Dogo Onsen in Ehime is the oldest spa resort in Japan
The hot spring is not only for humans
The history of Dogo Onsen starts with the unique legend of white heron. In ancient times, people found one white injured heron. The heron came to where hot water splashing from rocks and soaked every day. Finally, the heron was healed and flew away. People wondered and tried to bath themselves into the hot water. It was the hot spring and they realized that they felt well and even sickness was healed. The place is called “Sagidani(鷺谷)”, the valley of heron in Japanese, is near from Dogo Onsen. Ever since then the reputation of Dogo Onsen was flourished throughout the country for long time.
The landmark of Dogo Onsen
It is no doubt to say "Dogo Onsen Honkan" is the symbol of its area. It is one of oldest public bathhouses in Japan. The architecture is built in 1894. The wooden exterior and black tile roof produce the aesthetic atmosphere and it was said as a model of Hayao Miyazaki’s film “Spirited Away.” It is surprising but today you can still take the bath here. There are two types of stone bathrooms “Tama-no-yu” and “Kamino-yu”. In addition, this bathhouse has several rooms that you can relax after the bath. Rooms are either a small private room or a big lounge-ish style. Both rooms are decorated in the traditional way and gives you how Japan in old times looked like.
More options to enjoy Dogo Onsen
Besides Dogo Onsen Honkan, strolling the town is also fun. There are footbath areas (even handbath too) in the town and it is free. Shops and restaurants are gathered so you can have regional food as well. "Botchan Ressha" is a small locomotive and runs in Matsuyama City near Matsuyama Castle. This is another option to see Matsuyama City where the historical atmosphere still exists.
From Tokyo, it is about 75 minutes to get Matsuyama Airport. From Matsuyama Airport, take the airport limousine bus for 40 minutes and get off at Dogo Onsen Stop.
Address: 5-6 Dogo Yunomachi, Matsuyama City, Ehime 790-0842 (Dogo Onsen Honkan)
Tel：+81-(0)89-921-5141 (Dogo Onsen Honkan)
Dogo Onsen holds about 3000 years of history, and is one of the most famous hot springs in Japan. Appearing even in important ancient documents, it is said to be Japan's oldest hot springs. Moreover, It was awarded three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan, and was the first public bath in Japan to become a National Important Cultural Property. Because it was frequented by famous people throughout history, and is associated with numerous legend myths, it is a bustling area even today.
Dogo Hot Spring is the oldest hot spring in Japan, dating back three thousand years. Its main public bath house was built in 1894. On its centennial in 1994, it was designated as a national important culutural asset, the first hot spring facility to obtain this honor in Japan. The bathhouse in the animated movie "Spirited Away" was modeled after this building.
The hot spring water is alkaline. It is rich in minearls and cures rheumatism, skin diseases, cuts and muscular pain.
Please relax after your tiring trip and enjoy Dogo Hot Spring that has been loved many people.