Saturday, 5 May 2012

Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen, located in Matsuyama, in the 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 Shirahama Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture.

Dogo Onsen has seen a number of imperial personages, aristocrats and cultured people including successive Emperors since ancient times. Especially since Dogo-Onsen-Honkan was built in 1894, it has become a more famous hot spring representative of the best in Japan.

Dogo Onsen was also depicted in the famous novel "Botchan" by Soseki Natsume (1867-1916) who was a great literary figure in that era. Thank you Minoru for the book, Botchan! I’ve got the English version, in case you readers are wondering. ^^
 
 
The wooden three-storied Dogo-Onsen-Honkan is designated a national 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, and 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. Seeing the latter room is available on request.

Did we go in? No, we didn't. We are a penny-pinching family. We were just content looking at it from the outside. ^^

33 comments:

  1. Missed the Botchan train while in Matsuyama :|

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    1. We didn't managed to get on the Botchan tram. Saw it passed by though. ^^

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  2. I did a double take to see that old fashioned traditional looking place among all those modern buildings! :)

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    1. It sure is interesting. Modern hotels flanked a very traditional and historical not to mention famous building.

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  3. I agree with Jenny: it's almost a shock to see the onsen in the middle of a modern town. No forests and mountains? :( Ah well, never mind, the building itself is beautiful enough. How much does it cost to enter the baths?

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    1. When I first heard about Dogo Onsen, I thought it'd be somewhere tranquil like in a traditional onsen town and not right smack in the middle of modern hotels, ryokans and a shopping street!

      Errr... can't remember the fees. Lemme ask Zaini. Get back to you later!

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    2. The fees :

      Kami-no-yu (Water of the Gods), 1st floor: 400yen

      Kami-no-yu plus use of the lounge area, 2nd floor: 800yen

      Tama-no-yu (Water of the Spirits) plus use of the lounge area, 2nd floor: 1,200yen

      Tama-no-yu plus private room, 3rd floor: 1,500yen

      Which one would you prefer? ^^

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    3. The forests and mountains are actually about 100 metres away. :)

      As for the fees, it isn't that expensive. My friend did the 800 yen one, I think, and it is really nice to just relax up there from the picture he had. I didn't want to go because of the lines to get in. I heard you have to line up for everything. First to pay. Then to get a locker to undress. Then to use the shower. Then to bathe. Then to shower again and finally off to the rest area. I would hate to just stand naked in a row of men waiting to use the shower. :D However, next time I'll go on a weekday and go in the morning. Shouldn't be too busy then.

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    4. I guess I wouldn't mind paying the fees (cheapest one) but lining up to use the facilities is not my idea of a nice onsen experience. Well, it will be an experience... but I guess since it's not part of my culture to bath naked with everybody else too; I rather go to somewhere quieter. ;p

      Yeah,if I do make a return visit, I think I'd drop by on a weekday morning too. ^^

      How was the Hotaru Festival? I watched it on NHK last night. ;)

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    5. Tokyo Hotaru wasn't that great. Too many people and I nearly couldn't move for a bit. Oh well. I'll try again next year if they do it again. Probably no post on it by the lack of pictures I took. :(

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    6. Aaaahhh pity.

      Too big a crowd is certainly no fun.

      Hope they do it again and who knows? I might be there too! xD

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  4. Onsen at town area...wah...sure lots of people going in and out.

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    1. Dogo Onsen is famous all over Japan. A must go place when in that area. ^^

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  5. Some great looking buildings and almost worth the visit just to see these. I hear there is also quite a famous beautiful castle in Matsuyama as well :)

    Japan Australia

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    1. Yes, there is that castle.

      The one I took a shot of, way up in the hill. We intially wanted to go and visit it, but time constraint made us skip it.

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  6. I love the Onsen in Japan. Nice building.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Us too!

      Pity enjoying them in a nice place can be rather an expensive affair. ^^!

      Yes, that's a nice building. :)

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  7. It's an good architecture. I was impressed with the complexity of the roof. :)

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    1. I love it too. It is very intricate.

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  8. Such an impressive building! I want to go!!

    I was thinking of going to Hokkaido, you have any posts about it?

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    1. We've only been up to Hakodate so we don't really have any Hokkaido "specials" yet.

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  9. It looks quite popular with lots of foot traffic. The building stands out amongst the modern structures nearby.

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    1. Yup, plenty of foot traffic there, more so because we were there on a Sunday. :)

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  10. Ceh, I thought I'll be able to peep inside the onsen through Zaini's camera lens.

    Mana tau, you didn't get to go in *pull long face*

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    1. Hallo madam...
      wanna see naked photos ah? Cannot bring camera inside onsen lah! Public ones some more.

      So hansap! LOL

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  11. I like it how the Japanese preserved the old building in the midst of modern ones.

    This onsen really stands out in between the busyness of the city and it's the odd one with such beautifully craft architecture.

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    1. They are quite adapt at rebuilding old building - castles, temples, etc. xD

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  12. psst, is it expensive to get in?

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    1. Ceyy... no read comment section ah? I got answer already. ;)

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  13. Japanese architecture is always amazing. :D

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  14. I was happy to hear that you visited my hometown Matsuyama. I don't think you have to wait in line naked there. But it sure is better with less people in weekdays.

    Soseki Natsume was once an English teacher at a school in Matsuyama, and later he wrote his experience there in the novel "Bocchan." I graduated that school.\(^o^)/

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    1. Hi Merry Witch!

      You went to the same school as the one in the Botchan novel? So cool!

      I hope no students was as naughty as the ones depicted in that novel. ;p

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