Monday, 7 May 2012

At The Station : Dogo Onsen

It's a street-car/tram station. Quaint station.

The station is known as the doorway to Dogo Onsen; the oldest hot spring spa in Japan - all 3,000 years worth of history there. What stories can the onsen tell us? No wonder it is said that the onsen is an inspiration for the animated movie "Spirited Away". Even without knowing it before, I thought of "Spirited Away" when I saw Dogo Onsen. ^^

The Dogo Onsen station embodies the charm of Meiji era (1868-1912). However, the current building is not the original Meiji era building but was rebuilt in 1986 and identical to the original one that was outdated. Iyo Railway had initially wanted to turn the old station into a terminal building complete with a hotel and a shopping centre but locals (and local businesses) opposed to the plan and urged for the preservation of the station building.

I don't know about you, but I think it would be quite incongruous to have such modern replacement for the station, what with Dogo Onsen just a few minutes away from the station!

Not that the surrounding area really is in harmony with the 110 years old three-storey timber structure, important cultural property that is Dogo Onsen. heh
The Botchan Reesha, a diesel powered replica of the original Iyotetsu matchbox-like streetcar that operated in Matsuyama between 1888 - 19654.

The tram operates once an hour all year round (trips varies for weekends and holidays).
We didn't get on the Botchan Reesha on our way back to Matsuyama Station. We got on this instead. 150yen per trip.
The interior of the tram we took. Very retro looking interior, don't you think?

That guy in white pants was going for a run at a nearby park. He got on at a station near a hotel and got off a few stops later, but not before I saw his stuff (ID, phone, cash) neatly packed in a clear plastic case. That folks, is a sign of a runner, going for a run. Zaini mentioned that he should have just run from his hotel to the park. I totally agree with Zaini. hehe

17 comments:

  1. Thank heavens the locals had more common sense than the railway company! It's a beautiful station and that retro-looking train is just perfect.

    Talking about stations, I wonder when Tokyo Station's renovations will be finished. That should be beautiful, too! ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Common sense & business sense too!

      I'd suspect they are more worried about having a big mall there as their competitor? xD

      When is Tokyo Station's renovation expected to be completed anyway? Seems like it's been AGES!

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  2. Tired travels don't have far to walk to the onsen. Or, they can jog there. ;)

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    1. The onsen is really near to the station. No need to jog. Just a hop. ;p

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  3. I love this place! Will definitely put it on the hit list for Japan. The station looks so cute and love the replica diesel :)

    Japan Australia

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    Replies
    1. I think taking a ride on the Botchan streetcar is a must to those visiting Dogo Onsen! ^^

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  4. You missed that Botchan Reesha? That train is antique and still working every hour? Not bad!

    Malaysia old train is still working, but under-maintained!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That second sentence is unfortunately so very true.

      We might have first class infrastructure but we also have 3rd world maintenance culture. Non-existent in fact! :(

      Delete
  5. I like the old-feel of the station, but the background (newer building in the 1st pic), ahem, kinda spoilt my mood :p

    Don't get me wrong, you can crop the hind scenery and let me indulge in 19th century.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The place has a "weird" mix of old and new. Much like the rest of Japan too where the very old sits comfortable beside the very new.

      It's interesting though. ^^

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  6. So quiet in the train. I always wanted to take a snap shot inside the train, but most of the time I am not feeling comfortable of doing so. I tried and there was a man starred at me angrily. :D

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    Replies
    1. I would pretend I'm taking a photo of my travel companion. And take photo of something else. In trains. On buses. On planes. xD

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  7. Hi! lina. Thank you very much for writing my name in your former blog. I was sick for 10 days, in bed or watching TV each day . But I could go a trip with my wife from 5th in this month.
    I went to see Matuyama castle and took 2 baths in Dogo Onsen. I hope you will go there and take baths.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor you! Are you feeling all better now?

      You just came back from Shikoku and enjoyed Dogo Onsen & visited Matsuyama Castle? I am so envious. ;)

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  8. Oh, I love Botchan Ressha. As you may know, "Botchan" is a very famous novel written by Soseki Natsume. I read most his novels in my childhood. It's very impressive. :)

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    Replies
    1. Reading the novel and then connecting the dots of the places we visited was fun. ^^

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  9. I don't think it was a retro looking interior in that tram. I think it was really THAT old. :)

    ReplyDelete

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