[Three Ancient Springs] Hotel Kowakuen, Dogo Onsen

Do better-known hot springs provide better water?

Dogo Onsen is famous for being counted as Three Ancient Springs.

However, the amount of water is not so sufficient that you can hardly find free-flowing springs.

Let us think about today’s Three Ancient Springs at Hotel Kowakuen.


Three Ancient Springs

Arima Onsen, Nanki-shirahama Onsen, and Dogo Onsen are known for Three Ancient Springs that are over 1,000 years old.

However, sometimes it can be seen that there is not so enough water to be provided to all facilities, that some of them modify the spring water like adding tap water.


Photo by Tzuhsun Hsu – 道後温泉 (2014) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Especially Dogo Onsen’s usage of the spring is relatively poor; even at beautiful Dogo Onsen Honkan provides water with strong odor of disinfection by chlorine.

In such spa city, there is a hotel exceptionally provides free-flowing spring water.

Looking down Matsuyama city

Hotel Kowakuen is a large hotel looking down Dogo Onsen Honkan.

Dogo Onsen Honkan

Bathrooms with the sexes separated are available for 24 hours, and they switch between morning and afternoon.

Shirasagi No Yu

Here you can use in morning for men and in afternoon for women.

Shirasagi No Yu (Outdoor)

For the open-air bath, they add tap water, heat, circulate the spring, and have disinfection by chlorine; not well-deserved.

For the indoor bath, they do not add tap water, so that it is better, but you will not satisfy the spring if you pursue its quality.

Shirasagi No Yu (Indoor)

No other tubs can be seen in Shirasagi No Yu, and then you will find no free-flowing water there.

Kowaku No Yu

Here you can use in morning for women and afternoon for men.

Kowaku No Yu (Indoor)

The usage of water in the indoor bath is as same as the one in Shirasagi No Yu.

There are two small open-air baths.

Kowaku No Yu (Outdoor)

Finally, this water is the free-flowing Dogo Onsen.

Indeed, the texture shows the superiority of the nature of the spring.

However, I find it disappointing that only at the small tubs, historical and famous Dogo Onsen provides their free-flowing water.

Today’s three ancient springs seem to be halfway dead, speaking of Dogo Onsen.



How they provide water per tub is clearly disclosed.


Only one bathroom provides free-flowing spring.

Hotel Kowakuen, Dogo Onsen, Ehime, Japan
Official WebsiteYES

Related hot springs

One of the most famous hot springs in Japan is Yufuin Onsen.

Shoya No Yakata

Shoya No Yakata, Yufuin Onsen, Oita, Japan

The sacred cobalt blue water proves that Yufuin is a great spa city in both name and reality.

Hot Springs in Chugoku-Shikoku Region

Hot Springs in Japan