A Meiji Period wooden bathhouse where the Imperial Family choose to bathe.
Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama is one of Japan's oldest onsen hot spring resorts, dating back over 1,000 years. The main wooden bathhouse was built in 1884 and to this day a bathroom is still specially reserved for the Imperial Family. The bathhouse is a maze of narrow stairways, wooden passages and bathrooms always busy with onsen bathers. It is said to have provided the inspiration for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli animation Spirited Away.
Please note: In January 2019 a major restoration project set to last for seven years began on Dogo Onsen. During this time part or all of the building will be covered in scaffolding, but two of the baths will remain open to the public.
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Discover the road less travelled
Are you looking for more depth of cultural insight, with experiences that take you away from the tourist trail? This tour gives you both, liberating you from the pressure of ticking off destinations or visiting “must-see” locations and steering you instead towards the road less travelled.