We visited “Teruyu Onsen” in Ogura, Beppu, Ōita. An onigawara hung on the wall caught our eye. This is curious, we have never seen onigawara hung on onsen buildings.
We asked Takeko, who is the chairman of women’s union, about the onigawara. She said Teruyu Onsen was opened by the Kurushima clan which dominated the Bungo area in the past, and their descendant who now lives in Imabari in Shikoku donated this onigawara because it is one of the specialty goods in Imabari.
This is the appearance. The current building was built in 2003.
Katsuko welcomed us with a smile at the reception. She was a classmate of Takeko, and Teruyu Onsen is operated by the members of the women’s union. As the bath is hot, she always tells first-time visitors “Be careful not to be scalded.”
This is the dressing room. It is connected with the bathroom (there is nothing to separate these rooms) and well maintained. Teruyu Onsen is famous for its cleanness, and sometimes operators of other bathhouses visit here to learn the know-how.
This is the first bathroom. The stones used for the bathroom floor have been moved from the previous building. The previous building only had a mix bathroom, but the current building has two bathrooms and the Men’s & Women’s bathroom switches daily. The rooms are cleaned by the Takeko’s husband every day, he uses a sponge to wipe off every tiny water spot to prevent mold.
This is the faucet. In Teruyu Onsen, the hot spring water is generated by mixing ground water and steam naturally gushing from the ground. The water colour changes depending on the weather conditions, it can be blue, and can contain a lot of deposited minerals. Frequent bathers say the bath treats neuralgia and frozen shoulder, and is also good for skin, and they won’t feel a chill after bathing here.
Shintaro (the name of the man in the bath) was born in Beppu. He now lives in Tokyo, but comes here when he visits Beppu for business meetings.
This is the second bathroom, the Men’s and Women’s bathroom switches every day. On this day, this was for Women.
Many frequent bathers sit on this bench after taking a bath and chat with local friends. Especially, when the Sumo match is on-air, everyone stays here to watch it together.
You can buy three onsen tamagos (eggs soft-boiled in a hot spring) for JPY 100.
Takeko is a member of the local onsen learning group, and manages other two hot springs nearby. She is considering to start a new service, for example, “Women’s Day” where women suffered with a breast cancer can enjoy the bath privately without being seen by other bathers.
There is a hill named “Enma Zaka” nearby where you can find a statue of Enma. If you have a time, we recommend you to take a walk in Beppu.
Name: Teruyu Onsen
Address: 1430 Ogura, Beppu, Ōita
Access (Car): 28 min from the centre of Oita City. 41 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 15
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 21:00
Price: JPY 200