I visited Matsuyama and Dogo Koen (Dogo Park) in July, 2015
Even in the rain, the park was beautiful. It was a gray day, had been raining for hours, everything in Matsuyama looked grey and bleak. After days with sun and clear skies, the weather did affect my impressions of Matsuyama, did dampen my enthusiasm.
I was on my way to Matsuyama Castle after a visit to Dogo Onsen. I had just had lunch at a local brewery pub. I thought about taking a tram to the castle to get out of the rain, but opted to walk. It wasn’t raining too bad, and I had an umbrella to hide under. Not far from the onsen I passed Dogo Park, decided to take a look.
I like Japanese parks. I find them to be quite areas, small havens, in usually loud cities. A park is usually never far away, and if you get tired of the noise and throng of people on the streets of Japanese cities, a Japanese garden can give a moment of solitude and serenity. I had recently been to Koraku Park in Okayama which truly was a quiet gem, one of the three most beautiful parks in Japan it is called. Now, Matsuyama wasn’t a particularly loud city, I found it very quiet in fact, but I still thought the park worth to take a look at. Japanese parks are not only quiet, they are beautiful too.
A small pond, lilies floating on the water. Green bushes and small trees around the pond, perfectly shaped, perfectly placed. I stood for a long time to take it all in. Still so green on this grey, rainy day. In such contrast to the concrete jungle outside the park.
I took a path through the woods, passed a receptable to a hot spring used until the current Dogo Onsen was built, followed the road further. I found myself on a small hill with a great view of the park.
As I left the park I regretted it being rainy, I would have loved to seen the park in sunshine. Then I saw the line for the tram outside the park, how organised the Japanese were. About a hundred people had lined up in a very orderly line. It even went across a pedestrian crossing. That sight made me laugh.
Dogo Koen is located only a few hundred meters from Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, just across the road from Dogokoen Tram Station, servicing the Iyo Tetsudo Hommachi Line, Matsumayamaekimae Line and the Shieki Line. If visiting Dogo Onsen, why not stop at Dogo Koen as well?