We visited “Tsuana Onsen” in Yoshinomotochō, Miyakonojō, Miyazaki. The name “Tsuana” derives from the name of the place where the source of this kósen (cool spring) is discovered. Bathhouses using kósen hardly disappoint us and generally have excellent water.
As there is no reception, you can go to the house on the opposite side and push the intercom button to call the owner Sunao. It might require a bit of courage, but don’t worry.
The dressing room is big and airy. As there are no lockers, keep your valuables by yourself.
The bathroom floor is fully covered with brown deposited minerals, which indicates the rich composition of the cool spring water. The left small bath contains the original cool spring water as is, and the right big bath contains the heated cool spring water. As you can see, the water colour changes and gets browner after being heated up.
The water is sodium bicarbonate saline spring, and you can notice it’s slightly carbonated when drinking the water. Also, soaking in this water can warm you up thoroughly, you won’t feel a chill after a bath. They say the water treats neuralgia and surface wounds.
Tatsuo (the name of the man in the bath) is 88 years old and has been coming to Tsuana Onsen for more than 30 years. He is a farmer and his face is sunburnt. He says he comes to Tsuana Onsen when he gets back pain or hurt, and bathing can relieve these pains.
He is the owner Sunao, as you can guess from his posture, he is really funny. He opened Tsuana Onsen 50 years ago by setting up pipes to send the cool spring water from its source in the mountain. Although his family was against his decision at that time, after 30 years have passed, Tsuana Onsen has been highly reputed and many visitors come every day. Actually, he had a good foresight.
Also, Sunao has another episode, he was the first man in this area who bought a chainsaw. At that time, many people visited him to see it, some came from over the mountain.
There is a big tatami-lounge next to the bath building. Some visitors repeat bathing and taking a rest in this room one after the other from the morning until the evening.
Finally, Sunao prepares bottles so that bathers can take a drink of the cool spring water after bathing. Drinking cool water after bathing is really refreshing! They say the drinking this water is good for stomach flu.
Name: Tsuana Onsen
Address: 4518-9 Yoshinomotochō, Miyakonojō, Miyazaki
Access (Car): 1 hour 3 min from the centre of Miyazaki City. 1 hour 5 min from the Miyazaki airport
Parking Lot: 30
Opening Hours: 07:00 - 19:00
Closing Days: Tuesday
Price: JPY 300