Inside Dogo Onsen: Japan’s Mystical Bath House Tour

In Japan, bath houses are everywhere, but none are as mystical as Dogo Onsen. Sure, it’s a place where you get naked with a bunch of strangers to clean yourself and relax in therapeutic waters, but what makes this public onsen special is that it’s also open to everyone including those with tattoos, a rarity in Japan. You can’t stay the night here, but you can take in the magical environment that places you in what seems like a totally different world.

Dogo Onsen is famous for not only being Japan’s oldest onsen (3,000 years) but for it’s special rejuvenating waters that heal the body and make you young again.
The myth of the onsen’s origins comes from a white heron or egret who was injured. It bathed in the waters at this spot every day until healthy enough to fly away.
You’ll find a lot of people in the 80s, 90s and even 100 years old bathing to stay healthy and fix health problems. After 15 minutes in the waters, you may feel the power too!

The main building called the HONKAN was built in the 19th century. It also houses a special bathing area for the Imperial family on the east side called the YUSHINDEN. The Emperor hasn’t visited since 1950, but when he does come again, the staff said they’ll be ready just like they’re ready for every person who wants a bath in all of their luxurious tubs.

Dogo Onsen Night

Dogo Onsen’s Baths:
Lower Floor
The woman’s Kami no Yu is quite large with a fountain in the middle. The men’s has two smaller baths of equal size.
2nd  Floor
A VIP bath the used to be for the imperial family and their attendants. Requires a special ticket. Less crowded and quieter.

Women's Bath at Dogo Onsen / Kami no Yu
Women’s Bath at Dogo Onsen / Kami no Yu
Men's Kami no Yu bath
Men’s Kami no Yu bath at Dogo Onsen
Men's Kami no Yu bath, Dogo Onsen Wide
Men’s Kami no Yu bath, Dogo Onsen Wide

Dogo Onsen Hours:
6:00AM to 10:00PM

★ 410 Yen / General “Kami No Yu” Bath Only
★ 820 Yen / General Bath + Tatami Floor lounge, Yukata and snack
★ 1250 Yen / SPECIAL “Tama No Yu” BATH + Tatami Floor lounge, Yukata and snack
★ 1550 Yen / SPECIAL BATH + 3rd Floor Tatami Room, Special Yukata and Snack
* Maximum Stay is 1 hour

Location photos and Q&A videos on Instagram:

Dogo Onsen at Night
Dogo Onsen at Night

(Matcha, Bocchan Dango and Tart, 550 yen)

Mikan Beer:
Matcha & Tart Set:
Dogo Brewery Restaurant:

bocchan dango matcha

Google Map to Dogo Onsen:

This show has been created and produced by John Daub ジョン・ドーブ. He’s been living and working in Japan for over 18 years and regularly reports on TV for Japan’s International Channel.





Creator and Producer 「ONLY in JAPAN」
President of Weblish Media Ltd.
Reporter for NHK World "Tokyo Eye"

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