We are an independent travel company offering the very best in travel planning for people and businesses going to Japan. Our services range from Self-Guided & Tailor-Made Japan Tours to a more hassle free and fully led Small Group Japan Tour. Most of our Japan itineraries include the Japan Rail Pass as well as a combination of traditional ryokans and stylish affordable accommodation options.
Friday, 21 August 2015
Towns of Japan: Kawayu Onsen
The Kumano Kodo is a religious experience in itself, a
multi-day mountain hike (though you can also go by bus), following in the
footsteps of royalty, visiting some of the most magnificent temples and shrines
on the islands of Japan. Towards the end of the hike, along the Oto River, is a
unique onsen town. We love sending people there, to soak in the most unique of
onsen. What makes it so special? Read on, to learn more about Kawayu Onsen.
Kawayu Onsen was first recorded in history in 1630.
According to legend, an oracle visited Kobuchi-so Inosue and told him about the
onsen. Due to the steep, mountainous terrain, no one lived there until the
first lodging was built in 1720. From there, the town grew and grew. At one
stage, the town was even exporting its onsen waters to be used in the baths of
the rich and powerful elsewhere in Japan!
Summer fun in the Oto River at Kawayu Onsen
As previously mentioned, Kawayu Onsen is located along the
Oto River, and this is what makes the town so unique. Instead of getting into a
bath you go out onto the river and dig into the river bed! Hot water bubbles
up, and you make your own little bath! You can adjust the flow of the hot water
as well as the amount of river water to make a bath the perfect temperature for
you. Of course, if you’ve hiked the Kumano Kodo, you mightn’t feel up to
digging. In that case, just get into any of the pre-dug baths.
Imagine it, after a day of hiking you arrive in Kawayu
Onsen. You make your way down to the river bank. If it’s summer, you dig a
shallow pool and relax in the cool river water. In spring and autumn, make it a
bit deeper, and warmer, as the cool evening envelopes you. In winter, hop in
the Senninburo, a special, winter only bath, about 60cm deep, which legend has
it, can hold 1,000 people.
The Kawayu Onsen Senninburo in Winter
The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage and Kawayu Onsen feature on our
Scenic Samurai Trails Small Group Tour. This stunning walking tour will lead
you on an adventure through the 'Sacred Mountains of the Kii Peninsula', Mt
Fuji, and the samurai postal route from Tsumago to Magome. With departure dates
coming up in November, why not check it out on our homepage.