There is a strange hot spring inn where the waters change colors based on the weather, clear, light blue, green, white, and black are the only way you can categorize these changes at the Goshoku no Yu Ryokan (Five color bath inn).
The time I visited it was one of the coldest days of winter, and the indoor bath was a milky green color while the outdoor bath was a slight greyish white.
Not only was the color amusing the water type was sulfur which is what I like, and it has been put on my list of favorite onsens.
A visit during a snow storm
Goshoku no Yu Ryokan has been in many magazines that I read. One day, eventually. I will visit I always thought and that day came. It was a full on snow storm blowing, the day I visited. I bathed as a visitor.
Although you might think it’s just some lone inn with a secluded bath, but the exterior seems more like a lodge.
If you didn’t know that it was a famous onsen you would most likely pass by but this is in fact the 5 color onsen Goshoku no Yu.
The charming indoor bath
Fortunately there were no other people and I had this bath all to myself. After undressing in the dressing area, you slide open the door and are greeted by a soft scent of sulfur wafting up.
In the tub is a beautiful milky green colored hot spring water, that makes your heart dance. (the green is thought to come from hydrogen sulfide ions)
The flooring is a one of a kind design with the tub in the middle and the boards radiating out.
This bath definitely has a lot of atmosphere and with its ever flowing premium hot water, I have fallen for this indoor bath completely.
An amazing bathing experience!
While excited, I thoroughly rinse off and finally step into the inviting water.
It feels just a bit warm, but then again seems just right. This water is probably around 42 degrees Celsius.
After a bit the body gets warmed up and used to the temperature, and that’s when you just fall into a state of bliss.
“I don’t need anything…everything is here..” that’s what it feels like.
This is what I think is the joy of onsen. I have been in many onsen but this falls in my best 10!
An outdoor bath with a snow view!
The proprietress said “the outdoor bath is probably warm so I don’t recommend it” but as an onsen sommelier I had to try it since I came all this way! At least that’s what I told myself.
It is distant from the indoor bath so you have to dress before you fight the harsh cold to the outdoor bath.
Undressing again but quickly, at the little dressing room next to the outdoor bath you jump in.
It really is luke-warm. The temperature is probably around 37 degrees Celsius if that. While in the water it isn’t cold but you can’t say it’s hot by any stretch.
The redeeming factor is the snow piling up in the valley and that scenic view!
Although it is supposed to be drawing from the same hot spring, the color of the water is different; here it is a slight greyish white. This time I was able to see 2 out of the 5 colors.
The outdoor bath is probably best left for warmer seasons.
This onsen is highly recommended for onsen lovers who are influenced by the type of water!
Although I stayed in the outdoor bath for a while I didn’t get warmed up, so I returned to the indoor bath to warm both my body and my heart.
For those that like scenery the outdoor bath is awesome but for those who choose the water the indoor bath will really satisfy you.
Although I was planning to visit the other onsens in the area, because of the water here at Goshoku no Yu Ryokan, I thought it would be a waste to leave, so I stayed here for as long as possible before my trip back home.
Dear onsen fans:
This is truly a recommended onsen by me Onsen Sommelier Gucchi Not when you have a chance but this place is one to make that happen!
*onsen type basic sulfuric hot spring *pH 7.7 (weak alkaline) *temp 57.5 degrees Celsius *no additional water, heat, antibiotics, naturally flowing *Visitor bath fee 500 JPY *Visitor bath time 10am to 3pm
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