We visited “Oyubune Onsenkan” in Ubuyama-mura, Aso-gun, Kumamoto. The name “Oyubune” (御湯船) derives from the folklore telling that a hot spring here was used for the baby’s first bath for Takeiwatatsunomikoto (健磐龍命) who opened up the Aso area.
Yuko is a reception staff member. According to her, the hot spring was first drilled and found by a man living in Ubuyama-mura who followed his dream that told him the location of a hot spring in 1991. He then contributed the right of the hot spring to the Ubuyama-mura public office, and Oyubune Onsenkan opened in 1994. Oyubune Onsenkan offers hotel facilities as well, some of the guests come from Fukuoka or Miyazaki.
In the dressing room, there are compartments to put your clothes. As there are no lockers, you can ask the reception to keep your valuables if you have.
In the bathroom, there are two bathtubs containing brown-yellow hot spring water. The water temperature is about 43°C (109.4°F) which is a little bit hot. According to Yuko, most of the frequent bathers prefer hot bath.
They are frequent bathers Mitsuyoshi (left), Akinori (centre), and Hidekazu (right). They say the water treats back pain and you do not feel a chill after bathing in this bath.
You can buy local foods and vegetables in Oyubune Onsenkan. This shop was made for the convenience of the visitors so that they can do shopping along with taking a bath. Oyubune Onsenkan works as a community space for the locals.
Finally, there is a foot bath outside of the building. A hot spring was found (generated) after the earthquakes in April, 2016, a lounge was reformed to this foot bath.
Name: Oyubune Onsenkan
Address: 1448 Ubuyama, Ubuyama-mura, Aso-gun, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 1 hour 39 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 1 hour 15 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 19
Opening Hours: 07:00 - 22:00
Closing Days: Every third Thursday
Price: JPY 300