Dogo Onsen, The Famous Ancient Hot Springs Of Ehime
ONSEN - HOT SPRINGS

Dogo Onsen, The Famous Ancient Hot Springs Of Ehime

Ehime 2017.04.20

Dogo Onsen is one of the famous Three Ancient Springs of Japan. This article introduces the medicinal benefits of these hot springs, how to reach Dogo Onsen and recommended lodgings in this historical hot spring town.

Translated byShinji Takaramura

Born in 1959. Currently working as a freelance translator, after 21 years in various companies.

Written by Yumiko Delor

Dogo Onsen

【愛媛県】「坊ちゃん湯」として親しまれている道後温泉へ行こう!

Photograph courtesy of Matsuyama City

Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama City (Ehime Prefecture) is located in the northeastern area of the Shikoku Region. This onsen (hot spring) area is mentioned in the "Nihon Shoki," a book of classical Japanese history completed in the year 720. Along with Arima Onsen and Shirahama Onsen, it is one of the Three Ancient Springs famous for their wonderful effects upon one's health.

Today, Dogo Onsen Honkan (main building) is known as Botchan Yu (Botchan's hot spring). Natsume Soseki, a Japanese author of the early 20th century, when Japan was on the route to modernization, visited Dogo Onsen and described the town in his work "Botchan". A drum sounds at 6 o'clock every morning to announce its opening.

The Medicinal Benefits of the Hot Springs

【愛媛県】「坊ちゃん湯」として親しまれている道後温泉へ行こう!

Photograph courtesy of Matsuyama City

Dogo Onsen has an alkalescent quality, so it is also fit for children and the elderly. The spring is said to be effective in treating exhaustion, stress, neuralgia and cold hands or feet. There are 29 hot spring sources, and eighteen of them are still being tapped. The temperature of the sources range from 20 to 55 degrees Celsius, and they are blended to be sent to various bathing facilities.

Access to Dogo Onsen

【愛媛県】「坊ちゃん湯」として親しまれている道後温泉へ行こう!

From Tokyo to Matsuyama Station

By Train

From Tokyo Station, take the JR Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station, and switch to the JR Express Shiokaze bound for Matsuyama Station. From Matsuyama Station, take the Iyo Railway bound for Dogo Onsen. The whole ride takes about seven and a half hours, and the fare for a shinkansen non-reserved seat is 19,420 yen.

By Plane

From Haneda Airport, both ANA and JAL operate six flights a day to Matsuyama Airport. The flight takes about one and a half hours, and the normal fare is 38590 yen. From Narita Airport, Jetstar operates three flights a day to Matsuyama Airport. The flight takes about one hour and 45 minutes, and the fare is from 6370 yen and up.
From Matsuyama Airport, it is a 40-minute ride on a highway bus to Dogo Onsen, and the fare is 460 yen.

By Bus

From Tokyo Station, Dream Matsuyama heads to Matsuyama Station via Shinjuku Station, and Orange Liner Ehime heads directly to Matsuyama Station from Shinjuku Station. They are both late-night buses, and the ride takes about twelve hours. The fare is from 5900 yen and up.
From Matsuyama Station, it is a 25-minute ride to Dogo Onsen on the Iyo Railway, and the fare is 160 yen.

From Osaka

By Train

From Shin-Osaka Station, take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station. Switch to the JR Express Shiokaze bound for Matsuyama Station, and ride the Iyo Railway bound for Dogo Onsen. The trip takes about five hours, and the fare for a shinkansen non-reserved seat is 10,570 yen.

By Plane

From Itami Airport to Matsuyama Aiport, ANA operates nine flights, and JAL operates three flights every day. Peach Aviation also operates one flight every day from Kansai International Aiport. The flight takes 50 minutes, and the normal fare for ANA and JAL is 21500 yen. The fare for Peach Aviation flights is from 3300 yen and up. From Matsuyama Airport, take the highway bus to Dogo Onsen.

By Bus

Orange Liner Ehime departs from Shin-Osaka Station. There are seven daytime buses and two late-night buses. The daytime bus takes about five hours and 40 minutes, and the late-night bus takes about seven hours. The fare is 6900 yen. From Matsuyama Station, take the Iyo Railway to Dogo Onsen.

