The particular smell of sulfuric spring tends to disappear as time passes but if it stays strong it’s a proof of quality – it means that the hot spring always has fresh water gushing out of the earth. Now I will introduce Tamagoyu Inn, where the water smells like eggs and your skin becomes shiny and polished like eggs. The open-air bath in the snowy winter is truly the best.
Good quality water! 100% freely flowing hot spring
In 2010 Takayu Onsen town was Fukushima prefecture’s first place to announce that its hot springs are made of 100% freely flowing hot water. It was the 8th hot spring town in Japan to announce this and the first one in Tohoku region. At Tamagoyu Inn, which is part of Takayu Onsen, the water is also 100% freely flowing.
The local manager, called “hot water guardian”, makes sure that the water temperature is perfect for the season and the number of guests. It’s amazing how he manages to do that in a natural way, without adding any cold water or heating up the existing pools.
The inn’s garden has 3 open-air baths and 2 indoor baths, therefore it’s called a “hot spring garden”. Additionally, there are 2 more indoor baths inside the inn, which makes a total of 7 for the entire place. None of them is gender-mixed so girls can use them without worries. Well, actually the newly built footbath is gender-mixed. But it’s nice to spend some leisurely time with friends and family while soaking your feet in the hot water.
On the photo you can see “Tenkei no yu” bath, which is made of two separate pools with a different water temperature. This one can be used by both men and women in shifts. The rough feeling of the rock floor makes a nice contrast with the thatched-roof changing room. There’s a lot of space which makes this open-air bath quite pleasant.
An old hot spring hut in which people relax
The most popular thatched-roof hot spring hut “Tamagoyu” is the selling point of this inn. It was built in 1868 and is still open. Quite a long history! There are two separate pools for men and women inside. During the day the sunlight enters the hut through the windows, while the reflection of the lamps in the evening creates a unique bathing experience for lovers of night-time hot springs.
There is an even smaller hut in front of Tamagoyu. That’s where the hot spring source is. The colorless and transparent gushing water becomes turbid after its contact with the air. Here you can feel the mystical power gushing out of the earth’s womb.
There are 10 hot spring sources in Takayu Onsen with a total of 3158 liters of water gushing out every minute. That means 4 liters per minute per every visitor. There aren’t many other 100% freely flowing hot springs that boast such large quantities of gushing water.
You can have a walk in the nature if you take the trail behind the hut. On the top of the hill you’ll find the Onsen Shrine where people pray from spring to autumn. You’ll also see many seasonal flowers along your pleasant walk.
A warm open-air bath to enjoy the snow in winter
The hot spring hut is pretty in the green season, but the landscape is wonderful also in the winter. The view of the snow-covered thatched-roof hut reminds you of some scene from an old folktale.
Enter the milky water up to your shoulders and enjoy the beautifully falling snowflakes while warming up your body and soul in this hot spring pool. I recommend Tamagoyu to everyone who wants to experience snow watching from an open-air bath.
This inn is great in all aspects
When you wake up in the morning and open the paper sliding door you’ll be excited to see the glitter of the fresh snow that has fallen during the night. “Great, now let’s leave some footprints in the snow!” – that’s what you’ll think while preparing to go to the open-air bath, but the manager has already shoveled out the snow from the little path which leads to the hut.
The inn’s manager keeps the rooms, the pools and the garden clean while retaining the countryside image of the hot spring. Female guests will definitely appreciate that. Everything is great – the hot water, the facilities, the food and the entire balance. Staying overnight costs a reasonable price of about 10 000 JPY. Go to Tamagoyu this winter to see the snow from an open-air bath. You’ll surely want to repeat your visit again in the future.
“Takayu Onsen Tamagoyu Inn”
Address: Fukushima prefecture, Fukushima city, Machiniwasaka Takayu 7 Telephone: 024 591 1171 Water quality: sulfuric hot spring Temperature: 47 degrees pH: 2.7 (rather strongly acid so stay a short time initially)
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