Hot springs resort

The hot springs resort of Yunomine Onsen nestles in a valley basin in the Kii peninsula of Japan, where it has provided respite to weary trekkers on the Kumano kodo for at least a thousand years. As far as I know, it is the only hot springs that is formally registered as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Japanese Hot Spring Resort © Harold Davis

Japanese Hot Spring Resort © Harold Davis

A hot creek, belching steam and sulfur smell, runs down the center of the town. There are public baths anyone can use after paying a small fee beside the creek. Some of the pipes feed water from the hot springs to private baths such as the one shown below in the Ryokan in which I stayed.

Hot Spring Bath © Harold Davis

Hot Spring Bath © Harold Davis

A local culinary specialty is fish, cooked in the waters from the hot springs. I was therefore amused to find that the darker pool to the right of the bath is used to “keep fish fresh” until it is time to cook them. I took a bath in the hot spring with a gentle rain falling, and listened to the fish plash in their own pool next door, trying not to consider the fact that I might be having one of them for breakfast.

This entry was posted in Japan, Photography.

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