Yunomoto Onsen "Tanoyu Onsen"
We visited Yunomoto Onsen "Tanoyu Onsen" in Hioki city. Tanoyu Onsen was established in 1962.
At the reception counter, the owner's wife welcomed us with a smile.
The dressing room is big and clean. Although it seems there is a lock on each door, the locker doors cannot be locked. So we recommend you to bring a small plastic (waterproof) bag with you to keep your valuables while bathing.
The bathtub is filled with the sulphur water, and the water colour changes according to the temperature of the water. The water at the source is really hot and transparent, the colour changes to light-green as shown in this picture when the temperature gets lower, and finally it changes to milky white when the temperature gets much lower. The bath with the faucet (left) contains hot water, and the other bath (right) contains warm water.
The water is not recycled. The owner adjusts the water amount everyday to control the temperature considering the daily weather conditions. As the water colour changes depending on the temperature, sometimes bathers ask him if the water is changed or not. During our interview, a bather asked him about the water colour.
His name is Kóich, he comes to Tanoyu Onsen twice a week. He said his father and his grandfather were frequent bathers as well. He taught us the history of Yunomoto Onsen and the benefits of the water.
He is the owner Ken Akimine. He says the number of children and young bathers is decreasing. He is a leader of the group promoting sports in Hioki city, and now coaches volleyball for children. He says the water treats neuralgia and muscle pain.
In Tanoyu Onsen, the group called "日本朝風呂党" (a party for those who like taking a bath very early in the morning) was founded 1978 to facilitate the social interaction among the neighbors. The members used to get together at 5am to enjoy bathing.
Currently, Tanoyu Onsen opens at 5:30 am. If you like taking a bath very early in the morning, come here to be a member of the party. That may change your life.
Name: Yunomoto Onsen "Tanoyu Onsen"
Address: 3077 Yuda, HigashiIchiki-cho, Hioki, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 33 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 48 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 25
Opening Hours: 05:30 - 22:00
Closing Days: Every second Tuesday
Price: JPY 150