Dogo Onsen is the oldest hot springs resort in Japan with records dating back nearly 1000 years. The imposing architecture of the impressive main building evokes its long history, and the baths open to the beating of a drum at six every morning.
While onsens often offer the same experience, Dogo Onsen definitely stands out with elegant refinements bordering perfection. Once ready, get a ticket from the booth at the front door. From there it is full immersion in traditional Japan, leave your shoes at the locker and take the stairs leading to the lounges. Before heading to the bath, take some time enjoying one of these lounges and have a pause looking at your surroundings.
An attendant will come to take care of you and hand you a Yukata, with the option to rent a small towel and soap for a small amount. As in all onsens, you will get to wash and rinse yourself thoroughly before dipping in the steaming bath water.
Once you finish you will be given a Matcha tea and biscuits to help you cool down in a zen atmosphere. This Onsen really defines all what is best with Japanese hospitality and is so appreciated by the locals that the Emperor himself had a private bath there with Soseki pictures decorating it. Note that these baths have not been used for the last sixty years.