Nuruyu Onsen Kyodo Yokujyo
We visited “Nuruyu Onsen Kyodo Yokujyo” in Kitazato, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto. Nuruyu is 奴留湯 in Japanese, this is quite unusual pronunciation even for Japanese people.
Insert coins to the box to take a bath, then enter the room.
The dressing room is well maintained and clean. It’s not big, but has a enough space for dressing.
As soon as you enter the bathroom, you will notice a subtle sulphur fragrance and clear water. Then, when you scoop and pour the water over your body, you will notice how tepid the water is. As indicated in the name, the water is really tepid (Nurui (ぬるい) means Tepid in Japanese). A long time ago, workers of a feudal lord took a stop here to refresh their bodies by soaking in a hot spring bath, that’s the beginning of Nuruyu Onsen.
Although you cannot see in this picture, the natural hot spring water bubbles up from the bottom of the bathtub, from under these stones. A rich amount of water always flows out, and the water is overflowing from the bathtub. As the original temperature is 38°C (100.4°F), the temperature at the bath might be about 36°C (96.8°F). It’s good for summer. Also, the water is carbonated and you will find small bubbles attaching to your body while soaking.
Ikunaga (the name of the man in the bath) is 80 years old and regularly comes to Nuruyu Onsen. He is a hunter. His friend says Ikunaga is a prominent boar hunter, he won’t miss a boar he aimed.
As the water is tepid, the water in the small bath is heated up to 41°C (105.8°F) in winter. Don’t mind if you plan to visit Nuruyu Onsen in winter.
Nuruyu Onsen is maintained by a union consisting of the locals. One of the managers Katsuya runs a shop “Goto Syoten” located opposite of Nuruyu Onsen, and his ancestors also had been managers. According to him, the water was strongly carbonated before, and is drinkable and good for stomach flu.
Finally, the statue of Yakushinyorai is enshrined in the back of Yakushiyu. Yakushinyorai is Buddha of healing and medicine, and bathing at hot springs has been ragarded as a medical treatment in Japan, hence, there is a close relationship between Yakushinyorai and hot springs. Still in these days, you can see a lot of the Yakushinyorai statues enshrined close to hot springs. It is a kind of the symbol of medical effects of hot spring bathing.
Name: Nuruyu Onsen Kyodo Yokujyo
Address: 2284 Kitazato, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 1 hour 40 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 1 hour 16 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 10
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 21:00
Price: JPY 200