Ogurayakushi Onsen "Oka no yu"
We visited Ogurayakushi Onsen “Oka no yu” in Ogura, Beppu, Ōita. The board at the entrance describes the medicinal benefit to atomic bomb disease. This is really rare.
The dressing room is simple, well maintained, and clean.
On the right-hand side of the compartments, there is a black box. Put the entrance fee into this box to get in the bathroom.
The water is really clear. The bathtub is placed in the centre of the bathroom, and the hot spring water is always overflowing to maintain the freshness and cleanliness of the bath.
The water type is sodium bicarbonate saline spring. There are two hoses, one is for the hot spring water and the other is for normal cool water. As the original hot spring temperature is really hot (73°C (163.4°F)), cool water is mixed together to moderate the bath temperature.
They are frequent bathers Tadashi (left) who is 82 and Ryoichi (right) who is 68. Ryoichi has been working as a taxi driver for 48 years in Beppu, so he knows almost everything about this city. Oka no yu is the favourite of such a Beppu expert, that fact guarantees the quality of this public bathhouse.
Sueyoshi (the name of the man) is 84 years old and has been managing Oka no yu for 25 years. There are three public bathhouses in total in this district, but he says the best hot spring is Oka no yu. He also says Oka no yu opened in the Edo period.
After the reputation of Oka no yu spread, many patients suffering from atomic bomb disease came from Hiroshima or Nagasaki to Beppu for the medicinal bathing. Although it is closed now, there used to be a hospital specialized in the treatment for atomic bomb disease nearby. Most of the patients stayed there during the therapy; however, some came to Oka no yu to have a chat with the locals. At that time, the locals also enjoyed chatting with the patients. The people in Beppu has been really open, it is unchanged even now.
Name: Oka no yu
Address: 4 Kumi Ogura, Beppu, Ōita
Access (Car): 31 min from the centre of Oita City. 43 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 5 (Street parking is allowed near the bathhouse)
Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 - 22:00
Price: JPY 100