Kowakien Yunessun: An Onsen Theme Park in Hakone

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Kowakien Yunessun: An Onsen Theme Park in Hakone
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Tags: destinationshakonejapaneseculturekanagawakantoonsen

This is one of the must-do things in Hakone – dip yourselves into a hot spring.

Hakone is where one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts is located. There are many bath houses and ryokan in this area. Most ryokans here open their bath to walk-in visitors at a fee while some only cater for overnight guests. If you are too shy to have a dip in the public bath, don’t miss out! You can still wear your swim suit and enjoy the luxurious hot spring water.

Yunessun Hot Spring & Spa Resort is a hot spring theme park rather than a hot spring alone. It’s a leisure facility suitable for families and friends. It is divided into zones: Yunessun is the themed pool where you can have fun and enjoy the dips in your swimsuit; whereas Mori No Yu is an open-air hot spring filled with Japanese atmosphere but this is considered as a naked zone (men and women in a separate bath, of course).

To purchase the ticket to enter Yunessun, just go to the front desk. You will be given a wristband that works like your wallet. You can use it at the restaurants, vending machine inside this area without worrying about your valuables. They will total up and bill you before you leave the facility. All you need to do is go to the locker, change and then enjoy the splashing moment.

You can rent a swimsuit here if you need one.

The Swimsuit Zone in Yunessun is pretty huge. Once you enter, there are The Gods’ Aegean and Dr. Fish Foot Bath with Dr. Fish (¥ 100 each time) that nibbles the dead skin away. What makes this place interesting is the drink-themed spa such as Green Tea Spa (which is rich in catechins), Japanese Sake Spa (real sake continuously drips out from the wooden cask), Coffee Spa, Wine Spa and another spa which changes every month (according to the theme set by the resort). When I was here, it was the maple syrup theme. These pools are more than just coloured water. They are actually filled with the real drink but they are only “drinkable” to the skin. I could smell the aromatic scent of the coffee.

Don’t miss out the “pouring” performance that is scheduled three times a day at the Coffee Spa and Wine Spa. The coffee is brewed at low-temperature hot spring water with the coarsely grounded beans by using the flannel drip method and then poured into the pool barrel-by-barrel.

This is Wine Spa. It is said to be loved by Cleopatra and Queen Mary in the past as a “rejuvenating bath” and makes your skin smoother and glowing with the antioxidants in the wine.

At the outdoor section, there is Rodeo Mountain with slides which the kids will love, Dragon Waterfall, Hot Spring Cave and the open-air hot spring with a picturesque view. This was the place I enjoyed the view of Sakura in the dip.

Before leaving, you can get some Hakone souvenirs from the Mio Mall in the resort’s building. I bought some bath salt, packed in a variety of flavours such as ramen, collagen, sake, wine, and others.

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

Address | 1297 Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0407
Telephone | +81 (0)460-82-4141
Website | yunessun.com

Directions |
From Odawara Station (about 40 minutes), take the Hakone Tozan Bus (or Izu-Hakone Bus) towards the direction of Moto-hakone-ko/Hakone-machi. Get down at the Kowakien Stop. Yunessun Inn is 5-minute walk away through the indoor connecting passageway from Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

From Hakone-yumoto Station (about 20 minutes), take the Izu-Hakone Bus to the direction of Kowakien Stop. Yunessun Inn is 5-minute walk away through the indoor connecting passageway from Hakone Kowakien Yunessun.

Admission fee |
Yunessun (Swimsuit Zone): Adult ¥ 2,900; Children ¥ 1,600
Mori no Yu (Naked Zone): Adult ¥ 1,900; Children ¥ 1,200
Both zones: Adult ¥ 4,100; Children ¥ 2,100

Ivy Chang
Ivy Chang
A girl who has wanderlust and love travel very much. She deeply falls in love with Japan ever since she stepped onto the "land of rising sun" in year 2002. She always wishes to explore more about Japan; the beauty of its art and culture, people and spirit, food and language. She finds that every prefecture in Japan is very unique and different from one another and always has a dream to visit all 47 prefectures in Japan.

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