Steaming Spirituality by Shannon O'Brien

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Outside Dogo-Onsen, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime-ken, Japan.

Featured in ‘True Colours of Asia’.

Featured in ‘Capital Cities of the World’.

Featured in ‘Japan Through the Lens’.

Some info from Wikipedia:

Dōgo Onsen is one of the oldest (arguably the oldest) and best-known onsen hot springs in Japan, with a history stretching back over 3,000 years. The springs are mentioned in the Man’yōshū (written c. 759), and according to legend even Prince Shotoku (574-622) used to partake of the waters.

Dōgo Onsen was also the favorite retreat of writer Natsume Sōseki (1867-1916) when he was working near Matsuyama as a teacher in what was at the time rural Shikoku. In Soseki’s loosely autobiographical novel Botchan, the eponymous main character is a frequent visitor to the springs, the only place he likes in the area.

Modern haiku poet Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), a noted critic of Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694), was also a resident of Dōgo Onsen. His poems are prominently inscribed in many places around town.

The present building of the Dōgo Onsen public bath was built in 1894. Built on three levels for maximum capacity, the baths remain extremely popular and are usually crowded at peak times, i.e. around 6 p.m. before dinner.

While Dōgo is largely engulfed in the suburban sprawl of modern-day Matsuyama, the area around Dōgo retains the feeling of a resort town, with guests from all over the country wandering the streets in yukata robes after their bath.

The main building in the movie Spirited Away was modeled on the present building of the Dōgo Onsen public bathhouse.


dogo onsen, ehime, japan, matsuyama, monks


    RONI PHOTOGRAPHYabout 4 years ago

    Fantastic picture Shannon

  • Aww schucks! Thank-you!!

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Marie Wintzer
    Marie Wintzerabout 4 years ago

    Very interesting Shannon. And a great picture too!
    I google-imaged that house and it looks indeed like the one in spirited away!

  • Thanks :)) Yes, it’s a great building. Shame I didn’t get a shot of the structure… I was too captivated by these guys doing their prayer thing.

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Magi5760
    Magi5760about 4 years ago

    Congratulations from your hosts at True Colors of Asia

  • Lovely! Thank-you :))

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Marie Wintzer
    Marie Wintzerabout 4 years ago

    Héhé congrats!

  • Thanks

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • deepbluwater
    deepbluwaterabout 4 years ago

    fantastic image Shannon, love that you’ve included the words as well.
    I am so intrigued by old Japan…

  • Thank-you.

    – Shannon O'Brien

    RONI PHOTOGRAPHYabout 4 years ago

    Fantastic, we look forward to seeing more of your amazing work

  • Thanks!!

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Simon Marsden
    Simon Marsdenabout 4 years ago

    Love this photo!

  • Thanks :))

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Kasia Nowak
    Kasia Nowakabout 4 years ago

    Great image. Brings back memories… Perfect exposure.

  • Thanks Kasia.

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Valerie Rosen
    Valerie Rosenabout 4 years ago


  • Ta muchly :)

    – Shannon O'Brien

  • Isa Rodriguez
    Isa Rodriguezabout 4 years ago

  • Hey that’s great! Thank-you.

    – Shannon O'Brien

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