Umenoya in Dogo Onsen was one of the most expensive stays of my Shikoku pilgrimage road trip (I stayed here on my 9th night) and the nicest of them all in terms of design. This is a recent construction in traditional style, where you get all the modern facilities with the perfect classical ryokan look, complete with garden and onsen, and just beautiful inside out.
Umenoya is a small establishment – only 8 rooms, each featuring a unique layout. It is conveniently located just a short walk from Dogo Onsen Honkan and is adjacent to Dogo Park, using part of its scenery as a borrowed landscape. You’re almost staying inside the park, in a quiet corner, but very close to all the action going on in and around the arcades. The ryokan has its own parking lot, very easy to get in and out of.
I stayed in a 6 tatami Hagoromo room on the second floor and loved every part of it.
There are two hot spring baths in Umenoya. One, an indoor bath, is inside the main building. Another, a partial outdoor bath, is in an outbuilding – they call it partial outdoor because it looks like a walled gazebo, mostly covered, and you can’t really see anything from there – you just get a breeze of fresh air while you soak. Both baths are very good, new and sparklingly clean.
I only had breakfast at Umenoya, and it was delicious. The service, the hospitality – all impeccable. I had a very memorable stay here and highly recommend this place, if you can fit it in your budget.