Ehime Prefecture

Ehime Prefecture (愛媛県, Ehime-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku.[3] Ehime Prefecture has a population of 1,342,011 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 5,676 km2 (2,191 sq mi). Ehime Prefecture borders Kagawa Prefecture to the northeast, Tokushima Prefecture to the east, and Kōchi Prefecture to the southeast.

Ehime Prefecture
Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese愛媛県
 • RōmajiEhime-ken
Flag of Ehime Prefecture
Official logo of Ehime Prefecture
Anthem: Ehime no uta
Location of Ehime Prefecture
SubdivisionsDistricts: 7, Municipalities: 20
 • GovernorTokihiro Nakamura (since December 2010)
 • Total5,676.23 km2 (2,191.60 sq mi)
 • Rank26th
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total1,342,011
 • Rank26th
 • Density240/km2 (610/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-38
MammalJapanese river otter ("Lutra lutra whiteleyi")[1][2]
BirdJapanese robin (Erithacus akahige)[1]
FishRed sea bream (Pagrus major)[1]
FlowerSatsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu)[1]
TreePine (Pinus)[1]

Matsuyama is the capital and largest city of Ehime Prefecture and the largest city on Shikoku, with other major cities including Imabari, Niihama, and Saijō.[4]

Notable past Ehime residents include three Nobel Prize winners: are Kenzaburo Oe (1994 Nobel Prize in Literature), Shuji Nakamura (2014 Nobel Prize in Physics), and Syukuro Manabe (2021 Nobel Prize in Physics).


Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime Prefecture was known as Iyo Province.[5] Since before the Heian period, the area was dominated by fishermen and sailors who played an important role in defending Japan against pirates and Mongolian invasions.

After the Battle of Sekigahara, the Tokugawa shōgun gave the area to his allies, including Katō Yoshiaki who built Matsuyama Castle, forming the basis for the modern city of Matsuyama.

The name Ehime comes from the kuniumi part of the Kojiki where Iyo Province is mythologically named Ehime, "lovely princess".[6]

In 2012, a research group from the University of Tokyo and Ehime University said they had discovered rare earth deposits in Matsuyama.[7]


Located in the northwestern part of Shikoku, Ehime faces the Seto Inland Sea to the north and is bordered by Kagawa and Tokushima in the east and Kōchi in the south.

The prefecture includes both high mountains in the inland region and a long coastline, with many islands in the Seto Inland Sea. The westernmost arm of Ehime, the Sadamisaki Peninsula, is the narrowest peninsula in Japan.

As of 31 March 2020, 7 percent of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Ashizuri-Uwakai and Setonaikai National Parks; Ishizuchi Quasi-National Park; and Hijikawa, Kinshako, Okudōgo Tamagawa, Sadamisaki Hantō-Uwakai, Saragamine Renpō, Sasayama, and Shikoku Karst Prefectural Natural Parks.[8]


Map of Ehime Prefecture.
     City      Town
The Ehime Prefectural Capitol Building

Eleven cities are located in Ehime Prefecture:

Name Area (km2) Population Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Imabari 今治市 419.56 172,384  
  Iyo 伊予市 194.44 37,982  
  Matsuyama (capital) 松山市 429.4 509,835  
  Niihama 新居浜市 234.3 125,711  
  Ōzu 大洲市 432.24 42,655  
  Saijō 西条市 509.07 113,786  
  Seiyo 西予市 514.78 42,600  
  Shikokuchūō 四国中央市 421.24 83,918  
  Tōon 東温市 211.45 33,540  
  Uwajima 宇和島市 469.48 86,631  
  Yawatahama 八幡浜市 133.03 38,307  

Towns and villagesEdit

These are the towns in each district:

Name Area (km2) Population District Map
Rōmaji Kanji
  Ainan 愛南町 239.58 22,287 Minamiuwa District  
  Ikata 伊方町 94.37 10,637 Nishiuwa District  
  Kamijima 上島町 30.38 7,189 Ochi District  
  Kihoku 鬼北町 241.87 10,772 Kitauwa District  
  Kumakōgen 久万高原町 583.66 8,660 Kamiukena District  
  Masaki 松前町 20.41 29,904 Iyo District  
  Matsuno 松野町 98.5 4,165 Kitauwa District  
  Tobe 砥部町 101.57 21,471 Iyo District  
  Uchiko 内子町 299.5 16,172 Kita District  


Former districts:


The coastal areas around Imabari and Saijō host a number of industries, including dockyards of Japan's largest shipbuilder, Imabari Shipbuilding. Chemical industries, oil refining, paper and cotton textile products also are a feature of the prefecture. Rural areas mostly engage in agricultural and fishing industries, and are particularly known for citrus fruits such as mikan (mandarin orange), iyokan and cultured pearls.

