Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Japan's Mystical Bath House: Inside Dogo Onsen

  • Welcome to Shikoku, one of Japan's 4 main islands.

  • This time we're in the city of Matsuyama

  • where I'm going to betaking a bath.

  • But it's not just a bath here at historic Dogo Onsen.

  • Dogo Onsen is Japan's most famous public bath house

  • with natural hot springs.

  • So where is Dogo Onsen and Matsuyama?

  • Shikoku Island

  • Matsuyama is on the coast of Ehime Prefecture

  • A scenic ferry ride from Hiroshima or

  • a 70-minute flight from Tokyo.

  • Matsuyama Castle is up on the hill

  • right in the city center.

  • Just a short tram ride away from here

  • is Dogo Onsen Station

  • I'm right down there in front of the Dogo Onsen Honkan

  • There are loads of attractions here in Matsuyama but

  • for me, it's all about this

  • The Dogo Experience

  • So grab your towel, your yukata and your geta

  • and let's go!

  • The best time to go is in the morning.

  • But before we take a dip in the bath,

  • let look around the exterior

  • of this historic and mystical building.

  • The angles.

  • The shadows.

  • The colors.

  • Every corner has an interesting story to tell.

  • The back has a fire protected copper roof

  • which has turned green.

  • Mostly wood with sliding paper and glass doors.

  • From dayto night.

  • Dogo Onsen's exterior is more vibrant

  • when it's lit up.

  • At night

  • it can even get a little spooky.

  • Never fear. Bath time is here.

  • Late night bath time at Dogo Onsen!

  • This is the changing room for men.

  • I got special permission to film here after hours.

  • The lockers are free

  • The key is on a band that goes around your wrist.

  • In fact, the key is all you'll be wearing.

  • Here there are amenities like in most public baths.

  • You can bring your own soap and shampoo

  • or buy it for a very reasonable price.

  • We start in the historical TAMA NO YU

  • orBath of the Spiritson the 2nd floor.

  • It's small and requires a pricer ticket

  • meaning it's less crowded and more private.

  • It was made for the imperial family members

  • and their attendants

  • but now it's for you.

  • Let's swing over to the ladies KAMI NO YU bath.

  • It's quite spacious and luxurious

  • the water spouting from the centre like a fountain.

  • The tiled art tells the story of Dogo Onsen's history.

  • And this is the men's general KAMI NO YU bath

  • where I'll be taking my dip tonight.

  • so grab a bucket and stool

  • rinse off

  • and then get in.

  • This is the bath.

  • This is KAMI NO YU.

  • This is the first bath that people come to

  • it's open to the general public

  • without any extra charge

  • Now the water here is quite deep

  • deeper than most onsen

  • If I sit -

  • It could probably go up to eye level.

  • Now this water coming out

  • is natural.

  • It's coming from the cracks in the earth.

  • It's been doing that for

  • They say for over 3000 years.

  • You can see on the top a white heron.

  • The white bird.

  • The myth goes that the white heron came

  • here with a broken leg every day

  • until the waters naturally healed

  • the heron's leg, and it flew away.

  • The white heron also known as the Great Egret

  • is an important symbol of the onsen

  • highlighting the onsen's healing properties.

  • It's even on the very top of the building.

  • I usually stay in the onsen for about 15 minutes.

  • It was a really special experience to have

  • the whole bath to myself.

  • If you want a similar experience

  • Try going first thing in the morning.

  • Dogo Onsen opens at 6:00am

  • to the beat of a taiko drum in the tower.

  • The first one in gets the bath to themselves.

  • Just don't expect to be alone for long.

  • It's usually very crowded by 7am.

  • Morning and evenings are the busiest times.

  • This is the general ticket for entrance to the bath only.

  • You can rent a yukata and have a snack

  • for an extra charge

  • which is well worth it for first timers.

  • Right! So ...

  • I just finished taking a bath

  • and I'm here on the 2nd floor lounge area.

  • It's one big tatami room

  • with lots of places where people can sit.

  • and with the course which I purchased

  • I have a green tea and senbei set

  • and after soaking in the hot bath

  • which is about 42 ~ 43°C

  • being up here on the 2nd floor is great because

  • you have a cool breeze

  • coming through the windows

  • through the openings here.

  • It feels ...

  • FANTASTIC!

  • I love this because

  • this is a whole experience

  • it's not just entering the bath

  • taking a bath, this is

  • taking a bath, coming up here and relaxing

  • and completing putting the outside world

  • in another place

  • and absorbing

  • Japan! And absorbing Dogo Onsen and the history.

  • There's a lot of history, too.

