Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kumano Kodo: Kawayu Onsen

Kawayu is one of the most unique Onsen towns that we have visited in Japan. This onsen town located along the Oto river is nestled in the mountains of the Kumano region in Wakayama Prefecture. 
The unique feature of this onsen is that bathers dig a hole in the gravel on the riverbank through which hot water gushes out. The cold water from the river mixes in this hot water to bring it to the right temperature for bathing.
Bathers can then sit in the pool they just dug and enjoy their outdoor pool. And bathers can wear bathing suits when using this onsen since this onsen is out in the open.  
In winter, a giant rotenburo known as "Sen-nin-buro", meaning "Thousand People Bath" is prepared and public can use it for free. 
Similar to other onsen towns, Kawayu also has its own share of Onsen hotels and bathing facilities. The river-side onsen area is in front of the Fuziya ryokan. 

Kawayu also has a camping ground and the town is also popular among travellers visiting the Kumano Sanzan shrines. The Kumano Hongu Taisha, Dorokyo Gorge and Watase Onsen are also close by. 

Address: Wakayama Prefecture 647-1717, Tanabe City, Hongu cho, Kawayu- 1452

Admission: Free

Useful Link: Kumano Tourism- Kawayu Onsen

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