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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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    Yunomine Onsen
    Address
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine
    Phone
    0735420735
    Toko-ji Temple
    Address
    Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture hongu Yunomine 113
    Phone
    Address
    和歌山県田辺市本宮町湯峯110
    Phone
    0735420074
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