Matsuyama, Ehime (Dogo Onsen) – Day 1 (b)

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2

Dogo Onsen (道後温泉) is one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs, located to the east of central Matsuyama. The area is popular with tourists for its beautiful bath house and many ryokan. Dogo Onsen has also been a frequent destination for Japan’s most prestigious guests, the Imperial Family.

Japan Guide

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
A clock tower stands at the entrance to the onsen town. Apparently there is a music puppet show hourly with a theme of onsen which I didn’t know till I passed by it seeing a huge crowd around it.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Foot baths spotted around town.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Pottering around the small town on foot.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Decided to go to Funaya Onsen hotel for a lunch as lunch patrons would also get to use their onsen facilities for free.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Opted for their Winter lunch special of sea bass hot pot with noodles.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Apparently most of the patrons ordered Western lunch and I was the only one eating Japanese set that day. Japanese love their western choices, compared to the foreigner me who much prefer a Japanese lunch if possible.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
The portion was huge for one so by the time I finished the noodles, I was pushing myself to stuff this rice bowl down.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
So glad to have my dessert cos I was just too full. Took a short rest before heading down to soak into the famous Dogo Onsen water. Boy, I was glad to soak my tired feet from all the walking from the day.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Oh where do we see Totoro????

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2

The main attraction in Dogo Onsen is the Dogo Onsen Honkan, a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse, dating from 1894. The interior of the Honkan is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms, all of which bustle with bathers and staff. It is said to have served as inspiration for Miyazaki’s popular animated film “Spirited Away”.

Japan Guide

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Yup, if you have had watch the movie than this would be familiar to you.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
The puppet show from the clock tower.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Shikoku is famous for their mandarin oranges so of course these would make a good souvenir to bring back home.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2

The region where imabari towels are produced is blessed with soft water with very little content of heavy metals, such as the subsoil water of Soja River that runs from the Takanawa Mountain Range and underground water coming from the sacred Mt. Ishizuchi. Through bleaching using water of such fine quality, it is possible to produce fabrics that are delicate and soft to the touch and showing vibrant colors. This has helped improve the dyeing technique of the imabari towel production area, making this area Japan’ s largest towel production area. In addition to this, the Shikoku Towel Industrial Association has devised its own standards to certify products worthy of using the trademark and logo.

Imabari Towel

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
Depicting how the Imabari towels will get more and more fluffy as you increase the wash cycles. Not cheap towels but since we were in town famous for their towels so of course, we indulged in getting some.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
This shows how quiet the capital city of Ehime is on a weekday afternoon where there was literally no one in the shops and malls. Shows how much population had dropped.

Matsuyama Shikoku Day 2
In a way it is good for the tourists cos the winter bargain sale was still ongoing when it had already ended in Tokyo.

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