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Japan Travel Guide - Tourist Information - Hot Springs - Dogo Onsen
att. Hot Springs - Dogo Onsen
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Dogo Onsen
att.JAPAN Issue 38, January 2008

Dogo Onsen

map Dogo OnsenLocated at the base of 1,584 meter high Mt. Yufu-dake, Yufuin Onsen invites approximately four million visitors a year to enjoy its abundant hot spring water. Yufuin Onsen is ranked to have the third richest volume of water in all of Japan, so is well established as an onsen town.

Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, has a long history and is one of the three oldest hot springs in Japan along with Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture and Shirahma Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture. Dogo Onsen has attracted a number of imperial families, aristocrats and cultured people including successive Emperors since ancient times. Especially since Dogo-Onsen-Honkan was built in 1894, it became a more famous hot spring representative of the best in Japan. Dogo Onsen was depicted in the famous novel "Botchan" by Soseki Natsume (1867-1916), who was a great literary figure in that era. Soseki Natsume made Dogo Onsen more popular throughout Japan by featuring it in his novel.

The wooden three-storied Dogo-Onsen-Honkan was designated as a nationally important cultural property. A clock in Shinrokaku, which is a small tower on the roof, strikes three times a day in the morning, noon and evening respectively. There is the "Kami-no-yu" bath on the first floor, the "Tama-no-yu" bath and relaxation area for those who bathe in both baths are on the second floor. On the third floor, there are private rooms for users of "Tama-no-yu" bath and "Botchan-no-ma," which is a room associated with Soseki Natsume the great literary figure. Seeing the room is available on request.

The town of Dogo Onsen has a lot of Onsen-ryokan, which are Japanese-style hotels with hot spring baths, and other hotels, centered on Dogo-Onsen-Honkan. The L-shaped Dogo shopping mall stretches from Dogo-Onsen-Honkan to the street-car Dogo-onsen Station. Souvenir shops and restaurants line the mall and a public bathhouse "Tsubaki-no-yu" is at the intersection of the L-shaped mall. It is a white-walled, storehouse-style building and creates a different atmosphere from that of Dogo-Onsen-Honkan which was constructed in a wooden castle-style design. You can enjoy seeing a karakuri-dokei, which is a gadget clock, and a bathtub which was used in the Meiji-era (1867-1912) in Hojoen, a small park in front of Dogo-onsen Station. Also you have the chance to soak your feet in a foot-bath in the park.

How to bathe in an Onsen

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