Yunomine Onsen | Japan's Spiritual Hot Spring
Yunomine is a quaint little collection of inns tucked into a small valley deep in the heart of the sacred mountains of Kumano. The waters here are said to change color seven times over the course of a day. Yunomine Onsen was discovered about 1,800 years ago, and it is thought to be one of the oldest hot springs in Japan.
Yunomine Onsen is an integral part of the over 1000 year old Kumano pilgrimage tradition. Pilgrims performed hot water purification rituals in these piping hot mineral waters after their long journey in preparation to worship at Kumano Hongu Taisha.
The Onsen culture in Japan is very rich, but the strong connection with spiritual culture found in Yunomine is unprecedented. Two sections of the Kumano Kodo have trailheads here, the Akagi-goe and Dainichi-goe, making it a popular place to stay for walkers. Hot water ablutions are still performed to this day during the spring festival of Kumano Hongu Taisha.
Tsuboyu: World Heritage Onsen
Tsuboyu is a small cabin by the creek that runs through Yunomine Onsen. People can privately bath in this small stone lined Onsen for up to 30 minutes. It is the only hot spring that you can bathe in that is registered as UNESCO World Heritage. It is also very popular with couples.
Oguri Hangan, who was suffering from a terrible debilitating disease, is said to have soaked in these waters and revived. This famous legend is called "Oguri Hangan and Princess Terute" and is retold in kabuki and religious narratives.
How to use the Tsuboyu Bath
This bath is private use for 1~2 people for 30 minutes. It is a first-come first-serve bath with no reservations. Please obey the usage time and wait your turn according to your numbered ticket. Thank you.
Price: 750 yen, 12 and under 450 yen
Open year round.
※ No swimming suits, soap or shampoo allowed.
1. Buy ticket from vending machine.
2. Exchange ticket for number card at counter.
3. When it is your turn, place numbered ticket on hook beside door and enter bath.
※ Leave shoes outside of Tsuboyu bath house.
4. Place clothes in basket.
※ Door locks from the inside.
5. Please rinse your body before entering bath. Relax & Enjoy!
Note: If the water is too hot, add cold water from the green tap and mix the water with the stir tool.
Kusuri Medicine Bath
Price: 380 yen, 12 and under 190 yen
Open year round.
※No soap or shampoo allowed.
Price: 250 yen, 12 and under 130 yen
Open year round.
※Bring your own soap and shampoo.
Price: 700 yen, Child 400 yen
※ Towels 300 yen
Price: 400 yen
※ Reservations Required
Price: 1000 yen, Child 500 yen
※ Busy times closes at 15:00
Price: 500 yen, Children free
Price: 500 yen, 5 and under 500 yen
Yunomine Onsen has a variety of Japanese style accommodations including traditional Ryokan Inns and family run Minshuku guest houses. Many of the lodges feature cuisine cooked in the local mineral waters. This is a quiet village to relax in and many visitors chose to spend more than one night here.
Yunomine Onsen accommodation >>
Yunomine Onsen is located a short drive from the Kumano Hongu Taisha.
Daily busses travel here from Tanabe, Shingu and Gojo.
Tanabe bus timetables #1, #2
Shingu bus timetables #3, #4
Kumano Hongu Taisha simplified bus timetable # 11
Yunomine Onsen Map >>
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