  • You can't stay the night in this building

  • but there are loads of ryokan nearby for that.

  • Visitors come in their hotel yukata

  • and a basket with their soap and shampoo.

  • The snack ticket is perfect for those on day trips

  • who want to get a taste of the experience.

  • I went upstairs to the 3rd floor to learn more about the onsen

  • from the manager who is waiting for me

  • in a private tatami room.

  • I had loads of questions to ask Shibata-san

  • starting with this building.

  • This building is 300 or 400 years old, isn't it?

  • It seems really old.

  • This building itself is 122 years old.

  • Built in 1894.

  • After renovations and additional construction,

  • it's what you see now.

  • On this side it's greenand there, it's black ...

  • Here (in the back) you can see

  • the black gradually becomes green

  • Amazingly, it fits well.

  • It really does.

  • The main building is really interesting

  • to see from the front and probably

  • from all different angles where you can also see

  • where the building has evolved

  • with the new additions over the years.

  • This building is one building but

  • when you see it from different angles

  • it can look like a different building

  • And that's pretty interesting.

  • An interesting building like this has

  • a lot of interesting places.

  • Shibata-san took me down to the YUSHINDEN

  • on the east side of the building.

  • it's reserved for the royal family.

  • The GYOKUZA NO MA bathroom is used

  • exclusively for the emperor.

  • It's interesting to think that the emperor and

  • the citizens bath in the same house

  • although he has't been here since 1950.

  • Maybe it's because of the royal toilet

  • No washlet or heated seat here.

  • Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY animation

  • Yes!

  • After seeing itis there a connection?

  • I have heard that Hayao Miyazaki had

  • mentioned Dogo Onsen as one of his inspiration

  • for the model of the movie.

  • Of course there was a model of so many building,

  • but I heard Dogo Onsen was one of them.

  • I heard it was the building, especially the

  • KARAHARU wave structure of the roof

  • at the main building's entrance

  • and the top of the roof.

  • You can see where the building's design inspired Ghibli

  • with the bath house in spirited away.

  • SPIRITED AWAY won an oscar in 2003

  • forBest Animated Feature".

  • How does Dogo Onsen handle bathers with

  • Body Art and Tattoos?

  • I was also surprised to learn that

  • Japan's oldest onsen is also

  • tattoo friendly

  • I feel this is a really are onsen because

  • tattoos are okay here.

  • That's right. Tattoos are okay here.

  • But why here?

  • At nearly every sent or resort I visited

  • Bathers with attoos were prohibited.

  • Tattoos are part of the underworld culture and

  • and many Japanese citizens fear the sight of them.

  • So there's a general ban to everyone that's inked.

  • But how could Japan's oldest and most traditional bath

  • also be the most welcoming?

  • Well, different kinds of people come here.

  • Of course visitors from abroad

  • and people with tattoos as well

  • Many types of people visit here

  • so as part of our hospitality

  • we decided to welcome all people

  • even people with tattoos

  • so everyone can enjoy Dogo Onsen equally.

  • So there you go!

  • There's at least one famous onsen for those with tattoos.

  • You can wear your yukata around the Dogo Onsen streets

  • where you'll find lots to eat.

  • Ehime Prefecture is famous for oranges and mikans

  • and at this shop,

  • you can get freshly squeezed juice or

  • Mikan Beer.

  • It really hits the spot on those hottest of days.

  • and then, there's this

  • BOCCHAN DANGO

  • Instead of mochi, it's made from azuki bean paste.

  • It's named after Soseki Natsume's novel BOCCHAN.

  • I love the cafe right across form Dogo Onsen

  • where you can get an amazing view of the building

  • as well as a cup of matcha,

  • Matsuyama's famous tart

  • and a side stick of Bocchan dango.

  • If you're looking for something harder than tea,

  • try the Dogo Brewery restaurant across from there.

  • It serves locally made craft beers

  • and food like this plate of

  • beer infused fried fish paste

  • which goes great with a brew.

  • This is my 3rd time to Dogo Onsen

  • and it certainly won't be my last.

  • There are many reasons to visit Japan

  • but if you want to put relaxation in the center

  • surrounded by history, food and fun

  • there are few places better than Dogo Onsen.

  • See you there.

  • Next time: Udon Noodle Adventure

  • Please support the channel by subscribing

  • and check out location photos and Q&A on Instagram

  • Instagram: onlyinjapantv

Japan's Mystical Bath House: Inside Dogo Onsen

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 INT US onsen bath building yukata yu kami

Dogo Onsen | Ancient Bath House Secrets Revealed (ONLY in JAPAN)

  • 67 7
    Adrian posted on 2019/09/07
Video vocabulary