Yufuin Onsen "Kasei no yu"
We visited Yufuin Onsen “Kasei no yu” in Yufuincho Kawaminami, Yufu, Oita, which opened in 1881 and has 137 years of history. It is the oldest public bathhouse in Yufuin. According to the manager Hideo, the name “Kasei” (加勢 in Japanese) derives from the saying that a man can gain force by taking a bath.
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The bathroom is full of nostalgic charm. Although some components were modified, the building has been preserved without a renovation since it was built in 1881.
The hot spring water is soft and really soothing. Frequent bathers say it is good for skin and you won’t feel a chill after bathing. Hideo said “Many repeat visitors come to Kasei no yu attracted by the unforgettable bathing experience.” Also, the Women’s bath is almost the same.
The hot spring used to naturally rise up from the ground; however, it has been pumped up using a compressor from 1940s because it stopped rising up naturally due to the earthquakes. The original temperature is 80°C|176°F, and it is adjusted to the moderate temperature every day. Hideo said it is a tough job than he expected.
Ryuji came from Chiba. He loves aged onsen and have been to many hot spring spots. On this day, he found Kasei no yu by chance and came here. He said “It is really soothing and I’ve already spent about an hour in this bath.”
Hideo taught us there is a big Japanese cedar tree close to Kasei no yu. It is a national natural monument called “Ōgosya no ōsugi.” This is the biggest cedar tree in Oita Prefecture and more than 1000 years old. It is located within walking distance from Kasei no yu. If you have a time, it can be an option to see it. It might be refreshing.
Name: Kasei no yu (Yufuin Onsen)
Address: Yufuincho Kawaminami, Yufu, Oita
Access (Car): 44 min from the centre of Oita City. 47 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: None
Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 - 22:30
Price: JPY 100