A beautiful hot spring inn that springs up to the richness of the four seasons
Relax to your heart's content, surrounded by a beautiful natural panorama
from the largest open-air bath in western Japan.
This resort hotel is located in the deep valley of the Ishite River a short distance from Matsuyama city. The spring water that supplies Dogo Onsen rises here, feeding the baths of the hotel too.
The spacious main building follows the curve of the Ishite River gorge with its windows facing the steep, forested slope of Mt. Sugitate. The patio of the hotel overlooking the river features an extensive outdoor bath complex, with seven different kinds of hot spring bath.
Built in 1969 and refurbished frequently since then, the hotel retains features from the latter part of the last century, including the magnificent 1970s-style lounge with its wine-red velour armchair stools. There are both Japanese and western-style guest rooms.
Surrounded by nature, the hotel is a thoroughly relaxing environment where you can experience the different seasons of Shikoku from the guest rooms, lounge and baths. From late March to early April, the sakura blossoms, followed by the brilliant green of spring. In late November to early December, the surrounding mountains are dappled with the reds and yellows of autumn.
The seasons are also reflected in the luxurious cuisine featuring the fresh produce of the Setouchi region served in the elegant banquet room, and the buffet-style dinner.
Located at the source of the Dogo hot spring, the hotel makes the most of this high-quality spa water. The simple alkaline sulphur springs have a pH of 9.4, cleansing the skin leaving it feeling smooth. In addition to the outdoor bathing complex, you can enjoy the ultimate luxury of a hot tub on your balcony in the hotel’s select suite rooms.
The hotel is conveniently placed for sightseeing around Matsuyama and beyond. Regular bus services go from a stop in front of the hotel to the main attractions of Matsuyama.
Here are some recommended spots where you can feel Japan at this facility.
Within the hotel grounds is a beautiful tended Japanese garden with several teahouses that were rebuilt on this site. Various illustrious historical personages were known to frequent them at their original locations.
Extending from the hotel grounds is a path beside the Ishite River through the rocky gorge known as Wakigafuchi. Picturesque arched bridges with red balustrades span the deep pools between cascades. Legend has it that in the early 1600s, a beautiful woman would appear and lure travelers to their death in the gorge. The lord of a nearby castle sent his son to investigate. From a concealed position he saw a mysterious woman emerging from the deepest pool, so he shot her with his musket, whereupon she turned into a huge snake which writhed around in the pool, staining the river red for three days. Today, Wakigafuchi is a peaceful place that’s beautiful in every season.
There are things to do within walking distance of the hotel, and more a short bus ride away in Matsuyama.
This large and fascinating temple is central to the origin story of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. Emon Saburo, who became the first pilgrim, was reborn through the intercession of the Buddhist saint Kukai clutching a stone in his hand. He was brought to this temple where an exorcism was performed allowing him to release his grip on the stone. The temple grounds include an impressive pagoda, a series of tunnels, and many weird sculptures. A huge statue of Kukai stands on a hill behind the temple.
Dogo Onsen is the first hot spring recorded in Japanese history, and its exquisite Meiji period bathhouse was the inspiration for the animation Spirited Away. Dogo has the feeling of a little spa town with its several public baths, its lively arcade packed with restaurants, cafés and shops, and visitors strolling in yukata robes. The moated Dogo Park, site of a medieval castle, is a relaxing spot
ne of just twelve castles with an original tower dating from the Edo period, Matsuyama Castle is dramatically located on a high hill in the city offering a stunning view of Matsuyama, the Seto Inland Sea, and Mt. Ishizuchi, the highest mountain in western Japan. The castle is very well preserved, and inside there are many interesting exhibits of weapons, armour, architecture and feudal life.