Ainan (愛南町 Ainan-chō) is a large town made up of smaller village suburbs in southern Ehime Prefecture, on the island of Shikoku in Japan. The Kanji in Ainan is ‘love’ and ‘south’, so not only a beautiful place, but a beautiful name too.
Ainan is known for its fishing and agriculture industries which produce a variety of products, including bonito, red snapper, squid, and mikan oranges. In addition, Kanjizaiji is located in Ainan. Kanjizaiji is a Shingon Buddhist temple and one of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Ainan is located between the mountains of southern Ehime and the Pacific Ocean, on the border with Kochi prefecture.
The Sozu river runs though Ainan and is often a site for fishing, bike rides, and picnics for the local residents.
Due to its rural location, Ainan is home to several nature parks and offers scuba diving and glass-bottom boat rides to nearby Kashima island. However, there are no train lines that run to the city. For those who can make their way to Ainan by rent-a-car or another form of transport, it is a hidden gem, off the beaten track and full of beauty and adventure.