Matsuyama – desert islands and urban jungles

_DSC5178What to do it you’re travelling in Japan during summertime, have been sweating your way around temples, onsens, night busses and just want to relax? You settle for the next best beach or pool you can find. I didn’t really know what to expect when the hostel owner recommended to go to Kashima Island. After 30 minutes on a local train (360 Yen) riding through Matsuyamas suburbs I got off at Iyohojo. I was literally in the middle of nowhere! What amazed me most about that place was having some peace and quiet and getting away from the hectic of the big cities. Once I found out in which direction the sea was, I walked towards the ferry terminal and waited for the next one to take me to the island (round trip 210 Yen)._DSC5162_DSC5152  The sea looked nice, especially with some mist laying over the hills on the horizon. I walked around, looked at dozens of little deers which were on the island and found a little perfect beach – all for myself.  Great setting to relax, cool down and read Jack Kerouac. IMG_2626_DSC5173After a couple of hours I had enough of the peace and quiet and headed back to the city._DSC5191 _DSC5203 One of the main attractions near the Dogo Onsen was this clock._DSC5213 _DSC5215_DSC5217And at the end of the day, when all you want to do if go back home, take a bath and relax Matsuyama has a better option: free public hot springs where to rest your tired feet/ hands in boiling water (this one was right next to the clock and there even was free wifi nearby!)_DSC5214  On the way back home make sure to try the typical Matsuyama sweets (the little dumpling stick is called botchan dingo and has green tea, yellow egg yolk and purple azuki beans treats – oishi desu!)_DSC5226 _DSC5233  Matsuyama has been a great retreat from the stressful city life – but for me it was time to go back to an urban jungle. After sending back to Tokyo over half of my backpacks content I was happier to continue with as little as shorts, long pants, a couple of tops, two dresses, flip flops and nikes for the rest of the month. Long live simplicity._DSC5156

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