We visited "Onoaida Onsen" in Onoaida, Yakushima-chō, Kumage. This onsen opened several hundreds of years ago, and it is said that people discovered this onsen by hearing from a hunter who found a deer curing the injuries with the hot spring water here. The current building was built in 1994.
Onoaida Onsen in located at the entrance of the mountain trail of Yakushima.
The manager Michitaka welcomed us at the reception. He is really good at playing Ground Golf, many local visitors asked him about the recent match results during our interview.
The dressing room is simple. There is also a bench for elderlies.
As soon as you enter the bathroom, the big bathtub and colourful wall art will catch your eye. This painting shows the lyrics of a song and the people dancing in the local festival. The picture above is of the men's bath, the manager says the women's bath has a different painting. He also says the bathtub is the same.
The temperature of the hot spring is 49°C (120.2°F) which is bubbling up from the bottom of the bathtub (the picture above is the location of the hot spring source). Also, a large amount of hot water is always gushing from the source, which makes the edge of the tub really hot. Please be careful when you step closer to the bath.
What is surprising is that locals ease into this really hot bath without any hesitation. They say "Scoop and pour the water over your body some times before ease into the bath. Then you can ease into it." We gave it a try, and finally we were able to soak in the bath.
The hot spring water is so fresh and has a subtle sulphur flavour, and its pH value is 9.6 (alkaline), which has the touch of extraordinary smoothness.
A frequent bather Akinari sitting on the gushing point. The water in that location should be really hot, but he is smiling. Amazing...
There is a foot bath outside of the main building. The majorities of visitors are locals after work and visitors after nature trekking, both come to Onoaida Onsen typically in the evening. Also many foreign visitors visit this onsen as Yakushima is a popular destination for them. The water is said to be good for muscle pain and skin diseases.
The manager Michitaka has been working for Onoaida Onsen for 27 years. He emphasizes that each of the bathers should follow the manners because the onsen is shared with all bathers including locals and visitors. Please make sure to follow the basic manners such as "Rinse off the body before getting into the bath", "Do NOT put the towel in the bath", "After using bucket or stool in the bathroom, put it back to the original position". For details, see "How to Take a Japanese bath" in our website.
Apart from hot springs, you can enjoy amazing nature in Yakusima. We will show some photos. First, this is the beautiful ocean.
Deers and monkeys are living together so closely. That is quite unusual.
As the monkeys get used to living with humans, we could approach them closely to take a photo.
Name: Onoaida Onsen
Address: 1299 Onoaida, Yakushima-chō, Kumage, Kagoshima
Access: 49 min from the Yakushima Miyanoura port. 33 min from the Yakushima airport
Parking Lot: 30
Opening Hours: Monday 12:00 - 21:30, Tuesday to Sunday 07:00 - 21:30
Closing Days: Not specified (during local festivals)
Price: JPY 200