Yunomine Onsen

Yunomine Onsen is an ancient spa town in the middle of Kumano kodo territory. A hot creek runs down the middle of the town next to the road; you can see an old stone bridge crossing the thermal creek in the photo below.

Yunomine Onsen © Harold Davis
Yunomine Onsen © Harold Davis

Onsen means bath, which in Japan is usually a communal affair. In Yunomine Onsen there are public hot springs—you pay a small admission fee—and private hot springs associated with individual guesthouses. Most of the guesthouses have traditional gender-segregated bath houses in addition to the hot springs. It’s amazing to think that pilgrims have been enjoying the restorative properties of these thermal springs for literally thousands of years.

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