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Posted by Kinakinw | --:-- | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | スポンサー広告

07 2013

Takaragawa Onsen – Large-scale Open Spa


We stopped at Osenkaku, the only one inn in Takaragawa Hot spring, on the way home from Hoshi hot spring. The inn was the same as Chouju-kan in the sense that both lone inns were located along a river in the mountains and the main attractions at Minakami area (the northern part of Gunma Prefecture). However, their facilities and flavors completely differed from one another.


The inn is famous for multiple large-scale outdoor baths. Not only hotel guests, visitors can enjoy them from 9:00 to 17:00 (1,500yen), and many onsen-lovers visit it with the open spa as a guide.

From the entrance building on top of the valley, we walked down into the bathing area through walkways with a lot of traditional folk handicrafts and articles.

Takaragawa_4 Takaragawa_5
The inn has kept Asiatic black bears on the premise since the late owner took care of bear cubs that lost their mother. I heard visitors could take a bath with bears until it was banned by the law.


Passing by the bear’s cages, we got to the broad bathing area where unpartitioned mixed baths were scattered along the stream. In the mixed baths, it was allowed to wear a bath towel, the exception rather than the rule in Japanese bathing facilities, so women could enjoy without feeling someone's eyes. At the same time, most of men also wore the towel, so even though I walked right past the mixed baths, I didn’t come across bare-naked guys.

There are three mixed bathtubs and one for women along the stream. The one in the opening photo is the biggest mixed bath called Kodakara-no-yu (310 square meters) with a gorgeous view. The other mixed baths are Maka-no-yu (186 square meters) Hannya-no-yu (77.5 square meters). The one for women where I used is Maya-no-yu (155 square meters).

It’s 100% natural hot spa flowing from the origin: no additive water, no additional heat, no circulation filtering, no bath supportive, and no chemical. I’m sure this large-scale spa is one of the highlights among various Japanese hot spring facilities.

From Osenkaku’s HP (reproduction allowed) 汪泉閣HPより転載可能な写真
Left hand side(左手): Kodakara-no-yu 子宝の湯
Right hand side(右手): Hannya-no-yu 般若の湯

HP (in Japanese, English, and Chinese)  汪泉閣HP

Posted by Kinakinw | 15:36 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Travel & Hot Spring

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