We visited “Shibaseki Onsen” in Noda, Beppu, Ōita.
Tomoe welcomed us with a smile at the reception.
The dressing room is big and really clean. Also, there are lockers on the way to the dressing room from the reception, you can keep your valuables in a locker if you want.
There are two bathtubs in the bathroom. One is a hot bath and the other is a warm bath. Shibaseki Onsen has a prestigious history. According to the records, Emperor Daigo stayed here in 895 and Emperor Go-Reizei stayed here in 1044 for the medicinal bathing. Note that the Women’s bathroom is almost the same.
The hot spring type is simple thermal spring, and the water is not recycled, it is used as is. It is said the bath treats frozen shoulder and bruise. As the health benefit has been highly evaluated, Shibaseki Onsen is selected as one of the national hot spring health resorts.
He is a frequent bather Takeshi who is 81 years old. He is still really energetic. He says the water is really soft, that’s the reason he likes Shibaseki Onsen. As the water is simple, people won’t get bored.
There is an open-air bath as well. The bath is a little bit cooler than the indoor bath.
There also is a steam bath. The room floor is covered with bamboo, and the original hot spring water which is 80°C|176°F streams under the floor. A lot of steam is rising from the floor and you will start sweating as soon as getting in the room. After getting out of the room, you can take a bath (open-air bath is recommended) or cold shower. That is quite soothing.
Along the river, there is a ruin of waterfall shower. Many people used to take a waterfall shower here; however, it was damaged due to a flood, since then the facilities have not been fixed. You can see the pictures of this waterfall shower at the reception.
Shibaseki Onsen holds some events every season, such as Tanabata and the summer festival, to entertain visitors. Also, in the new year’s holidays, you can enjoy a Pomelo bath.
Finally, the name “Shibaseki” (紫石 in Japanese) derives from this stone. This is a fossil (化石 in Japanese) of firewood (柴 in Japanese) found in the Edo period. You can see this stone at the reception.
Name: Shibasekei Onsen
Address: 4 Kumi - 2 Noda, Beppu, Ōita
Access (Car): 32 min from the centre of Oita City. 39 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 35
Opening Hours: 07:00 - 20:00 (Family bath: 09:00 - 19:00)
Closing Days: Every second Wednesday (changes to the following day if it falls on a holiday)
Price: JPY 210