The Weirdest Onsen in Japan

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The Weirdest Onsen in Japan
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Tags: etiquettekanagawakantoonsen

Many of us are familiar with the Japanese Onsen or hot springs, which are found extensively all over Japan. They can be experienced in snow-capped mountains, forest, seaside and even in the city areas. The Onsen is also one of the must-try experiences for anyone visiting Japan, and you have the option of choosing one which is based on your budget.

Onsens or hot springs date back hundreds of years, where local Japanese used them for baths and mainly for health purposes due to the mineral-rich properties of the waters produced by the hot springs. There are over a few thousand of these Onsen found all over Japan, but one of them tends to stand out due to its uniqueness.

Japanese Onsen is highly popular among locals and foreigners.


This special Japanese Onsen is found at the Yunessun Spa Resort, which is located in the Hakone district of Japan. This place is also not too far from the capital of Tokyo, which is south-west, and a two-hour train ride to experience Japan’s weirdest Onsen.

Yunessun Spa Resort is a highly popular destination for many local Japanese and foreigners, mainly due to the fact that this resort operates as not only an Onsen but a full serviced resort which is also branded as a Hot Spring Paradise.

The Yunessun Onsen Spa & Resort in Hakone, Kanagawa.

The place offers a mini water park, outdoor swimming pools, themed indoor pools, outdoor spas, scenic landscapes and the main attraction – The unique flavoured Onsen. In total, there are 23 hot spring baths found at Yunessun.

Among the unique Onsen here, they have four types which are actually mind-blowing, and totally a must try for anyone visiting here. These special Onsen are known as beautifying baths, that have properties to help with skin complexion.


For the serious hardcore coffee lovers, a strange coffee onsen just for you.

Coffee Onsen

Known as the first of its kind in Japan, the Coffee Onsen comprises of coarse coffee which is brewed with the low temperatures of the hot spring water. Why people bath here is for the special healing properties of fatigue and also skin beautifying, which means that a lot of women are seen at this particular coffee onsen.

Photos of the Coffee Onsen from Yunessun website.

Coffee is added three times daily into the Onsen, which is at 9.30 AM, 12.30 PM, and 3.30 PM and the coffee is provided by M.M.C Mitsumoto Coffee of Japan. So if you are up for a Coffee Onsen for beautifying your skin, this is the hot spring to go to, and you are reminded not to drink the coffee water here.


The weird red wine Onsen with a large bottle pouring wine into the hot spring. Photo Pamso on Flickr/CC BY-SA 3.0

Red Wine Onsen

Wine baths have been known from the ancient Egyptian days of Cleopatra, where it was known to rejuvenate the skin, and now you too can do this at Yunessun by soaking yourself at the unique Red Wine Onsen here. The wine that is used in this hot spring is also the famous Hakone Red Wine.

Inside the indoor wine onsen photos from the Yunessun Spa.

There are two wine onsen found here, one indoor and one outdoors, and is highly popular from Spring to Autumn time. A super-sized 3.6-meter red wine bottle is fixed next to the Onsen is seen pouring wine into the hot spring.

Occasionally, the staff will come and pour red wine from a bottle into the hot spring, and often plastic cups are provided for guests to take some of the red wine and drink it. The wine is also added three times a day at 10.00 AM, 1.30 PM and also at 4.00 PM. Again, you are reminded not to drink the Onsen water here.


A couple enjoying the Sake Onsen at Yunessun.

Sake Onsen

Truly Japanese, the Sake Onsen is highly popular among the locals, due to the said properties of removing age spots and freckles from the skin as the sake minimizes the production of melanin. Sake is also said to help boost the immune system and also ward off certain allergies.

Some advice is not to submerge your head into the Sake or swim in it as the sake water will sting your eyes. The trick here is to just sit in the tub and enjoy the sake water. It is not fully 100% sake but diluted with normal hot spring water, but you can still taste the sake.


The unique Green Tea Onsen at Yunessun. Photo Pamso on Flickr/CC BY-SA 3.0

Green Tea Onsen

Green Tea has been known to provide skin beautification, boosting skin health and immune system, and also improve blood circulation, hence this unique Japanese green tea or Ocha Onsen. The colour of the hot spring is vividly green, and waters set at 42 degrees centigrade, which makes this Onsen one of the very popular ones.

The green tea leaves are pluck from the Tanzawa and Hakone Mountains, where they are grown. Green tea is also known to contain antioxidants called catechins that protect cells, and also keep skin looking younger. This Onsen is also an outdoor type, hence is highly popular off the winter season.


Kids enjoying themselves at the chocolate bath in Yunessun.

Other Strange Onsen at Yunessun

Well, there are more different types of Onsen and baths found here, including a Syrup Onsen bath, Chocolate Onsen, Orange Peel Onsen just to name a few of them. At the end of the day, this unique hot spring resort will provide you with a one-of-a-kind experience, where you will definitely be taking photos and sharing them on your social media.

The place is worth a visit and can be done solo, a couple or even as a family or group travel. You can spend at least a day or two here, and also visit some of the beautiful sightseeing spots around Hakone.


Tattoos must be covered up, or you will not be allowed at the Onsen.

Rules for using the Onsen

All over Japan, there are some strict rules for Onsen usage, and they vary from different Onsen all over the country. One of the strictest rules is the no tattoo ruling, where many Onsen do not allow those with tattoos to utilize them.

However, these can be overcome by covering up with a surfing type half body suit or rash guard, so that your tattoo is not visible. If you have a tattoo, please make sure that it is covered up before you enter any public Onsen. Private Onsen are different, where you can go stark naked if you like.

If you disobey the rules, the staff will simply ask you to leave the Onsen, and that would ruin your day, so it is best to always check on the Onsen rules before you book or visit one. This applies to almost all Onsen throughout Japan.

However, there are a handful of Onsen that will allow tattooed people in, but you need to look for them if you are heavily tattooed.


Map showing where Yunessun Onsen is located.

Where Is Yunessun Onsen?

Yunessun Onsen Spa and Resort is located in the Hakone district of Kanagawa in Japan. It is also in the south-west area from Tokyo, and to get here, there are train services which take one and a half to two hours from Tokyo City.

The fastest way is by taking the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo Station to Odawara, and then take the bus from Odawara Station to the Yunessanzen Bus Stop, which takes another 35 minutes. Once you reach the stop, you can just walk one minute to the Onsen.


Here are some directions to Yunessun from Tokyo. Image from Yunessun website.

For foreigners wanting to travel here, you can take the train service, as this would be the easiest mode of transport to get here. You can take the trains directly from the Haneda and Narita Airports in Tokyo.

Otherwise, you can also rent a car and self-drive here from Tokyo, which will take you around one hour and forty-five minutes drive. This way, you can experience the local towns and a scenic journey here.

The indoor public pool at Yunessun Resort and Spa.

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun

Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0407 Japan

Tel from Japan: 0460-82-4126

Tel from abroad: +81 460-82-4126

Website: https://www.yunessun.com/en/

 

David Hogan Jr
David Hogan Jr
A multiple award-winning travel writer, blogger and social media enthusiast. He has been traveling to Japan since 1990 and all over the world for his work. His work has been featured on CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Lonely Planet and many other publications. David writes at: http://malaysia-asia.my and is on social media platforms as @MalaysiaAsia

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