Tsuetate Onsen Junwafu Ryokan "Izumiya"
We visited Tsuetate Onsen “Izumiya” in Shimojō, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto. In the Tsuetate Onsen area, you can find a natural hot spring steamer on some spots, and you can use it for free. When you visit Tsuetate Onsen, we recommend you to bring something to eat (vegetables, egg, etc.) and cook it using a steamer, it will be yummy.
Izumiya opened in 1872, however, the oldest record of Tsuetate Onsen was of A.D. 200. This area has a really long onsen history.
In the reception, the manager Kaori welcomed us with a smile. Although she describes herself as a shy person, she is really friendly and fun to talk with. Also, she is knowledgeable about Tuetate Onsen. If you visit Izumiya, you should have a talk with her.
The dressing room is big and clean. Additionally, you can use lockers to keep your valuables.
Izumiya has two bathrooms, and Men’s bath and Women’s bath switch every day. The water is chloride spring, but it’s not salty, it is soft and has a smooth touch. The inspection showed that the water contains a rich amount of Silicic acid (H2SiO3) and that enables this smooth touch.
Soaking in this bath can warm up your body thoroughly, you won’t feel a chill after a bath. Some visitors who stayed at Izumiya for the therapeutic bathing actually left a walking stick when coming back to home. Recently, the bath has been evaluated as a soft hot spring water suitable for babies.
Masanobu (the name of the man) stayed at Izumiya and relaxed in the open-air bath.
This is a steam bath. This is a traditional “Cave” style steam bath which is quite rare now. Locals take a steam bath when they catch a cold. That can cure a stuffy nose and sore throat.
These are traditional wood steam baths. There are five baths in total, and the centre one is opened in this picture. You can sit on a stool inside a wood box, close the door, and get only your head out of it. Then the box is filled with a steam coming from the bottom, and your entire body is steamed. This quite relaxing.
This is a picture of the other bathroom, it is bigger than the other. Also, there is an open-air bath outside of this room. 80 to 140 liters of hot spring water is supplied per minute.
A lounge is also available.
We recommend you to eat a pudding in the lounge. In Tuetate Onsen, you can enjoy “Pudding tour.” Each ryokan provides own pudding, visitors can hang around the area to taste the pudding served in each location. In Izumiya, you can taste a pudding with a gelée of a roasted green tea. It is tasty and has a elegant fragrance. The family of the previous manager used to run a tea shop, that’s why Izumiya made a pudding with a tea flavour.
Ryokans in Tuetate Onsen are working together to plan and do a unique event to attract new visitors, especially young people.
Address: 4179 Shimojō, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 1 hour 36 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 1 hour 12 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 25
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 20:00
Closing Days: Not specified
Price: JPY 500