Activities in Ehime
With over 3,000 islands and a wide-swath of coastline included in the prefecture there are many beautiful beaches to enjoy swimming. Popular JET haunts are Futami Beach in Iyo, Kashima Beach in Hojo, Niihama Beach in Niihama, and various other beaches along the Shimanami Kaido in Imabari.
Being a more backwater, inaka prefeture has its advantages. Namely there are endless places of pure, undisturbed nature to hike through. Popular hiking destinations (though certainly not limited to!) are Nametoko Gorge in Matsuno and Mt. Ishizuchi in Saijo.
Everyone knows that Ainan is a very inaka place. But what most people don't know is it is also one of the few places you can go kayaking!
Believe it or not you can actually go skiing in Ehime! The mountains that seperate Ehime from Kochi are powdered in snow every winter. The two major ski spots are Kuma Ski Land in Kumakogen and the ski area in Oda, near Uchiko.
Do you like running? Then you should try a marathon. Held annually at the end of January, the Ehime Marathon is held in Matsuyama City and, until recently, was one of the world's strictest (with timed checkpoints). The course begins at the top of Okaido and ends in the Matsuyama Castle Park. 10km courses are also available. For more information, visit the Japanese website here.
Marathon not enough for you? Never fear, Ehime is also home to one of Japan's major triathlons, the Nakajima Triathlon held annually at the end of August on the island of Nakajima. The Nakajima Triathlon attracts athletes from all over Japan, and is so popular that entry is by lottery. It is also one of the most beautiful courses that take you all around the island.
Hanami - Flower Viewing
Sakura in Ehime blooms around mid-April and stays in full bloom for only around two weeks. During that time, the entire Japanese population will find a good sakura spot, spread a blue tarp on the ground, and have a good day of BBQ and sake. Hanami parties are great times to get to know your town or your co-workers, and to hang with your friends of course!