Yunotsuru Onsen "Kiku no yu"
We visited Yunotsuru Onsen “Kiku no yu” in Yude, Minamata, Kumamoto. The address “Yude” (湯出 in Japanese which means “hot water coming out”) indicates this location has a deep relation to hot springs. The route to Kiku no yu is difficult to find, if you find the path on the picture above, go downstairs to get to the onsen.
The building located at the end of the bridge is Kiku no yu. The appearance is very simple and implies it is a genuine local public bathhouse. The beginning of Kiku no yu is not certain, however it existed at least 60 years ago. It used to have a thatched roof and only have a mixed bath. Also, there were some tubs for other purposes such as soaking persimmons, washing clothes, and washing farm animals.
As it is located on the river bank, the building is small and the aisle to the reception and bathroom is really narrow. Maybe only one person can pass at a time.
The reception is generally unstaffed, put JPY 100 into the blue box to enter to the bathroom. Although it is unstaffed, please make sure to follow the rule, we guarantee Kiku no yu can give you a wonderful bathing experience.
The dressing room is also very simple. Although there are many compartments, we assume the maximum number of people to fit in the room is three or four... As there are no lockers, keep your valuables by yourself.
When you open the door, you will soon notice the subtle sulphur fragrance and crystal clear water. This is one of the most clear hot spring water we have ever seen. In the past, the bottom of the tub was covered with pebbles. Also, the women’s bathroom has the same design.
The water is 41°C (105.8°F) and the type is simple thermal spring with subtle sulphur fragrance and carbon dioxide. Carbonated bubbles make the touch so smooth. Also, the water is gushing out from right under the bathroom, hence it is really fresh.
Toshiaki (left), who is 68 years old, often comes to Kiku no yu. And Isomi (right), who is 55 years old, goes around various hot springs almost every weekend when he is successful to get the permission from his wife. Kiku no yu is highly evaluated even by onsen lovers.
Finally, you can see a lot of big wild carps in the Yude river which is streaming right next to Kiku no yu. The water is amazingly clear. Also, small fishes are swimming at the gushing point of the hot spring. This onsen is loved by not only human beings!
Name: Kiku no yu
Address: 1372-3 Yude, Minamata, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 1 hour 42 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 1 hour 31 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 7
Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 - 18:00
Closing Days: Not specified
Price: JPY 100