By Ira Permana
People who come to Awaji-shima mostly head to Tadao Ando's Awaji Yumebutai, or Dream Stage, or just pass by heading to Naruto directly. But today I am going to show you where you can relax with my top 3 onsen on this beautiful island!
1. Biyu Matsuho no Sato
If you want to watch the night view while enjoying the onsen, then Biyu Matsuho no Sato (美湯 松帆の郷) will be the best choice in Awaji-shima. Here, you can see the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which is the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge lights up in the night, and if the weather is nice, you can even see the Akashi City located on the other side of the bridge!
The outdoor onsen provides the best view that you can see while enjoying the massage tub. If you don't want to go out there, you can still enjoy the indoor one where you can also see the view.
Biyu Matsuho no Sato's restaurant and store are the biggest among the three onsen. I enjoyed my dinner here and bought a lot of local products such as Awaji Sake, seafood chips, and souvenirs.
Fees: Adults JPY 700, Children (under 4 yrs) JPY 400
Address: Iwaya, Awaji-shi, Hyogo, 656-2401, Japan
Business hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm (last admission 9:00PM)
2. Wellness Park Goshiki Yu-Yu-Five
Wellness Park Goshiki (五色温泉 ゆ-ゆｰファイブ) is located at the famous spot in Awaji-shima called Goshiki Park. As it is on the mountain's peak, the view is incredible! And the onsen in here, which includes herbs or plants that are said to revitalise your bodily functions. This time we enjoyed the pepper and ginger onsen for men, and apple and ginger onsen for women.
Here in Wellness Park Goshiki, you can also have the Awaji milk and beef bowl (gyudon). Next to the dining area is the tatami area that for people who want to lie down and rest after their onsen trip. You can take a nap and relax in this area!
Fees: Adults JPY 600, Silver (65 years and above) JPY 500, Children (3 years to elementary school) JPY 300
Address: Hyogo Sumoto-shi Goshiki-cho Tsushi 1087 inside Wellness Park Goshiki Takataya Kahei Koen
Business hours: 10:30AM - 9:30PM (last admission 9:00PM) ※time extension mid-July until the end of August
Business holidays: Every Thursday of each month aside from January and August (if holiday, the next day)
※Temporary closure in late January
3. Yu-Puru Onsen
Yu-Puru Onsen (南あわじリフレッシュ交流ハウスゆーぷる) is located on southern Awaji-shima, near to the Onaruto bridge where you can watch the famous natural phenomena — Naruto whirlpools.
Yu-Puru Onsen has both Japanese and Western-styled baths and the two places will swap each for men and women. It also provides the outdoor onsen with a slide — kids will go crazy for it! After the onsen, you can have a simple meal at the restaurant in the facility and don't forget to have an Awaji milk after the onsen as it will rehydrate you.
Fees: Adults JPY 600, Children (3 years to elementary school) JPY 300
Address: Kitaama Tsutsui, Minamiawaji-shi, Hyogo, 656-0534, Japan
Hours: 10:00am –10:30pm (last admission 10:00pm; closed on Weds except in August)
Four things you should know before enjoying a Japanese onsen
Here are 4 points for those who want to visit an onsen!
1. Be naked
Virtually all onsen require you to be nude (exceptions exist). Remove your clothes and put them in the baskets or lockers provided. The only thing you can bring with you into the onsen is a small wash towel. Don't wear a swimming suit!
2. Shower first
Sit on the little stools and completely shower yourself before going into the onsen.
3. Put the towel on your head
Your wash towel shouldn't enter the onsen water. You also can't leave it sitting at the showers. Many people place the towel off to the side of the bath beside them. Alternatively, you could put the towel on your head!
4. No tattoos
In most onsens in Japan, they do not allow people with tattoos to enter. The 3 onsens mentioned in the article all prohibit entry with tattoos.
Now that you know how to enjoy an onsen and where you can find the best onsen in Awaji-shima, come and explore more on this island instead of just passing by!
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