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【Yamaguchi Tourism】’Lonely Planet’ publishes an article on Nagato Yumoto Onsen, OTANISANSO and Bettei Otozure

Lonely Planet ‘Japan’ introduces Nagato Yumoto Onsen, OTANISANSO, and Bettei Otozure.

In March 2024, Lonely Planet introduced Nagato Yumoto Onsen, OTANISANSO, and Bettei Otozure. One of the many titles of Lonely Planet, “Japan” contains detailed information on hot springs and food in Japan, as well as recommended spots throughout the country. The chapter “HIROSHIMA & WESTERN HONSHU BEYOND HAGI,” mentions “Ontō” hot spring and Fukawa Hagi pottery and spotlights OTANISANSO and Bettei Otozure as excellent places to stay at Nagato Yumoto Onsen.

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Nagato Yumoto Onsen “Ontō”

Nagato Yumoto Onsen is said to be the oldest hot spring in Yamaguchi Prefecture, discovered about 600 years ago by a Zen master of Taineiji Temple.

Nagato Yumoto Onsen’s drop-in hot spring “Ontō” is a rare facility in Japan, where you can take a bath while looking at the natural spring that flows from the bedrock. The sound of the spring is also pleasant, so you can enjoy the source with your ears as well as your eyes. In the stone bottom of the bathing pool, there is another spring source called the “foot spring,” which pours into the bathtub without being exposed to the air, allowing you to enjoy the ultimate freshness of the hot spring. A statue of Sumiyoshi Daimyojin sits on the bedrock of the spring source, and a rope from the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Nagato Province is stretched between it and the pool.

The quality of the hot spring is “alkaline simple hot spring (slightly sulfur water)” with a pH of 9.5 to 9.9. It is characterized by hot water that feels smooth on the skin like lotion; the source temperature is 39 degrees C, and the temperature in the bathtub is 36 to 38 degrees C. Since the temperature is close to body temperature, you can warm up from the core of your body by soaking slowly.
*The water is only adjusted with minimal heating during winter.

Nagato Yumoto Onsen “Ontō”

  • Address: 2265 Fukawa Yumoto, Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, 759-4103 Japan
  • TEL: 0837-25-4100
  • Business hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Third Tuesday of the month (subject to change for national holidays)
  • Price: Adults 990 yen, children (4~12 years old) 500 yen *Free for children under 3 years old

More about Nagato Yumoto Onsen “Ontō”

The ancient temple of the Soto sect Taineiji Temple

Founded in 1410 and enduring for more than 600 years, Taineiji Temple (official name: Zuiun Banzeisan Tainei Gokoku Zen Temple) is the setting for the origin story of Nagato Yumoto Onsen. According to legend, the temple was born when the Zen master Jo-an Shuzen, the third generation of the Soto sect of Taineiji Temple, introduced Buddhism to Sumiyoshi Daimyojin of Nagato-no-kuni-ichinomiya. As if to repay the favor, Sumiyoshi Daimyojin gushed out a hot spring; the source of the spring in the center of Yumoto is still in the possession of Taineiji Temple.

In the temple precincts, where time flows quietly, is the main hall of Taineiji Temple, which is designated as a tangible cultural property by Yamaguchi Prefecture. A pond is home to leisurely swimming carp, and the Rock Stone Bridge, made of piles of natural stones, is counted as one of the “Three Strange Shaped Bridges.” Another attraction is that you can enjoy is beautiful displays in all four seasons, such as cherry blossoms in spring and colorful leaves in autumn. It is about a 19-minute walk and about 5 minutes by car from OTANISANSO.

Tainei Gokoku Zen Temple

  • Address: 1074-1 Fukawa Yumotomonzen, Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, 〒759-4103
  • TEL:0837-25-3469

Fukawa Hagi pottery has a history of more than 360 years

Hagi ware, a style of pottery characterized by a unique soft texture, was born in Matsumoto in the eastern suburbs of Hagi Castle in 1604 as a kiln for the Hagi clan after Terumoto Mori moved his headquarters to Hagi. Later, in 1657, a potter who moved to Fukawa, Nagato City, founded a second Imperial kiln, which was the origin of the Hagi-yaki Fukawa kiln. The Fukawa kiln is located about a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and the families that inherited the name continue to make ceramics there to this day.

The individuality of this porcelain arises from deep cracks in the clay expanding and contracting the enamel. This results in variations and color changes on the pottery’s surface called the “seven disguises” (nanabake). Hagi ware also changes color during its firing, bringing it an unpredictable final touch. The color gradually changes as it is used, so you can enjoy pottery that changes its appearance day by day.

More about Hagi Fukawa

Soothing greenery and waterfalls in the “Mountain Flowers” Lobby Lounge at OTANISANSO

In the “Mountain Flowers” Lobby Lounge in OTANISANSO, you can spend a relaxing time looking at the beautiful garden with its softly flowing waterfall. In the open space are table seats and counter seats where you can take a break, and at the back of the lobby, there is a foot bath where you can enjoy the soothing waters of Nagato Yumoto Onsen. At dusk, various parts of the lounge are lit up, and it has a different flavor depending on the time of day. Cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are also available in the evening, so it is recommended as a place to spend time with a companion while immersing yourself in the feeling of travel.

“Mountain Flowers” Lobby Lounge

  • Business hours: 8:00~22:00 (last order 21:30)
  • Evening live performance (1st 20:00~, 2nd 21:00~/irregular holidays)

“Mountain Flowers” Lobby Lounge at OTANISANSO

Enjoy the open-air bath flowing from the source at Bettei Otozure

Adjacent to OTANISANSO, Bettei Otozure expresses modern hot spring healing by incorporating a unique sense of openness and luxury into the “chic” aspect of Japanese culture, such as soaking in hot water, walking barefoot and just sitting, based on the concept of “modern hot spring treatment.” There are 18 guest rooms in total, all with their own open-air baths flowing from the source. You can enjoy the hot water of the historic Nagato Yumoto to your heart’s content. In addition to the guest rooms, there is a corridor where the wind blows through the gently undulating water basin and a garden where you can take in the natural beauty of the four seasons – creating a space in harmony with nature, so you can experience relaxation and peace.

More about Bettei Otozure

Take your time and experience the natural beauty of Nagato Yumoto

Nagato Yumoto Onsen, which is rich in nature, has many charms unique to this area, such as the clean and clear river surface and the vegetation that makes you feel natural vitality. As you stroll the area, you may encounter scenery that you never see in your daily life. Come and experience the natural beauty of Nagato Yumoto Onsen with the aroma of flowers, the wafting of breezes, and the sounds of birds and insects.

See OTANISANSO’s accommodation plans