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Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

  • Bathing in the waters that flow from a volcanic hot spring is something the Japanese have been doing since ancient times, for the deep relaxation it induces as much as the health benefits. Rather than as a mere side activity squeezed into a hectic schedule, it is very popular to make a visit to hot spring baths, known as onsen, the main focus of a brief trip out of town. Generations of Japanese have found this the perfect way to reset their systems before plunging back into big city life, with literally hundreds of dedicated onsen resorts up and down the archipelago having been established to support this popular activity.

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    With these hot spring waters being entirely natural, of course, their quality and intrinsic healing properties vary according to region. Those of Takarada Village in Mitoyo, western Kagawa Prefecture, are sometimes called ‘silver waters’ due to their rich sodium content, and are said to remedy a range of physical ailments including muscle ache, poor circulation, dermatitis and anemia. For those in good health to begin with, a leisurely couple of hours spent soaking in them simply bring on a deep contentedness.

    Takarada no Sato, also known as Tamakinoyu Onsen, is a superior location at which to take in this quintessentially Japanese experience, whether as a first-timer or a regular bather. Situated within the scenic Togawa Dam park, it overlooks a lake and is surrounded by verdant hills and mountains.

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Bathing here is an experience that feels incredibly close to nature (something enhanced by the compulsory nakedness), while at the same time being supremely comfortable thanks to Takarada no Sato’s contemporary design and modern facilities. A variety of baths, set to varying temperatures with the idea being that you gradually ramp up the heat according to comfort level, includes the fully outdoor variety known as rotenburo. A pleasure of rotenburo bathing in colder months, and one that is said to healthily stimulate the circulatory system while naturally detoxing the muscles, is to repeatedly get in and out of the water thus raising and lowering bodily temperature.

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    The rotenburo are joined by Takarada no Sato’s centerpiece of a vast indoor bath, almost luxury swimming pool-like in design, that from behind a floor-to-ceiling height glass window presents a breathtaking, landscape painting-like view out over the park and the mountains beyond. Beautiful all year round, this is particularly captivating during spring’s cherry blossom season, and when leaves turn orange and red in fall.

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Other facilities include automated massage chairs, a range of dining options including Kagawa Prefecture’s famed Sanuki Udon, and a picnic area. Nearby meanwhile can be found several historic Shinto shrines. Around two hours from Takamatsu Station by train (alight at JR Kan'onji Station), or a 1hr 10min drive, Takarada no Sato is perfect for a revitalizing day-trip visit. Admission for adults costs 510 yen, with concessions for children and seniors.

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    Takarada no Sato / Tamakinoyu Onsen

    takaradanosato tamakinoyu
    Address
    Kagawa Pref. Mitoyoshi Saitachousaitakami 1110-8
    Phone
    0875672614
    Takamatsu
    Address
    Kagawa Pref. Takamatsushi Hamanochou
    Phone
    Kan'onji
    Address
    Kagawa Pref. Kanonjishi Sakaemachi 1-chome
    Phone
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