Ikata Nuclear Power Plant produces a large portion of Shikoku Electric Power.[citation needed]



The sports teams listed below are based in Ehime.

Football (soccer)




The oldest extant hot spring in Japan, Dōgo Onsen, is located in Matsuyama. It has been used for over two thousand years.

These are television shows and movies set in Ehime Prefecture.

There are major festivals in Ehime Prefecture.

  • Uwajima Ushi-oni Festival is held for three days, with a parade of many Ushi-oni walking around the city, a traditional Uwajima dance, a fireworks display, and a run on the final day.
  • Niihama Taiko Festival is the autumn festival in Niihama. The drum stand is lifted by about 150 men. It is one of the three biggest fight festivals in Japan.
  • The Matsuyama Autumn Festival includes a mikoshi event called Hachiawase (鉢合わせ) which takes place near Dōgo Onsen and Isaniwa Shrine.

Hot SpringsEdit

These are Hot Springs in Ehime Prefecture.

  • Dōgo Onsen appears in the Nihon Shoki. This Hot Spring has three public baths: the main building, Tsubaki no Yu, and Asuka no Yu.
  • Sora to Mori is a combined warm bath facility. There are hot springs, restaurants, and body care.
  • Nibukawa Onsen is a hot spring located in Imabari. The source originates from the crevices of the Inugawa Valley in this hot spring town.


Iyo dialect is a Japanese dialect spoken in Ehime Prefecture. Nanyo is influenced by the Kyushu dialect, and Chuyo and Toyo are influenced by the Kinki dialect.



Kurushima Strait Bridge on the Shimanami Kaidō




National highwaysEdit

  • Route 11
  • Route 33 (Matsuyama-Kōchi)
  • Route 56 (Matsuyama-Iyo-Uwajima-Sukumo-Susaki-Kōchi)
  • Route 192 (Saijyo-Shikoku Chuo-Yoshinogawa-Tokushima)
  • Route 194
  • Route 196
  • Route 197
  • Route 317 (Matsuyama-Imabari-Onomichi)
  • Route 319
  • Route 320
  • Route 378
  • Route 380
  • Route 437
  • Route 440
  • Route 441
  • Route 494 (Matsuyama-Niyodogawa-Susaki)


  • Kawanoe Port
  • Niihama Port - Ferry route to Osaka
  • Toyo Port - Ferry route to Osaka
  • Imabari Port - Ferry route to Innoshima, Hakata Island, and international container hub port
  • Matsuyama Port - Ferry route to Kitakyushu, Yanai, Hiroshima, Kure, and international container hub port
  • Yawatahama Port - Ferry route to Beppu, Usuki
  • Misaki Port - Ferry route to Oita
  • Uwajima Port


International sister cities / Economic exchange counterpartsEdit

Ehime Prefecture is making use of its long tradition of involvement with people overseas through international exchanges in areas such as the economy, culture, sports and education.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e 愛媛県の紹介 > 愛媛県のシンボル. Ehime prefectural website (in Japanese). Ehime Prefecture. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Japanese River Otter Facts".
  3. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ehime" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 170, p. 170, at Google Books.
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Matsuyama" at p. 621, p. 621, at Google Books.
  5. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" at p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  6. ^ Chamberlain, Basil Hall. 1882. A translation of the "Ko-ji-ki" or Records of ancient matters. section V
  7. ^ "Japan Discovers Domestic Rare Earths Reserve". BrightWire. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  8. ^ 自然公園都道府県別面積総括 [General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture] (PDF) (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  9. ^ "International exchange activated with globalization". Ehime Prefecture. Retrieved 2018-10-27.


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 33°50′N 132°50′E / 33.833°N 132.833°E / 33.833; 132.833