Ikata (伊方町 Ikata-chō) is a town in Ehime. It spans the mountainous Sadamisaki Peninsula, the narrowest peninsula in Japan. Ikata's breath-taking combination of mountain and ocean scenery makes it a wonderful place for a leisurely afternoon drive.
- Take the oceanside scenic route: Take Route 378 south from Matsuyama along the beautiful Futami and Nagahama coastline. Take a right at the junction with Route 197.
- Take the misty mountain freeway route: Take the Matsuyama Expressway south past Ozu, then get off and take Route 197 through Yawatahama and the rest of the way to Ikata.
You can also get close to Ikata by train—just take an express on the JR Yosan line from Matsuyama to Yawatahama. From there you can hop a bus or take a taxi, but beware that taxis get quite pricey.
Buses run the length of the peninsula, but car is still the number one way to go.
- 1 Sadamisaki Lighthouse. This lighthouse stands at the tip of the peninsula, overlooking the Hōyo Strait. On clear days you can see across to Kyūshū. 1.8 km of hiking trails and a campground lay at its feet.
- Seto Wind Hill Park. This park is located atop a mountain in the Seto area. From it you can see many of Ikata's numerous windmills, spinning above the Inland Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Haikus about the windmills, submitted for Ikata's Windmill Festival, are on display in the park.
- Ikata Visitors Center. This hands-on science museum teaches all about nuclear power with beautiful interactive displays and fun activities for all ages. The building is connected to the Kirara-kan, which houses an aquarium and sells souvenirs and local agricultural products.
- Red Wing Park. Named after Ikata's sister city, this park is home to Adventure Hill—a playground full of climbing nets, roller slides, and other exciting children's play equipment.
- Kamegaike Onsen. A new hot spring bathing facility and park are currently under construction and will be open to the public in July 2007. According to legend, a giant crab lives in the adjacent Kamegaike Pond.
Ikata has two Roadside Stations where you can buy locally-made goods. Ikata's mikan juice can't be beat!
- Ikata Kirara-kan
- Seto Agriculture Park
These restaurants are conveniently located right along Route 197.
- Maruma Diner (マルマ食堂 Maruma shokudō) - on Melody Line halfway down the hill from Yawatahama
- Melody Cafe - shokudō & coffee, on Melody Line after the Kawanagata tunnel
- Windmill Restaurant (風車レストラン fūsha resutoran) - Above the Seto Agriculture Park
- DanDan - gelato (ice cream), local produce & Shionashi's famous Kintaro sweet potatoes - At the base of the Seto Agriculture Park
- Pocket Park - Across the street from the Seto Agriculture Park
- Hot Road - Next to the Ōku Observatory
- Marina-tei (まり～な亭) — A fabulous seafood restaurant in the Misaki neighborhood along Route 197. The head chef even appeared on TV's Iron Chef.
The Minatoura neighborhood has lots of yakitori (grilled chicken) and pub-style izakaya restaurants located near the Ikata Town Office.
- Kuishinbō (くいしん坊) (Just after the turn off from Melody Line to the Town Office.).
- Yakitori Ichiban (やきとり一番) (Along the main road).
- Hibari (妃芭里) (A few stores down from the Town Office.).
- Sakae (栄) (Behind the Town Office.).