Matsuyama

Matsuyama Castle and Matsuyama

Matsuyama (Mah-tsu-yah-mah) 松山市  The city is known for its hot springs (onsen) and is home to Dogo Onsen, the oldest hot spring and best known bath house in Japan dating back 3,000 years. Even with a half million population it keeps the past alive with its old architecture that houses the hot springs and the tram or street car that connects them. A second favorite tourist spot in the city is Matsuyama Castle that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.

 

Eight of the eighty-eight Buddhist temples in the Shikoku Pilgrimage are located in Matsuyama. This pilgrimage is traditionally completed on foot, but modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles, or motorcycles. The walking course is approximately 1,200 km long and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to complete. The pilgrims are often seen near the hot springs and are recognizable by their white clothing, sedge hats, and walking sticks.

 

Famous products of Matsuyama include tarts and Botchan dango. In the 17th century, Sadayuki Matsudaira, the lord of Matsuyama castle, introduced the process of tart making, originally brought to Japan by the Portuguese, to Matsuyama. According to legend Sadayuki made some changes to the tarts by adding red bean paste. Now there are many kinds and makers of tarts in Matsuyama. Botchan dango consists of three bean paste beads with three flavors, green tea, egg, and red bean paste wrapped in glutinous rice that has been pounded into a paste.

 

Japanese are very skillful at adapting foreign things like the tarts to fit their own culture or taste. They would be glad to add Christianity to their other religions, but stumble when presented with Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thus, Christians in Matsuyama and across Japan still number less than 0.5 percent.

 

Prayer Requests:

•   Pray for the hearts of Japanese in Matsuyama to hunger to know God and realize His gift of salvation is free and available for them.
•   Ten thousands of people come to the hot springs each year to have their health restored through cleansing in the hot baths. Pray for their hearts to be cleansed through faith in Christ.
•   Pray for the rapid spread of the gospel, as Japanese realize that Jesus is the only way for salvation and become faithful multiplying disciples.

 

Prayer Profile – Matsuyama City (Downloadable PDF File)

 

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