Introduction to the Dōgo Onsen Honkan bathhouse facilities

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The Dōgo Onsen Honkan is a picturesque symbol of Japan’s oldest hot spring. In 1994 it was the first public bathhouse in Japan designated as an Important National Cultural Asset, and in 2009 it was awarded the top rating of 3 stars by the Michelin Green Guide for Japan.
The present-day Kami-no-Yu Honkan is a 3-story wooden structure renovated in 1894 by Yukiya Isaniwa, the first mayor of Dōgo Yunomachi. The building was designed by Matahachiro Sakamoto, a craftsman from a family of master carpenters who worked on Matsuyama Castle. Featuring a truss structure that incorporates Western techniques, this grand 3-tiered building is crowned by a square cupola called the Shinrokaku that features giyaman glass windows and a roof adorned by a sculpture of the egret from the Dōgo Onsen legend. The Dōgo Onsen Honkan has two bathing areas, the Tama-no-Yu and Kami-no-Yu, and guests can select from four bathing packages: the Tama-no-Yu 3rd floor private room, Tama-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge, Kami-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge, and Kami-no-Yu downstairs.

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Tama-no-Yu 3rd floor private room

Tama-no-Yu 3rd floor private room

6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., last admission 8:40 p.m.

Adult 1,550 yen, Child 770 yen (1 hr. 20 min. of use)
Includes Tama-no-Yu, Kami-no-Yu, rental yukata, rental towels, tea, Botchan dango dumplings, and viewing of the Yūshinden

This package includes use of both the Tama-no-Yu and Kami-no-Yu bathing areas and a private room. After purchasing your ticket, first proceed to your private room on the 3rd floor. These private rooms were once called “jōtō,” meaning first class, and in Natsume Sōseki’s novel Botchan is the line “I always used jōtō.” With this package you’ll be able to relax in your own private room after bathing.

Tama-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge

6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., last admission 9:00 p.m.

Adult 1,250 yen, Child 620 yen (1 hr. of use)
Includes Tama-no-Yu, Kami-no-Yu, rental yukata, rental towels, tea, rice crackers, and viewing of the Yūshinden

This package includes use of both the Tama-no-Yu and Kami-no-Yu bathing areas and a large public lounge. After purchasing your ticket, proceed along the red carpet on the 2nd floor to the public lounge at the rear. Located in a section of the building constructed during the Taisho period, the public lounge’s hanging lamps with an egret motif give the historic structure a modern atmosphere.

Tama-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge
Kami-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge

Kami-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge

6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., last admission 9:00 p.m.

Adult 840 yen, Child 420 yen (1 hr. of use)
Includes Kami-no-Yu, rental yukata, tea, and rice crackers

This package includes use of the Kami-no-Yu bathing area and a large (55 tatami mat [about 100m²]) public lounge. After purchasing your ticket, proceed along the blue carpet on the 2nd floor to the public lounge. Often featured in magazine pictorials, this large public lounge has a spacious feel, and from June through September the shōji doors are removed and sudare reed screens are hung for an even more open and airy atmosphere. The hall can accommodate up to 80 guests, making this package especially suitable for groups.

Kami-no-Yu downstairs

6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., last admission 10:30 p.m.

Adult 410 yen, Child 160 yen (1 hr. of use)
Includes Kami-no-Yu

This package includes only the Kami-no-Yu with no lounge. After purchasing your ticket, proceed to the immediately adjacent separate men’s and women’s changing rooms on the 1st floor. The Dōgo Onsen Honkan is extremely popular with local residents, with some coming to bathe almost every day. This package is recommended for guests who only wish to enjoy bathing in an atmosphere like that of a neighborhood public bathhouse.

Kami-no-Yu downstairs
Yūshinden

Yūshinden

6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., last admission 9:00 p.m.

Adult 260 yen, Child 130 yen

Constructed in 1899, the Yūshinden is the only bathing room in Japan reserved solely for the Imperial Family. Designed to replicate Momoyama period architecture, the building is both elegant and luxurious. The wood and stone materials are of superior quality, and the gold leaf and gorgeously painted sliding screens captivate the eye. The pride of master craftsmen is expressed in the exquisite detail work, such as variations in the shoji door lattices and the carved checkered pattern of the ceiling.

Botchan’s Room

This private room (on the northwest corner on the Honkan’s 3rd floor) is said to have been used in October 1895 by poet Masaoka Shiki and by Natsume Sōseki, author of Botchan, following Sōseki’s arrival for his new post in Matsuyama earlier that year, not long after the Dōgo Onsen Honkan’s renovation. In 1966 the room was named “Botchan’s Room” by Sōseki’s son-in-law, the author Matsuoka Yuzuru. Botchan’s Room is open to Dōgo Onsen Honkan guests free of charge, providing an opportunity to journey back to the time of a literary legend.

Botchan’s Room
Kami-no-Yu

Kami-no-Yu

The stone bathing rooms adorned with Tobe porcelain panel paintings and the baths with their large column-shaped water spouts (called a “yugama”) are representative of the Dōgo Onsen Honkan’s unique appeal. With two men’s bathing rooms and one women’s bathing room, at the center of the women’s bath stand statues of Ōkuninushi no Mikoto and Sukunahikona no Mikoto, two divinities that appear in the legend of Dōgo Onsen.

Tama-no-Yu

Although smaller than the Kami-no-Yu, the bath constructed of aji-ishi and ōshima-ishi, considered two of the finest types of granite, the marble walls, and other features create an exquisitely luxurious bathing room.

Tama-no-Yu

Usage fees

Type Adult
(age 12 or older)
Child
(age 2 to 11)
Business hours Usage Time
Tama-no-Yu 3rd floor private room 1,550yen 770yen 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(last admission 8:40 p.m.)
Up to 1 hr. 20 min.
2nd floor public lounge 1,250yen 620yen 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(last admission 9:00 p.m.)
Up to 1 hr.
Kami-no-Yu 2nd floor public lounge 840yen 420yen 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(last admission 9:00 p.m.)
Up to 1 hr.
Downstairs 410yen 160yen 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
(last admission 10:30 p.m.)
Up to 1 hr.
Yūshinden viewing 260yen 130yen(age 6 or older) 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
(last admission 9:00 p.m.)
Within opening hours
(approx. 15 min.)

* A portion of the fees paid by visitors is used for preservation and repair of Dōgo Onsen Honkan, an Important National Cultural Asset.

Dōgo Onsen Honkan Original Merchandise

Dōgo Onsen Honkan original mandarin orange soap: 190 yen (tax included)
Dōgo Onsen Honkan original bath towel: 1,000 yen (tax included)
Dōgo Onsen Honkan original mandarin orange soap: 190 yen (tax included)
Dōgo Onsen Honkan original handkerchief: 350 yen (tax included)
Wooden postcard: 500 yen or 900 yen for two (tax included)
Dōgo Onsen Honkan original yukata: 3,900 yen for sizes S, M and L; 4,900 yen for sizes 3L and LW (tax included)
Dōgo Onsen Honkan original fan (large): 400 yen (tax included)
Dōgo Onsen Honkan original fan (small): 200 yen (tax included)
Prepaid telephone cards: 1,000 yen each (tax included)

See introductions to the public bathhouses.