The most common question we received about our trip to Japan was “which cities are you visiting?” And while most people expected to hear Tokyo and Kyoto, we usually got a puzzled look when we mentioned the 3rd city on our itinerary, Matsuyama. Matsuyama is the largest city and capital of Ehime Prefecture located on the island of Shikoku and is know for onsen, or hot springs, and udon noodles.
Since we’d be staying in Western hotel chains elsewhere else, in Matsuyama we figured that it would be a great chance to try a ryokan, or Japanese guest house. My 4 years of high school Japanese language studies paid off since I could read the hotel sign which was only written in Japanese. If it weren’t for these skills, we may have never found the hotel. OK that may be a stretch, since Google Maps also announced that “you have arrived at Funaya” as we walked up to the building.