May 14, 2009

Rotenburo at Yunokami Onsen, Fukushima Pref. Closed Down

I heard it's empty now. (Photo: Courtesy of Ishida-san, both shooted in Oct. 2008 by him)

Real bad news... The famous rotenburo of Yunokami Onsen in Aizu Area, Fukushima Pref. has been closing down since May 7th 2009, likely for good.

Officially the reason was explained that it's against the Japanese Public Bath Regulations as there was no changing room/space around the bath. But this gender mixed open-air bath had been available for about 30 years without changing room. Nobody is satisfied with the explanation.

Many say the real reason of closing down must be increasing visitors without common sense. Leaving garbage after eating and drinking around the bath, camping overnight although not permitted, making big noise, and so on are pointed out.

You can't see the reflection of the hot spring at lower right anymore.

【Rekated Post】 Shimizuya Ryokan, Yunokami Onsen, Fukushima Pref. (Feb. 15, 2010)


  1. Hi Onsen soaker
    Really bad news, i hoppe japanese people will not copy all bad western habits.I sought that respect of nature was heritated from the Shinto influence.
    Mata yomimasu

  2. Hi Dreny-san:
    Honestly I know almost nothing about Shinto. I think most of my friends and my husband doesn't know either. SO I can't write about the relationship between religion and behavior.

    But sometimes I think about what I am doing on-line. I write about good onsens in Japanese and in English. If more people visits there, maybe the number of people without common sense will also increase...I am afraid.

  3. Hi Onsen soaker sama
    I am not a specialist either about japanese culture, but historically only japanese people are taking every day a bath. It is believed that the bath should remove the daily stain and purify (yuami, misogi)the body before goin to bed.
    In the shinto religion there many gods(kami) represented through a stone, a tree a riwer,so nature is part of the religion and should be respected.
    On the other hand before the arrival of the western culture Sento and Onsen were the major places for regulare japanese people(farmer and merchand) to socialise together , drinking, having fun, naked and mixed.
    The Meiji revolution prohibited in 1871 the mixed bath not because of moral reason but because of the westerner (british and americans)who talled them it is not civilized.
    By the way in 1871 the governement prohibited also mixed bath at the beach because at that time people did not use swimsuit.
    So it is not your writting who influence bad behavior only people who do not respect a minimum of collective rules wherever they are :onsen, beach, park.
    Keep writting for us

  4. It has been my dream to soak in an open air mixed onsen :) There is only one Japanese style onsen in Sydney, actually it's 2 hours driving from Sydney, and it cost $250 pp for one night in the villa and free for the onsen.I Wish I lived in Japan so I could go to onsen every weekend without getting broke :)

  5. Hi Rashai!

    Wow, Japanese style Onsen near Sydney sounds exciting! I have to visit there when I come to Sydney.

    As for the soaking cost, I have to admit it's cheap in Japan. Many places still charge nothing. I like these free places and basic public baths, usually I don't go to fancy spa places.

    Just wait for your next chance to visit nice onsen in Japan!


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