We visited Kannawa Mushiyu in Kannawa, Beppu, Ōita. This is the most popular steam bath in Beppu.
Tomoe kindly welcomed us with a smile at the reception.
The dressing room is well maintained and clean. Also lockers are available to keep your valuables. If you want to take a steam bath (mushiyu), make sure to take a regular bath first to wash yourself, then put on the clothes provided.
This is the steam bath. The floor is covered with medical herbs called “Sekisyo” which boosts sweating, and this steam bath is said to be good for bronchitis. The temperature in the bath is set to 75°C (167°F), and you can get in the room and lie on the floor up to 10 min (8 min on average). You will start sweating within a couple of minutes and it won’t stop while in the bath. When you leave the bath, you will be soaked with sweat. And finally, a breeze will give you a deep relaxation.
The herbs are cropped weekly by city employees, and it is only Kannawa Mushiyu that uses this herb for a steam bath.
After taking the steam bath, go to the regular bathroom to rinse off your sweat. This is quite refreshing as well.
The water type is chloride spring. Although Kannawa Mushiyu is famous for its steam bath, this hot spring is also excellent. According to the manager, some visitors come just for taking this bath.
On this day, Toru (the name of the man in the bath) came to Kannawa Mushiyu after enjoying sports. That sounds good.
According to a regional lore, Kannawa Onsen was opened by a famous Buddhist Ippen Shōnin, and a steam bath already existed at that time. There was an only mixed steam bath and it was used for the medicinal bathing. Hiroaki told us an episode called “Senbon-Tsue” (thousand walking sticks). Many injured people stayed here for the therapy after the war, and, when they left, there were 1000 walking sticks left.
Hiroaki taught us how to enjoy Kannawa. About 2 min walk from Kannawa Mushiyu, there is a place called “Jigoku Mushi Kobo Kannawa” where you can use steamers to cook something.
It takes 30 min to steam sweet potato. Hiroaki recommends us to visit here first and put something you want to eat in a steamer, and then go to Kannawa Mushiyu to take a bath, after 30 min passed, go back here and eat it. Steam yourself while steaming eggs or vegetables, that’s how you should enjoy Kannawa Mushiyu!
Name: Kannawa Mushiyu
Address: 1 Kumi Kannawakami, Beppu, Ōita
Access (Car): 30 min from the centre of Oita City. 43 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 10 (Use the free parking in front of Atsu-no-yu)
Opening Hours: 06:30 - 20:00 (Last entry at 19:30)
Closing Days: Every fourth Thursday (On holiday, changes to the following day)
Price: JPY 510