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Dogo Onsen: Wrapped in History and Charm

Just a short tram ride from Matsuyama city center in Ehime is Dogo Onsen, Japan’s oldest hot spring. Its main bath house has been the inspiration for the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away (2001). But despite a famous pedigree, the...

Shimanami Kaido – Island Wave Sea Highway: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 6

I’ve never been much of a bicycle rider, but the course along the Shimanami Kaido (Island Wave Sea Highway) makes me wish I was. Every year in late fall, the highway that connects Shikoku to the mainland floods with cyclists. Participants travel...

Overheating at Dogo Onsen: Tokyo to Okinawa Day 5

The celebrated novel Botchan by Natsume Soseki tells the story of a grumpy young man and his teaching experiences in the town of Matsuyama in Shikoku. Convinced he is better than just about everyone, he finds his only calm in the warm...