Dōgo Onsen Honkan

The Honkan houses Dōgo Onsen, said to be Japanʼs oldest hot spring with a history going back about 3,000years. Itʼs been awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan, and itʼs the first public bathhouseto be designated an important national cultural property. The current building is a three-storey woodenstructure rebuilt in 1894. Bathers can choose from four courses in the Kami no Yu and Tama no Yu baths.For a fee, you can also visit the Yūshinden, Japanʼs only bathroom for the use of the Imperial family. Atime-keeping drum in the Shinrokaku at the top of the bathhouse marks the time at 6:00, 12:00 and18:00.

Dōgo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-yu

The Asuka-no-yu Onsen is a hot spring facilityproviding a new onsen culture to stimulate yousenses that you can only experience in Matsuyama,at Dōgo. Here, legends and stories of ancient DōgoOnsen unfold in a collaboration of creations andtheatrics displaying Ehimeʼs traditional crafts andleading arts beyond the bathing areas, throughoutthe venue.Matsuyamaʼs city flower tsubaki (camellia) comes tolife in the bathhouse courtyard built to resemble thearchitecture of the Asuka period with remnants oflegendary visitations by Prince Shōtoku andEmpress Saimei. Visitors are also treated to areproduction of Tsubaki-no-Mori in the image thatPrince Shōtoku recited.

Matsuyama Castle

This is one of only twelve surviving castle towers built during or before the Edo period. Construction startedin 1602, and it took a quarter of a century to complete. Located in the centre of the city, the top of thecastle tower overlooks the Matsuyama plain and the Seto Inland Sea. The defensive walls include sectionsthat climb up the hill in the manner of Japanese castles built in Korea. The entire area of the castle parkwithin the moat is a national historic site, and 21 buildings are designated important national culturalproperties. In 2014, it came second in a ranking of the most satisfying Japanese castles to visit. Itʼs alsofamous for its cherry blossoms.

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