Yu no Yataimura
We visited “Yu no Yataimura Onsen” in Nonoshima, Koshi, Kumamoto. As you can see in the picture, the appearance is really impressive. This building was built by the owner Tatsuo, he prepared all the materials and assembled them by himself.
There are also private baths next to the public bathhouse.
Tatsuo welcomed us at the reception. The entrance fee is JPY 100. Amazing price! It used to be JPY 200, however, from this March, it is changed to JPY 100 because the initial investment was recouped.
There is another reason for the price cut. He runs a restaurant in the same building, as the result of the price cut, the number of visitors has increased not only for the onsen but also the restaurant. Many visitors use the restaurant after taking a bath. That results in increasing the average customer spend. This is a good example of Winning by losing. Also, this restaurant is famous for horse meat called Umadon.
In the dressing room, you can use lockers.
The bathroom is also built by the owner Tatsuo. The bathtub is a little bit deeper than regular tubs, but you can sit on the stones placed in the tub. The water is warm and suitable for a long soak.
A large amount of the hot spring water flows out of the faucet. This water is drinkable, some frequent visitors use this water for drinking Shōchū or making Tōfu. They say the water can make the food tasty.
They are frequent visitors Susumu (left), Hideaki (centre), and Koji (right). They have been coming to Yu no Yataimura everyday. Susumu and Koji says they have not been taking a bath in their home for more than 10 years. Tatsuo says about 70 regular visitors come to Yu no Yataimura everyday.
Tatsuo is not only a business owner but also a singer. Some years ago, he won the second place in a Karaoke competition, and made a professional debut as a reward. During the interview, we heard him singing and actually he had a beautiful voice.
Tatsuo and his wife treat the customers with a great hospitality. We could spend a delightful time thanks to them. They says what we do for the customers will be returned to us in the future, that’s why we work hard for the customers.
Tatsuo opened the restaurant 18 years ago, prior to opening the onsen. He struggled to improve the business, and finally decided to open the onsen to increase the visitors in the Japanese aging society. He is always considering how to entertain people and customers. We think Yu no Yataimura will continue changing according to the changing demands from the society.
Name: Yu no Yataimura
Address: 520-1 Nonoshima, Koshi, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 28 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 29 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 7
Opening Hours: 12:00 - 20:00
Closing Days: Twice a month (not specified)
Price: JPY 100