We visited “Amakusa Yu-Rakuen” in Shinwamachi Ikariishi, Amakusa, Kumamoto. The building has a unique football-shaped design. The owner Toru graduated an university in Tokyo and then started working in Tokyo as well, however, came back to his hometown Amakusa when his father opened Yu-Rakuen in 1995.
The reception staff kindly welcomed us. By the way, the baseball uniform hung on the reception is of Hirofumi Yamanaka playing for Tokyo Yakult Swallows. He is a relative of Toru’s wife.
Lockers are available in the dressing room. As you can see, a lot of clothes are stored in the compartments. That means a lot of people are bathing in this moment. Actually, the inflow of visitors didn’t stop during our photo shooting.
You can use three types of bath in the bathroom - warm bath, hot bath and cool bath. According to the owner Toru, his father didn’t expect to discover a hot/cool spring, he just wanted to find a groundwater source. However, he discovered an excellent cool spring source just by chance. And the reputation of the cool spring water, which was described as “extremely soft water”, was immediately spread to locals. Since then, so many number of people started to come to Yu-Rakuen. Toru says “A tremendous number of people were coming and I was almost getting insane. lol” He had been not able to take even a single day off for the first five years.
As the locals reputed, this cool spring water is really good. Its pH value exceeds 10 (high alkaline), and that enables the water to have an exceptional silky touch. Once you touch the water, you can notice the difference. Toru says the touch of the water changes everyday depending on the weather conditions. He recommends May or June as the touch becomes really smooth. Also, when you get out of the bath, please touch your skin, we are sure you will be surprised.
Kazushige (the name of the man in the bath) regularly comes to Yu-Rakuen two or three times a week. He prefers to take a hot bath, sauna bath, and cool bath in order. During our interview, he repeated these actions over two hours. It was amazing...
Yu-Rakuen also provides a restaurant service. Toru thinks that all the services he provides are exhibition of what he can do. He tries to prepare vegetables and eggs by himself as far as possible and provide them in the restaurant. Also, he is planning to establish another attraction in Yu-Rakuen making the most out of the nature of Amakusa. We are really exited to see the new attraction of Yu-Rakuen in the future.
Address: 81-8 Shinwamachi Ikariishi, Amakusa, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 2 hour 9 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 2 hour 17 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 10
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 (Weekdays), 10:00 - 22:00 (Weekend, Holidays)
Closing Days: Tuesday, New Year’s Day
Price: JPY 410