Dogo Onsen
Revitalization Project:
A Project for All


stay hot,stay creative
The Dogo Onsen Revitalization Project: A Project for All is a new,
three-year revitalization program for the Dogo Onsen area of
Matsuyama City. We will outline the project below.
Dogo Onsen is reputed to be the oldest hot-spring resort in Japan. Its symbol and main building is the stunning Dogo Onsen Honkan. The Dogo Onsen Revitalization Project, which is scheduled to run to the end of 2024, aims to carry out maintenance and repair work on the Honkan, so that this precious architectural treasure can be handed down to future generations in its present splendor. Since the initial Dogo Onsen Art 2014 project, Dogo Onsen has launched a wide range of art projects for community development. The program “Dogo Onsen Revitalization Project: A Project for All” runs for the three-year period from financial year (FY) 2021 to FY 2023. The project’s concept is “stay hot, stay creative.” At Dogo Onsen, numerous artists have soared on the wings of their creative talents, releasing passion and heat in the process. The 2024 remodeling of the Honkan is geared toward the 130th anniversary of the building’s construction, and the project is going ahead in the hope that once again, the heat and passion of “Art × People × Hot Springs” will allow Dogo Onsen to warm up Japan, and indeed the whole world. The project’s sponsoring bodies include local groups such as the Dogo Onsen Innkeepers Association, the Dogo Shopping Street Promotion Association, and the Community Development Promotion Council for Pride in Dogo Onsen, along with Ehime University, financial institutions, and the administration of Matsuyama City. All of these stakeholders have joined together to form the “Community Development Implementation Committee for the Dogo of the Future” (Chairperson: Eiji Hato, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo). To develop the Dogo area’s local resources, the Implementation Committee aims to create a new Dogo Brand, and by launching multifaceted, creative projects, to achieve an “autonomous virtuous cycle that will power sustainable community development that will shine as an example even a century from now.”

Dogo Onsen Revitalization Project: A Project for All

  • ■Project running time: May 2021 to March 31

    ■Project venues: entire Dogo Onsen area

    ■Concept: stay hot, stay creative

    ■Sponsor: Community Development Implementation Committee for the Dogo of the Future

    ■Planning: Spiral / Wacoal Art Center Co., Ltd.

Three-Year Schedule

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major negative impact on the tourism business in the Dogo Onsen area, as elsewhere. Given the damage that the pandemic has done, the provisional starting point for this project has been set to 2022, when recovery from the pandemic is expected to get underway in earnest. The overall schedule covers three years. Specifically speaking, a local visitor population will be the initial goal and a non-local target population built up in FY 2021. The aim in FY 2022 is to build on the expected post-pandemic recovery to achieve higher domestic tourist numbers by holding Dogo Onsen Art 2022. Increased inbound tourist numbers will be attained in FY 2023 with the International Craft Fair.

  • FY 2021

    Building up the heat
    attracting local customers and building up a non-local target population
  • FY 2022

    Dogo Onsen Art 2022
    achieving higher tourist numbers
  • FY 2023

    International Craft Fair(working title)
    attaining increased inbound tourist numbers
  • The Symbol Design

    The symbol is being developed in a variety of forms.
    It’s inspired by the red color
    used in the traditional Japanese faceted glass known as “gyaman.”

    The symbol was designed by the graphic designer Ikki Kobayashi, working on the design concept that “the heat of Dogo is the passion of people’s hearts,” The shapeshifting bubble is a humorous rendering of the faces of the people who have connections with the Dogo Onsen area. The symbol is variously displayed in a range of media, including logos, posters, billboards, and on maps. The basic color is “gyaman red,” which is the basic color tone of the glass in the Shinrokaku tower above the Kami-no-Yu bath chamber at Dogo Onsen Honkan. The shape of the bubble varies depending on the scenario for its use, and the image can be seen all around town.

    The Symbol Design
    Ikki Kobayashi

    Graphic Designer
    Ikki Kobayashi was born in 1992 in Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture. He graduated from
    the Department of Graphic Design, Tama Art University, in 2015. After working at Shiseido Creative, he went independent in 2019. His work has been recognized at the Tokyo TDC Annual Awards and the Japan Package Design Awards, and he has won the JAGDA New Designer Award, and taken Silver at Pentawards.

  • FY 2021 Development program

    FY 2021 projects will be advanced on the concept of “building up the heat.”

    The later stages of the work on the Honkan will involve tent fabric covering the protective scaffolding around the building. The structure will feature an installation designed by Shinro Otake, a world-ranking artist who lives here in Ehime Prefecture. Working toward the completion of work on the Honkan in 2024, this gigantic installation will become a symbol of the Dogo Onsen area during the period of work on the building and will communicate its appeal to the world.

    The interior garden of the Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu will feature an exhibit of works by Mika Ninagawa, an artist who has won great popularity in previous Dogo Art projects. While the Honkan will host a static installation, the Asuka-no-Yu courtyard will be a dynamic space. From next financial year, we plan to involve local young people and other area residents in a wide variety of activities, including street performances. These will be held in the “Hadaka Hiroba” (Naked Square), a venue that is going to generate energy and dynamism in Dogo going forward.

    In front of the new entrance to the Honkan at the Yushinden/Tama-no-Yu bathing area, the Shinrotei is a small rest area on the square on the east side of the Honkan. This will be the exhibition venue for works involving Yuji Sumikawa, a creative artist living in Matsuyama City, exploring the history of Dogo Onsen. Sumikawa is a highly talented painter of trompe l’oeil pictures, and the exhibition aims to give people who are proud of the Dogo Onsen area a chance to encounter its history through his work.

    The project to attract more visitors to the area (Onsen Art) will kick off in earnest next financial year. In order to form effective links to this project, proof-of-concept and other initiatives will be undertaken. These include projects to build up a local visitor population who will give shape to the area’s energy, and projects to develop new tourism products.