Hojo

Introducing Hojo and Nakajima.

Hojo [北条]

Hojo is a community located about 20 minutes north of Matsuyama by the JR line and is part of Matsuyama City.

Location / Access / Transport

  • Train: To/From Matsuyama - from Matsuyama JR station, take the train bound north to Iyo-Hojo. If you want to take the express train it is more expensive and be sure to check that it stops in Hojo.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Kashima Island - this small island is home to deer! There is also a beautiful view of Hojo from the top of the hill. AJET hosts a barbecue/camping Sayonara Party here in summer.
  • Fuwari Beach - located in the northern part of Hojo and is quite popular in the summer. From Oura Station it’s a short walk to the beach.
  • Hojo Strawberry Farm -  you can pick strawberries there when they’re in season (spring). You’ll need to give the farm (there are two) a call to make a reservation before you go.
  • Hojo Matsuri - held every October. The locals have a few drinks and carry around mikoshi. Mikoshi battles eventually ensue where the shrines are rammed into one another until an inevitable loser falls into the river.

Dining Out

  • Irohaya – delicious bakery right in front of the ALT apartment. Great spot to get a last minute breakfast.
  • Ichiya - best ramen spot in town! Good prices and very delicious.
  • Otousan - Japanese restaurant.
  • Tabensai - delicious and reasonably priced okonomiyaki.
  • Aki-zakura – Okonomiyaki restaurant near Hojo Kita JHS.
  • McDonalds - located next to Marunaka.
  • Joyfull - located at the Hojo Shopping Complex. A mix of western and Japanese cheap, simple meals.

Shopping

Supermarkets
  • ZY - simple selection of your regular groceries. Upstairs is homeware, clothes and some stationary.
  • Hato Mart - wider selection of fruit and vegetables. This supermarket is bigger but much more expensive than ZY. There is a very small Daiso, too. A restaurant attached to the side serves delicious takoyaki, and there is a small bakery section as well.
  • Marunaka – biggest supermarket of the three but is the furthest away. You can buy clothes, toys, alcohol and some electronics. The food selection here is by far the best.
Shopping Centers
  • Hojo Shopping Complex - not as big as you may imagine. The complex is about 15-20 minutes away from the JR station.
  • Fuji Palty - located near Hojo Shopping Complex; has a better selection than the three grocery stores listed above.
  • Daiki - located across from the Hato Mart, Daiki is the place to go to buy home improvement goods, furniture and other household items. A very convenient drugstore is located next door.

Leisure

  • Gym – fairly new. Located in St Catherines University. You must go on a Friday to sign up, and you will need your hanko. It’s 200 yen per visit.
  • Onsen - right near the Kashima Island Port, called Makoto Seapa.

 

 

Nakajima Town [中島町]

Nakajima “The Island in the Seto Sun” is a very friendly rural community consisting of mikan farmers and fishermen, located off the coast of Matsuyama. If you fancy a glimpse of old Japan then look no further. It is home to about 6,000 people. The main attractions are peace and quiet, the beaches and the mountains. Nakajima is an excellent spot to visit and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Location / Access / Transport

  • Boat: to/from Matsuyama – get to Takahama Port and take the high-speed or slow ferry to Nakajima`s ports.
  • Bus: there are buses that leave from the port to various places around the island but they are few and far between.
  • Bicycle: it’s possible to hire bikes from the port for 200 yen a day.

Tourism / Festivals / Highlights

  • Himegahama - the most popular of Nakajima’s beaches.
  • Nakajima Triathlon - every August Nakajima plays host to a nationwide triathlon which people from throughout the land flock to in order to compete! The night before there is a bit of a shindig to celebrate, so head over the night before and make the most of it. Find out more here.
  • Historic Buildings - Nakajima has a small smattering of points of interest: several shrines and a collection of artifacts from the Edo period.
  • Nakajima Culture Centre - it`s new and features a pretty decent library, art gallery and museum and an amazing auditorium.

Dining Out

There are a few restaurants and hotels around the island. A restaurant called Seto offers delicious udon sets. There is also a family restaurant near a business hotel. Both restaurants are located on the main street in Oura, close to the ferry port. Theres a delicious yakiniku place attached to a small supermarket in Obama.

Shopping

  • Tominaga – the biggest and easiest to find of the island’s grocery stores. Turn right out of the port and then immediately left and it will be on your left.

Nightlife

  • Night - an awesome karaoke place situated (rather bizarrely) right behind a graveyard. You won’t miss it since it has some serious lighting going on. You can adorn yourself in an array of dodgy accessories and then prance about!

 

 

 

 

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