In the times gone by, every department store used to have an amusement park on its roof. For those of you who feel nostalgic about the times you used to play at such parks, believe it or not, there is a Ferris wheel on the roof (9th floor) of the Iyotetsu Takashimaya department store! Kururin, the name of the Ferris wheel, apparently comes from the way it looks as it goes around and around (kururi – one meaning is to go around), as well as the fact that it offers a full view over Matsuyama city.
The name of this authentic Ferris wheel may sound cute, but it’s located 85 meters above ground (106 meters above sea level). As there are no other high buildings in the vicinity, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view with Matsuyama Castle to the north, Botchan Stadium and mountains of the expressway to the south, and the Seto Inland Sea to the west.
I got too excited and stood up inside the gondola to take photographs near the highest point – I could feel my legs shaking slightly.
After my ride was over I decided to photograph the majestic Ferris wheel, and spotted a slightly unusual gondola!
Illustrated on this noticeably conspicuous yellow gondola is Ehime prefecture’s Imabari city mascot character, Bari-san, which won Japan’s mascot character grand prix in 2012.
Bari-san is popular not only in Ehime prefecture, but all over Japan, too. Seeing Bari-san in a place like this reminds you of its true strength and the love Iyotetsu Takashimaya has for Ehime prefecture.
Oh! There’s another cute gondola over there, too! This one has Mikyan illustrated on it, a character created to give an even better image of Ehime prefecture. Apparently both the Bari-san gondola and Mikyan-san gondola are hugely popular among children.
Tickets for Kururin are sold on the 9th floor of the department store (this signboard is your landmark). Tickets for adults cost JPY500, but if you have a ticket for the “Botchan Ressha”, you can ride the Ferris wheel free of charge. In addition, apparently anyone with a birthday during the month of his or her visit gets to ride the Ferris wheel free of charge as many times as they want!
How about enjoying a 15-minute loop in the skies when you have a little time between sightseeing spots, or as a break when shopping?
Address: 5-1-1 Minatomachi, Matsuyama city, Ehime prefecture
Tel: 089-948-2111 (Main number)
Closed: No regular holidays
Open: April thru December 11:00-22:00, October thru March 11:00-19:00
*Last rides 15 minutes before closing time
Fare: Adults JPY500, Gondola ticket (Up to 4 persons) JPY1000
*Children under elementary school age ride free of charge (with guardian)
*You may ride free of charge as many times as you like on the month of your birthday
Access: A short walk from Iyo Railway Takahama line, Yokogawara line & Gunchu line Matsuyama station
Height: 85m from the ground to the highest point
Wheel diameter: 45m
Number of gondolas: 32 (fits 4 people, all gondolas have wheelchair access)
One loop: About 15 minutes
The Setouchi Finder Editors
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