temples visited today = nil
- Kouban visited today = nil.
- Accommodation = Hotel and breakfast ￥4280, Hotel Taihei, Matsuyama City, Ehimeken 〒790 08--
- Expenditure today = Dougo Onsen bath, soap and towels ￥660, new mini brolly ￥525, Kitsune Udon Set Meal and Asahi lager ￥1600, various gifts ￥1735, ￥3150, ￥530, laundry ￥400, food / sake for evening and lunch tomorrow ￥895.
- Settai = Japanese fan with Shikoku Pilgrimage route on it, from shopkeeper at gift shop