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Matsuyama is the capital of the Ehime Prefecture on the Japanese island of Shikoku. Founded in 1889, the city nowadays has well over half a million inhabitants and is the main city of Shikoku, one of the eight main regions of the country.
Regular JR trains connect Matsuyama with other cities on Shikoku and there is an overnight train to Tokyo daily.
Many bus companies operate buses to main cities and towns on Shikoku and onwards to the mainland. Willer Express goes to Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo, while Iyo Tetsu Bus goes to Fukuoka (10 hours).
There is regular ferry service to Hiroshima including a speedy hydrofoil service taking less than 1.5 hours. There are also slower and longer ferries, including to Kobe and to Kyushu island. Setonaikai is one of the operators and Ishizaki is another one. The slower ferries take about 2.5 hours but are twice as cheap (about 3,500 yen instead of 7,000 one-way!).
Sunflower ferries goes to Kokura in Kitakyushu and travel at night. It also runs the ferry between Osaka and Beppu which stops in Matsuyama on its way to Osaka, but not the other way around!
Iyotetsu buses connect many places within the urban area of Matsuyama.
|Hotel Eco Dogo||2-17 Yuzuki- machi Matsuyama, Ehime||HOSTEL||83|
|Matsuyama Youth Hostel||22-3, Dogo, Himezuka, Matsuyama-shi||Hostel||86|
|Sen Guesthouse||4-14, Dogotakocho, Matsuyama city, Ehime||HOSTEL||93|
Manga cafes are dotted along the streets of almost every city in Japan. For a very reasonable price (about ¥100 per 15 minutes), you receive a private cubicle with a PC with internet access at blistering Japanese internet speeds. The chairs are incredibly comfortable (making them an excellent place to sleep for the cash-deprived), and you can even order snacks and drinks from the staff.
See also: International Telephone Calls
You can buy prepaid international phone cards from just about any convenience store. Pay phones are not as common as in some countries, as just about everyone in Japan has a mobile phone, but are found in most stations.
The Japanese postal service is excellent! Domestic and international mail service is very quick and reliable. The prices for sending letters, postcards and parcels vary depending on where you send if from and to which country you send it too, and of course depends on weight as well, so check this calculation page of Japan Post for more details. Post offices generally are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, closing at weekends and also on national holidays, though a few open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Central post offices are sometimes open until 7:00pm, open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Sundays and holidays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. There are post offices in every major city and minor town. Another thing to remember is that the post office is one of the few places in Japan that is guaranteed to have ATMs that take international cards.
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