We visited Chosenji “Yakushiyu” in Noda, Beppu. Chosenji is a temple situated close to Tatsumaki Jigoku, and Yakushiyu is an onsen in the temple.
To bathe in Yakushiyu, ring the bell at the temple priest’s house to ask for the permission for soaking.
Sadako, who is 85 years old, welcomed us at the entrance. She has been working for Chosenji Temple from the age of the previous priest. To use Yakushiyu, put a small offering to the box. The price depends on you, but just a small offering is enough. After that, you need to sign on the note, then you are ready for the onsen experience!
The bathroom is located only a couple of minutes away. This is a private bathroom, so you can use this bath alone, only with your friends, or only with your family. If the doors are closed, that means someone is using the bath. At that time, please wait a while until he/she finishes bathing.
The bathroom and bathtub have been used for 50 years. The tub is not big, maybe 2 people can bathe at a time at the maximum. Although the room is small, it is filled with bright natural light and that makes bathing experience so compfortable.
The hot spring water is neither recycled nor mixed with normal water. It is 100% natural. The temperature is approx. 43°C|110°F which is hotter than the average bath.
Yuta is a member of Beppu Hatto Onsendo, he has been expected to be a next-generation master in the group. Of course, he likes to visit onsens when he has time. These days, he likes to visit onsens outside of Beppu.
Chosenji Temple was established in 1044. During its long history, the temple has been damaged seriously sometimes, such as at the time of the Ōnin War, but it has overcome hard times. As Emperor Go-Reizei stayed here for the medicinal bating in the past, this temple enshrines Yakushi Nyorai (God of Medicine), which is quite unusual for the temples belonging to Jōdo Buddhism. As for the hot spring, the quality has been highly reputed by onsen fans, many visitors come from across the country. Also, the priest Kazunori is an attractive person. Talking to him gave us some insights. Maybe his personality is a reason why so many fans are attracted to this onsen. We would like to have a talk with him again.
Finally, we will let you know a secret of Yakushiyu. You can find some buckets around the bathtub. You may wonder what these are for. The answer is that these buckets contain hot spring water cooled down. If the bath temperature is too hot to soak in, you can use the water to lower it. By adding the water in these buckets instead of adding normal water, the hot spring water won’t get weakened. This is a great service to onsen fans! If you have used a bucket, scoop the hot water again and leave it on the side of the bathtub so that the next visitor can use it.
Name: Chosenji Yakushiyu
Address: 800-6 Noda, Beppu, Oita
Access (Car): 36 min from the centre of Oita City. 40 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 6
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 16:00
Closing Days: Not specified
Price: A small offering to Chosenji Temple