Visiting Dogo Onsen That has About 3000 Years of History | FAST JAPAN
Dogo Onsen
Ehime

Visiting Dogo Onsen That has About 3000 Years of History

Dogo Onsen is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan and has about 3000 years of history. It is said that the bath in the film "Spirited Away" was partly modeled on Dogo Onsen.

Dogo Onsen – One of The Oldest Hot Springs

Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen located in Matsuyama city, Ehime prefecture, Shikoku, is well-known as one of the three most oldest hot springs in Japan. The origin can date back to one old legend, which says people discovered the hot spring  about 3000 years ago when they found one white heron bathing in the spa, healing itself and came to know the benefits of the hot spring.

Dogo Onsen

According to another legend, it is said that Japanese deities in the mythology visited here and healed themselves and recovered from a serious illness. This old hot spring remaining from the ancient time was frequently visited by many famous celebrated writers or poets and even Emperors in the history.

Dogo Onsen Honkan,the main building and the symbol of Dogo Onsen, opens at 6:00 am with the sound of drumming coming from the watchtower on the rooftop. The drum hung from the top is beaten three times a day to announce the time (at 6 am, noon and 6 pm) now, it used to be 24times ,every one hour in the old days when no one used a watch. This classical sound was selected for one of the 100 soundscapes of Japan.

Dogo Onsen

The main building was built in 1894,and designated as the first national important cultural property as a public bathhouse in 1994,and received three stars in the Michelin Guide for the first time as a tourist spot in Shikoku area in 2007. The three story, creaky-looking, wooden building with narrow corridors and stairs inside may remind some of you the bathhouse in “Spirited Away”, the award-winning animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. It is said that the bath in the film was partly modeled on the Honkan main building.

 

4 Courses of Bathing

You can choose from two types of baths on the first floor, one is called Kami no Yu (Bath of the Gods) and the other is smaller but more refined Tama no Yu (Bath of the Spirits). Each one is divided into two parts for men and for women.
There are two lounge rooms on the second floor,one is for Kami no Yu, and the other is for Tama no Yu, and on the 3rd floor are the private rooms for Tama no Yu users.

#1. Kami no Yu 1st Floor Course

・Bathing only
・Bathing Fees 410 yen / 1 hour
・Opening Hours 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM (entrance until 10:30 PM)

 

#2. Kami no Yu  2nd Floor Course

・Including 2nd floor lounge usage
・Bathing Fees 840 yen / 1 hour
・Opening Hours 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM (entrance until 9:00 PM)

Guests can rest in the 2nd floor lounge after bathing and served with Japanese tea and rice crackers.

 

#3. Tama no Yu 2nd Floor Course

・Including 2nd floor lounge usage and a tour to the Emperor’s special bath
・Bathing Fees 1,240 yen / 1 hour
・Opening Hours 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM (entrance until 9:00 PM)

Guests can rest in the 2nd floor lounge after bathing and served with Japanese tea and rice crackers.
※Kami no Yu is also available.

 

#4. Tama no Yu 3rd Floor Cours

・Including 3rd floor private rooms and a tour to the Emperor’s special bath
・Bathing Fees 1550 yen / 80 minutes
・Opening Hours 6:00am ~ 10:00pm (entrance until 20:40pm)

Guests can rest in the 3rd floor private rooms after bathing and served with Japanese tea and Botchan dango, which is one of typical Dogo souvenir sweets.
※Kami no Yu is also available.
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Website: Dogo Onsen (Japanese)

 

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