In 1602, the warlord Kato Yoshiaki decided to build Matsuyama Castle. It stands in the heart of the city on a hill 132m high, and is surrounded by moats. The area came to be populated by samurai and tradesmen. Nowadays, you can visit a neo-Classical villa (20C) there. The fortress has been substantially reworked and restored at various times and stands out as a gem of defensive architecture. The keep was restored in the 19C and now houses an exhibition on the history of the warlords Kato, Gamo and Matsudaira.
Kencho-mae or Ookaido tramway stops, then cable car or skilift (¥510 return) - Feb-Nov: 8.30am-5.30pm (Aug 6pm) ; rest of the year: 8.30am-5pm - closed 3rd Wed in Dec