When you visit Japan for vacatipn, a trip to the countryside allows you to see a dofferent side of country. Iwami is far off the beaten track, the nearest big city is Hiroshima, but it can be accessed via Hagi-Iwami airport from Tokyo, JR buses from Hiroshima, JR trains, and even an old ateam train. -Yakushiyu-
Yakushiyu is an historic onsen (hot spring) that can be found in Yunotsu (old hot spring area), which, along with the Iwami Silver Mine, were declared World Heritage sites in 2007. At the Iwami site, you can see remnants of the mine where much silver was once brought out of the earth and exported to the world. Yunotsu was one of the most important ports to ship commodities all over the world.
The Yakushiyu hot spring has a long history. It is said that the hot spring was formed by a major earthquake in 1872. This is why, it is called “Shinnyu” (Hot spring by earthquake)
The temperature of the springhead is 46 degree centigrade. It is really hot but the Spring’s Management Company doesn’t add water. For this reason, the company recommends not to soak in the hot water for a long time. Many minerals are dissolved in the water, especially iron, which causes the bath to smell rusty.
There is no soap or shampoo in the bath. Soap and towels are sold at the front desk. The staff can tell you the history of the building there. Visitors are often overwhelmed by the retro-styled buildings. They were built in the Taisho era, about 90 years ago! Next to Yakushiyu is a restaurant made of wood where you can enjoy lunch or a drink after your bath..
The capacity of the bathing area is not big because the onsen is not so large. Local residents are friendly and happy to chat with visitors.
It costs 350 yen to enjoy this fabulous hot spring. You can’t miss this white retro building. A minute's walk along the same road takes you to another old bath called “Motoyu”. Please check Yuki’s article.
Yunotsu town, Oda city, Shimane prefecture
Tel: 0855-65-4894 URL: http://yunotsu.com