We visited “Atami Onsen” in Suehiromachi, Ōita, Ōita, which is so close to the JR Ōita station.
The owner Sueko welcomed us with a gentle smile at the reception.
Hmm, there is something strange. The largest number is 17, but there actually are 5 columns and 3 rows, that is there are only 15 lockers, 4 and 9 are missing. Did you notice that? We couldn't get the reason in our interview, the entire design is really unusual, it’s somehow retro.
Anyway, there are 15 lockers in the dressing room in which you can keep your valuables safe.
There are two bathtubs in the bathroom, both contain coffee-coloured moor hot spring. The left bath is a little bit big and hot, and the right bath is warm (approx. 41°C|105.8°F). The room is filled with the fragrance of the moor hot spring. We didn’t expect we can find such an excellent hot spring so close to the JR station. We were surprised with Atami Onsen. Oita is really an “Onsen City.”
The faucet is shaped like a carp. Atami Onsen supplies sodium bicarbonate saline spring. Frequent bathers say it can ease back pain.
Nobuyuki is 66 years old, and he lives nearby and regularly comes to Atami Onsen. He has been coming to Atami Onsen for more than 15 years.
Atami Onsen opened in 1957 as a normal Sento (a bathhouse without hot spring using normal water), and drilled a hot spring in 1983, since then, it has been running as a hot spring bathhouse. The name used to be “熱海” (the pronunciation “Atami” is the same but written in Kanji), but it was changed to “あたみ” (written in Hiragana) because “熱海” is a well-known hot spring town in Kanagawa.
Sueko and frequent bathers have built a really good relationship. In the past, she had to stay at a hospital for two months due to her health problem. In that period, some frequent bathers voluntarily worked for Atami Onsen not to close the bathhouse. Some worked at the reception and some cleaned the rooms at night. What a wonderful relationship!
The hot spring, people, and atmosphere of Atami Onsen is really relaxing. If you come to Oita, please take a time to visit here. As it is located so close to the station, you can easily have a chance.
Name: Atami Onsen
Address: 1-3-4 Suehiromachi, Ōita, Ōita
Access (Car): 8 min from the centre of Oita City. 56 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 2
Opening Hours: 14:00 - 23:00
Closing Days: Tuesday, January 1 to 3
Price: JPY 380