From Fukuoka

By Train

From Hakata Station, take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station, and switch to the JR Express Shiokaze bound for Matsuyama Station. From Matsuyama Station, take the Iyo Railway bound for Dogo Onsen. The whole ride takes about five hours, and the fare for a shinkansen non-reserved seat is 15,980 yen.

By Plane

JAL operates four daily flights from Fukuoka Airport to Matsuyama Airport. The flight takes 40 minutes, and the normal fare is 25,800 yen. From Matsuyama Airport, take the highway bus to Dogo Onsen.

By Bus

Fukuoka Dogo Express, a late-night bus, departs from Hakata Station. The ride takes about nine and a half hours, and the fare is 8200 yen.

Bathing Spots for a One-day Trip

【愛媛県】「坊ちゃん湯」として親しまれている道後温泉へ行こう!

Photograph courtesy of Matsuyama City

Dogo Onsen Honkan

This onsen is also known as Botchan Yu. Visitors can choose from four bathing courses, and also view the Botchan no Ma (Botchan's room). Some courses offer snacks and a rental yukata.

Dogo Onsen Honkan
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama, Dogo-yunomachi 6-8
Fare: Adults from 410 yen and up (with tax), children from 160 yen and up (with tax)
Official Site: Dogo Onsen Honkan

Tsubaki no Yu

This public bathhouse is popular with the local residents and is a great spot where visitors can enjoy soaking in a large bathtub.

Dogo Onsen Tsubaki no Yu
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama, Dogo-yunomachi 19-22
Fare: Adults 400 (with tax), children 150 yen (with tax)
Official Site: Tsubaki no Yu

Hanayuzuki

This is the most luxurious bathing spot for a one-day trip. From the open-air bath on the roof, visitors can enjoy a great view of Matsuyama City. The glass-walled main bath is also spacious.

Hanayuzuki
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama, Dogo-yuzukicho 4-16
Fare: Adults 1500 yen (with tax), children 750 yen (with tax)
Official Site: Hanayuzuki (Japanese)

Places to Stay at Dogo Onsen

【愛媛県】「坊ちゃん湯」として親しまれている道後温泉へ行こう!

Funaya

Founded in 1627, this is the oldest ryokan (Japanese-style inn) in Dogo Onsen, and has been visited by Natsume Soseki and Masaoka Shiki. At this inn, guests can enjoy various types of bathtubs such as Japanese cypress and stone. There is also an open-air bath, sauna and a footbath in the garden.

Dogo Onsen Funaya
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama, Dogo-yunomachi 1-33
Official Site: Funaya (Japanese)

Dogo Onsen Chaharu

The open-air bath and the glass-walled main bath are both located on the roof, so guests can enjoy the view of Matsuyama Castle and Mount Ishizuchi. In the women's spa, there is also an open-air bath filled with rose petals.

Dogo Onsen Chaharu
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama, Dogo-yuzukicho 4-4
Official Site: Chaharu (Japanese)

Dogo Prince Hotel

At this hotel, guests can enjoy eight types of bathtubs in the open-air bathing space.

Dogo Prince Hotel
Address: Ehime, Matsuyama, Dogo-himezuka 100
Official Site: Dogo Prince Hotel

How to Enjoy Dogo Onsen

【愛媛県】「坊ちゃん湯」として親しまれている道後温泉へ行こう!

Photograph courtesy of Matsuyama City

There are unique sightseeing spots in Dogo Onsen such as the Botchan Karakuri Clock, which announces the time with music on the hour from 8:00-22:00, Dogo Arcade, Yu Jinja and Isaniwa Shrine. Visitors can also enjoy the great view from the hills of Dogo Park.

Matsuyama Castle, listed as one of the Japan's Top 100 Castles, offers a magnificent view of the Seto Inland Sea, so it is also worth a visit.

The climate of Matsuyama City is moderate with little rain, so visitors should dress accordingly to the seasonal weather.

What You Should Know About Bath Culture In Japan describes how to use a Japanese-style bath, so please take a look as well.

Read Also:

Visit The World Of "Botchan" - Matsuyama City In Ehime

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