Spirited Away

Dogo Onsen at night

Dogo Onsen

Fancy feeling like you’ve stepped into animated Studio Ghibli film? Try stepping straight into Spirited Away by visiting Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. This enormous three storey 19th century wooden bathhouse was apparently the inspiration for the spooky bathhouse of otherworldly beings in Spirited Away. In this world, the hot spring waters of Dogo Onsen are renowned throughout Japan, to the point where the emperor has his own private bathing quarters here. The story behind the water’s fame contends that long ago, a white egret with a wounded leg bathed his leg in the waters and was healed. The legacy of that bird’s story can be seen in the many carved white egrets placed around and on top of this imposing building.

Official website of Dogo Onsen.

Herons at Dogo Onsen