Beppu Shiei "Hamawaki Onsen"
We visited Beppu Shiei "Hamawaki Onsen" in Hamawaki, Beppu, Ōita. According the director Tatsuya, Hamawaki Onsen is the oldest hot spring area in Beppu Hatto (eight hot springs in Beppu). As the hot spring gushes (湧く waku in Japanese) from a beach (浜 hama in Japanese), this area is named as “Hamawaki Onsen.”
Yumiko welcomed us at the reception. She has been working here for 16 years, so she knows almost everything about the frequent visitors. She greets and talks to them every day.
This is the dressing room, it is really big to be capable of a lot of visitors at a time. As you can see, the bathroom is located half downstairs (you can see stairs behind the compartments). The number of visitors coming to Hamawaki Onsen is over 180,000 per year (500 per day), which is the largest in numerous municipal bathhouses in Beppu. During our photo shooting, a lot of people were coming. Also, it is open until 1am everyday. That is helpful for people working at the nighttime.
This is the bathroom. It is really big and the bathtub is filled with a large amount of hot spring water. Although it is big, the bath is still hot! According to Tatsuya, the original temperature is 64°C|147.2°F in summer and 60°C|140°F in winter, and the bath is set to 45°C|113°F throughout the year without adding cold water, which is rather hot even in Beppu. The water type is simple thermal spring, hence you would hardly get bored with it. The Women’s bath is almost the same as the Men’s bath.
He is a frequent bather Ryohei (the name of the man). He is really good at singing and used to be qualified for a nationwide folk song competition. He says singing can be a training of abdominal muscles, so it helps him get fit.
He is the director Tatsuya. He is smart and really kind. He was born in Kyoto and used to live in Miyazaki; however, he has been so much in love with onsen and moved to Beppu so that he can enjoy various hot springs whenever he wants. We have never met a man who actually moved for the sake of onsen except him. The attraction of Beppu, which is the biggest onsen city in Japan, is amazing!
This is a local food called “Ishigaki-mochi” that is made from sweet potato. Tatsuya said, in Hamawaki Onsen, the staff and the frequent visitors have established a really good relationship, and they voluntarily help each other. So, he also said and laughed, as a director, he has almost nothing to do.
Name: Beppu Shiei "Hamawaki Onsen"
Address: 1 Chome-8-20 Hamawaki, Beppu, Ōita
Access (Car): 18 min from the centre of Oita City. 44 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 20
Opening Hours: 06:30am - 1:00am
Closing Days: Not specified
Price: JPY 100