Mystical bath house: Inside Dogo Onsen

posted on October 29, 2016

Don't be frightened! 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.

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