Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture


2018.02.19

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

  • There are few natural hot springs that rival Ehime Prefecture’s Dogo Onsen. Since the waters were discovered over 1,000 years ago Matsuyama City has been frequented by onsen lovers travelling from miles around to bathe in the relaxing hot spring water. With a whole area dedicated to the spring’s extra hot water, the iconic 120-year-old Dogo Onsen Honkan takes the centre stage while other ryokan, shops, and restaurants provide plenty of entertainment for a full day out.

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen is synonymous with the Dogo Onsen Honkan, a sprawling hot spring day spa impressive enough to have inspired the mystical public bath house that mesmerised audiences in the Ghibli classic “Spirited Away”. While the onsen has been enjoyed for over 1,000 years, the honkan wasn’t built until 1894 when it was placed in the middle of Matsuyama City as a means of celebrating the natural healing water. And celebrate it does; sporting two different onsen as well as resting rooms where you’re served tea and snacks over three floors with a choice of four different bathing courses available, the options are endless. Guests are invited to enjoy a bathe in the Tama-no-yu on the top floor or a dip in the public Kami-no-yu on the lower floors.

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Not just limited to the main building, Dogo Onsen comprises several buildings both modern and traditional wooden structures that include the grand Asuka-no-yu and Tsubaki-no-yu. The Dogo Onsen is set just five minutes’ walk from Dogo Onsen Station and a five-minute train ride from the access point to Matsuyama Castle. Guests at the Prince Hotel have the added benefit of being taken directly to Dogo Onsen Honkan on a free ride around Matsuyama in the somewhat conspicuous Retro Roman-go.

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    While the Dogo Onsen area is mainly dominated by its hot spring ryokan, there are plenty of other activities to keep visitors busy in between lazy hour-long soaks. One of the area’s most recognisable attractions is the Botchan Wind Up Clock. Hiding several characters from the popular Matsuyama-based novel Botchan, they pop out to perform a clockwork movement show on the hour every hour. The Dogo Shopping Arcade houses multifarious shops including all the necessities such as a 100 yen shop, clothes shops, and souvenir shops. This is also a good place to stop off for a coffee break or dinner.

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen: The Ancient Hot Springs of Ehime Prefecture

    Dogo Onsen
    place
    Ehime Matsuyama-shi Dogoyunomachi
    phone
    0899213708
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    Matsuyama Castle
    place
    Ehime Pref. Matsuyamashi Marunouchi
    phone
    0899214873
    opening-hour
    [Ropeway] 8:30-17:30 (Aug. U…
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    Dogo Haikara Dori
    rating

    4.0

    113 Reviews
    place
    Ehime Matsuyama-shi Dogoyunomachi 15-23
    phone
    0899315856
    opening-hour
    Depending on the store
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