Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

In the southern part of Wakayama Prefecture, Yunomine Onsen has been a popular hot spring destination for almost 1,800 years. This small town has built its reputation on its picturesque scenery, quaint village, and unique bathing experiences.

Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

Legend has it that the Yunomine Onsen was discovered when a spring came out of a statue of the Buddha of Healing. The area is very popular pilgrimage destination for many followers of the Kumano sect of Shinto. There are several trails around the area that you can explore to see some of the shrines around the area. Next to the Tsuboyu bath house, you can visit the Tokoji Temple. Outside the temple, you can see a small Buddhist statue made out of hardened sediment from the onsen.

Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

One of the better bathing experiences in the waters of the Yunomine Onsen would have to be at Tsuboyu. This small, wooden cabin is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of this bath house’s claims to fame is that the water changes color seven times a day. Up to two people can bathe at Tsuboyu, so it’s essentially a private bath house. Each guest can bathe at Tsuboyu for up to 30 minutes, so you should be prepared to wait, as this is an incredibly popular spot in the area.

Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

To bathe at Tsuboyu, you need buy a ticket for 770 yen from a vending machine and exchange it for a number. You hang your number card off the hook outside the bath house when it’s your turn and enter. Inside Tsuboyu, you can descend down the stone steps and wash off before soaking in the small pool of water. Then, just enjoy your bath and enjoy the cozy atmosphere. If the water is too hot, you can run some cold water from the tap above the pool and stir it with the paddle to cool it down to a more comfortable temperature.

Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

Nothing is provided and no shampoo or soap is allowed, but you’ll want to be sure to bring your own towel. While the price of the ticket is a little more expensive than a lot of onsen houses, the good news is that it can be used at the Kusuri Medicine Bath as well as the Yunomine Public Bath. The regular price for the Kusuri Medicine Bath is 390 yen and the price for the Yunomine Public Bath is 250 yen.

Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

If you feel like spending more time in this peaceful area, there are plenty of Japanese inns in the area. The neighborhood also has several shrines to admire. If you’re looking for a quick bite, you can buy eggs and vegetables from the local store to boil in the well next to the Tsuboyu bath house.

Yunomine Onsen - A Quaint Escape

To get to the Yunomine Onsen area, it’s probably wise to rent a car. However, you can also take a bus from Tanabe, Gojo, or Shingu. The prices for a one-way trip can easily exceed 1,500 yen, so if you’re in a group, renting a car would actually be cheaper and faster than taking a bus. The area gets pretty quiet at night, so it’s a great time to explore the empty streets of this surreal village if you’re staying at one of the local inns.

Facility Name
Yunomine Onsen
Address
Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine
Phone
0735420735
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Toko-ji Temple
Address
Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture hongu Yunomine 113
Introduction
A Tendai Buddhist temple located in the Yunomine Onsen area. The temple’s principle object of worship, the three-meter-tall Yunomine Healing Buddha, is said to be mineral deposits from the surrounding hot spring waters which accumulated and took the shape of a Buddha. Some 1,800 years ago, it is said that the famed priest Ragyo discovered the hot spring waters welling forth from a hole in the chest of Bhaisajyaguru, the Healing Buddha. Each year, the Eight Day Festival of Bhaisajyaguru is held on January 8. During the festival, hot spring water is offered in prayer for the prosperity of Yunomine Onsen and the fulfillment of the wishes of worshipers.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Yunomine Onsen public bath
Address
Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine 110
Phone
0735420074
Hours
[Public bath/Kusuri hot water] 6:00-22:00
[Tsubuyu] 6:00-21:30
Closed
open everyday
Fees
[Bathing charge public baths] Adults 250 yen, under 12 years old 130 yuan
[Bathing charge medicine] Adults 390 yen, under 12 years old 190 yuan
[Bathing charge tsubu] Adults 770 yen, under 12 years old 460 yen
Parking Lot
Available(46spaces)
Credit Card
Not available
Introduction
The Yunomine hot spring was discovered by the regional administrator of Kumano, Oato no Sukune, around the fourth century, and is known as Japan’s oldest onsen. The hot spring is also famous as having been used by emperors throughout history to purify themselves when they came to visit the temples of Kumano, and since ancient times the hot spring has flourished with worshipers coming to see Kumano’s temples. The public bathhouse is located in the center of the area. There is a general bath, medicinal bath, reservable private bath, and relaxation bath. The Tsuboyu, a rock bath registered as a World Heritage Site, is located nearby. This bath is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its color changing properties—depending on conditions, the bath’s waters may change colors several times in a day, leading to its nickname, the “Seven Color Bath.” Visitors can also purchase hot spring water to take home with them.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Yunomine Onsen

    Onsen (Japanese hot springs&baths)
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine
  • Yunomine Onsen public bath image

    Yunomine Onsen public bath

    Onsen (Japanese hot springs&baths)
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine 110
  • Toko-ji Temple image

    Toko-ji Temple

    Temple (Kannon/Fudo Myoo)
    Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture hongu Yunomine 113
cntlog