Dogo Onsen: enjoy an historic onsen and fine onsen town
Located in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, in the north-west part of Shikoku Island, Dogo Onsen is one of the oldest onsen in Japan and its history is said to date back more than 3,000 years. This onsen has achieved nationwide fame since olden times, with the legend that the Prince Shotoku Taishi, the famous, semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period (592-710), visited this onsen to partake of the waters, and it has long been a favorite of some members of the Imperial Family.
The alkaline spring water with low levels of dissolved substances is mild and said to be effective for hydropathic and cosmetic purposes. The temperatures of the 18 spring sources ranges from 20 to 55 degrees Celsius. By blending water from these sources, an optimal temperature is achieved to provide 100% natural spring water without heating nor adding water. This style is one of the features of Dogo Onsen and is very rare in onsen of Japan.
The most attractive aspect of the Dogo Onsen town is its quaint streetscape. Among other buildings in the area, the Dogo Onsen Honkan main building, which was built in the Meiji period (1868-1912), is a three-storied wooden building that has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. There are several bath areas, including “Kami no Yu” on the first floor, which is available at a relatively reasonable price, and a luxury “Tama no Yu” on the 2nd floor, which was made for the members of the Imperial Family. In addition to a private room that appears in Botchan, a semi-autographical novel by Natsume Soseki, one of the most prominent Japanese novelists, offers a place for visitors to relax inside the building with its historic atmosphere. The building is a symbol of Dogo Onsen, which attracts not only tourists but is also loved by local people.
Opened in 2017 as Dogo Onsen Annex, Asuka no Yu is characterized by the building style of the Asuka period. You can enjoy various bathing rooms, such as a spacious large bath rooms, open-air baths, and a special bathing room that is a replica of “Yushinden,” the bathing room at Dogo Onsen Honkan exclusively for use of the Imperial Family. Pay attention to the beautiful decor using traditional crafts of Ehime Prefecture.
The south side of the Honkan has an observation path, from which you can command a panoramic view of the Dogo Onsen area. With a footbath fed with 100% natural hot spring water, we highly recommend this spot to enjoy the streetscape of Dogo Onsen in a relaxing atmosphere.
Located close to major sightseeing sites, such as Matsuyama Castle and SHIMANAMI KAIDO cycling road, Dogo Onsen is one of the oldest onsen in Japan and has long been popular with all walks of people, from locals to famous writers and other public figures. While enjoying the pleasant streetscape, you can think about the old days of the history-rich town.
Haneda Airport -> 90 min by air -> Matsuyama Airport -> 45 min by limousine bus -> Dogo Onsen Sta.
Dogo Onsen Administrative office
*The information herein is as of April 2021.