The mystical world of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is dreamlike, but if you venture to a traditional onsen resort in Shikoku, you can experience a taste of it for real.
In the eastern corner of Matsuyama, Dogo Onsen has 3,000 years of history and is one of the oldest and most famous onsen resorts in Japan. While the city is known as the setting for Natsume Soseki’s Meiji restoration tale Botchan, there is one bathhouse in particular which is linked to a more modern cultural creation. Released in 2001, Spirited Away follows young protagonist Chihiro as she finds herself trapped in a resort for the supernatural. Aburaya, the opulent bathhouse she later works in, was believed to be inspired by the Dogo Onsen Honkan, which is
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