Pickup Now ! Vol.06
Dogo Onsen was the inspiration for Aburaya, the spiritual bathhouse featured in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. One of Japan’s oldest hot springs, Dogo Onsen was designated a National Important Cultural Property and awarded 3 stars in Michelin Green Guide.
The historical bathhouse was frequented by the imperial family in the past. Natsume Soseki, a distinguished Japanese novelist, used Dogo Onsen as one of the settings in his masterpiece Botchan. There is even a “Botchan” room in the bathhouse to commemorate his literary legacy.
There are two famous legends surrounding the mystical Dogo Onsen: the story of an injured white heron healed by the magical hot spring, and the myth of “Tama no ishi”, a sacred stone imprinted with God’s footprint.
Guests can select between several comprehensive admission packages, ranging from the cheapest (410 yen) with limited access to the Bath of the Gods (Kami no Yu) on the first floor, to the most luxurious (1550 yen) with 80-minutes access to the Bath of the Spirits (Tama no Yu) and exclusive use of the lounge on the third floor.
After relaxing in the old-fashioned baths furnished with granite stone and marble walls, guests can enjoy refreshments in the communal tatami rooms or private lounges. All the plans include entry to an exhibition room filled with historical paraphernalia related to the bathhouse. The more expensive plans include a tour of the grand royal bath (Yushiden).
The traditional three-storied bathhouse pampers guests with a physically rejuvenating and spiritually enlightening experience. For fans of hot springs and Studio Ghibli films, a pilgrimage to this atmospheric hot spring is the best way to experience the “Spirited Away” magic of Dogo Onsen.
A passionate educator, Wendy has experiences teaching English in Singapore, Japan and around the world on Peace Boat. With a MA in literary studies, she enjoys writing about her travel adventures. Embracing the “carpe diem” spirit, she thinks that life is too short not to eat and travel non-stop!