We visited "Kaimon Onsen" located on Yamagawaoka Chiyogamizu, Ibusuki city. The hot spring source was drilled and dug by the current owner Yasuko's father by hand. At that time, steam rose up from the ground surface and the surface was so hot. No one could walk with bare feet.
The left door leads to Men's bath, and the right door leads to Women's bath.
As the owner Yasuko hardly is in the reception, bathers insert coins into this tiny box.
This is the dressing room, it is very simple and the compartments are open. You have to keep your valuables safe by yourself.
The water contains iron and sodium chloride. The water colour changes in the order of transparent - blue - yellow depending on the time and season.
A large amount of water gushes out of the faucet. They say the water treats stomach flu and skin diseases. In the past, horses and cows were essential for living, people washed these animals with this water to get rid of ticks.
He is a frequent bather Syogo. He used to live in Kobe, but he now lives in a house close to Kaimon Onsen and comes here everyday to bathe and help Yasuko. The bathroom is equipped with some woody pillows (you can find one in the middle-left of the picture above), frequent bathers like to lie down on the floor and pour the water over their body as they like. They also sometimes sleep on the floor, they say enjoying bathing in this way is the best way to forget the time and ease the body.
The owner Yasuko is 84 years old, but is really energetic. That is amazing. She talked to us so quickly without any pause, considering her age, she actually left us a strong impression. She said "I have been living here 81 years, and I am the boss in this area!" and "A man should do what he/she should do and say what he/she should say." Some frequent bathers call her as "Mom", after the interview, we understood the reason why she is loved by them. Talking to her is really pleasing.
In the bathroom, there are some messages from Yasuko. For example, "Sleep here, share the space and sing a song together", "Say hello to a stranger and become friends".
Name: Kaimon Onsen
Address: 1446, YamagawaokaChiyogamizu, Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 1 hour 20 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 1 hour 35 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 30
Opening Hours: Daily 09:30 - 18:00
Price: JPY 300