【Teaser Trip】Ehime / DOGO ONSEN / The Oldest Hot Spring in Japan / Including its Shopping Arcade and the Square
What we'll do
I would like to show you around Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime. This is one of the most popular tourism attractions in Japan. There are many spots worth seeing, but the most valuable among them is the HONKAN building, which is a national cultural asset. It is under construction work now, but visible enough for us. Another big attraction is Asuka-no-Yu, which is a recent annex to this resort. Its name has come from the Asuka Period (538-710), because Dogo Onsen was mentioned already in Japan's oldest historical records which date back to this Asuka Period. Prince Shotoku, who appears in Japan's history of around 600, anecdotally visited this hot spring in 596, with his attendants, and took a bath in this hot spring. I am very happy to have a chance to read in front of you the verse Prince Shotoku composed, praising its excellence, at that time. The shopping arcade is also popular with people thanks to a good combination of interesting shops. Your final destination is a square, where a tram service station is and you can see a big clock. Matsuyama could be said to be a town of literature. Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) is a great master of literature in modern history. He once lived here before he became a novelist. He later wrote a very famous novel with the title of "Botchan," based on his experiences in Matsuyama. And the novel's setting is Matsuyama and Dogo Onsen. "Botchan" means "a young guy born and raised in a wealthy family." You will hear "Botchan, Botchan, Botchan......" I am looking forward to explaining about the story related to such things for you. And I hope you will come to Dogo Onsen some day in the future.
- Price per person (tax included)
- 2,750 JPY - / person
- Max participants
- Up to 10 people
- Hosted in English
- Communication tools
- Please download Zoom in advance.
- Best for enjoying Japan
- Things you need to know before the tour
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The most valuable facility in this resort. A public bathhouse operated by Matsuyama city government. A national cultural asset, which is only one case of many hot springs in Japan. It is said that Japanese animated film "Spirited Away" was created after this HONKAN building, which has a beautiful shape.
2Tsubaki-no-Yu and Asuka-no-Yu
Other public bathhouse is Tsubaki-no-Yu, which is loved by local people. "Tsubaki" means camellia. Camellias have thrived in this region since ancient times. And their flowers are designated as a symbol flower of Matsuyama city.
Asuka-no-Yu is a recently added facility to the resort., which is also a public bathhouse. It has a unique and nice architectural style adopted from that of the period called the Asuka Period (538-710). A small tower on the top of the roof resembles "Yumedono," or Hall of Dreams in Horyu-ji Temple in Nara, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site now, and is said to be established by Prince Shotoku in the early 7th century. I have worked out a good idea by which you can see the inside of Asuka-no-Yu. You can expect much here.
3The shopping arcade
This shopping arcade is a must visit. It's not so big, but very attractive because of a good tenant mix. A street extends about 450 yards from HONKAN to the place where a station is, with a left-turning corner in the middle. Around 60 shops or restaurants are facing the street. While walking through this arcade, I'd like to stop by at some spots, and give you information. A rice cracker shop, traditional foot ware shop, towel goods shop, mikan orange-related shop, Japanese sweets shop, interesting souvenir shop, Japanese meal restaurant, pottery shop, "dango" dumpling cake-selling shop, bamboo product shop, chopsticks shop, cheese cake shop, bean sweets shop, another mikan orange-related shop, and information center.
A lot of interesting shops. I am sure you will never be bored.
4A square where a station is and a big clock stands
When you finish walking through the arcade, you will reach the place with a square. Here is a station named Dogo Onsen Station for the city tram service, which is operated by a private company, Iyotetsu Railway Company. The company was established in 1887 as a second private railway service company in Japan. Th station was built in 1895, 126 years ago when the light railway service was extended to this hot spring resort. And in 1986, 35 years ago, the station building was rebuilt with its original architectural style kept. Starbucks opened its cafe on the first floor in 2017, giving the area a kind of mixture of the old and new.
A big clock which stands in this square is one of the popular tourism attractions here. You can see some scene every 30 minutes. I would say that is what you will be able to see on your tour day.
Your final destination is "Ashiyu, " or footbath, where you can soak your feet, sitting on the bench. You can feel the same water warmth as that in the public baths.
with gratitude for everything
Hi, everyone. I am Kazuo Itoh. Please call me Kazuo in short. Welcome to Japan! At the same time, I sympathize with you staying in Japan now at a special time. Japan is still on the alert for COVID-19, so you must be hard fully enjoying yourself while staying in a hotel. I understand that you are in the environment with a lot of restrictions. So I recommend you enjoy traveling in Japan online for diversion.