[Matsuyama] Bettei Oborozukiyo 別邸朧月夜 & Dogo Onsen 道後温泉
Last stop of our Japan trip this time - Matsuyama! The most famous attraction here is Dogo Onsen which is one of Japan's oldest and most famous hot spring with a history of over 3000 years. Legend has it that the water of the hot spring has healing powers and even Japan's Imperial Family were frequent visitors. The interior of the Dogo Onsen Honkan is a maze of stairways, passages and rooms, and said to have served as inspiration for Miyazaki's popular animated film "Spirited Away". The Dogo Onsen area is pretty small actually and most of the onsen ryokans/hotels are a short walk away from the Honkan so we were able to walk down to it in our yukata (cotton robe). Unfortunately it was closed on the day we visited Matsuyama so we ended up enjoying the hot spring in our ryokan only.
We also took a short lovely walk through the Dogo Park which still had a bit of autumn colors on its trees.
We stayed at Bettei Oborozukiyo which is one of the most luxurious onsen ryokan in Matsuyama. The price per person per night starts from ¥44,000 to ¥70,000 depending on which room type you choose. Each room has its own private onsen and includes dinner and breakfast. It may be pricey but you will definitely get the 5 star treatment and relaxation for the price you pay - it's worth the splurge once in a while!
Our room was huge with separate areas for the entrance, bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, patio and our private outdoor onsen. All the drinks and snacks in the mini fridge were complimentary and we even had a massage chair in the room!
I have bathed in public onsen with other people before in ryokans but I think private onsen is the way to go (no need to worry about naked bodies and all).
After we took a dip in the onsen and played around with the massage chair, we headed downstairs to the dining room where we ate our dinner in a private room.
The next morning, we went back to the dining room to have breakfast and we were amazed at the quantity of food we received for breakfast! There was so much food that we asked the staff if people usually finish all of it and they replied that most people only eat a third of it.
After breakfast, we packed our bags and headed to the Matsuyama Airport to fly back to Tokyo. I definitely enjoyed the onsen (which made my skin smoother I think) and I'd love to be back next time with more time in order to check out the rest of Shikoku.
Bettei Oborozukiyo 別邸朧月夜
4-4 Dogosagidanicho, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture 790-0836, Japan
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