Yuda Onsen, located in Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, boasts 2,000 tons of hot water a day and has a history of about 800 years.
What makes Yuda Onsen even more appealing are the inns(ryokan).
There are many unique and wonderful inns in Yuda Onsen, including interesting inns with a famous landlady and inns associated with patriots of the Meiji Restoration.
In this article, I will introduce three inns in Yuda-Onsen that I especially recommend, as well as sightseeing spots in the area!
What kind of hot spring is Yuda Onsen?
Yuda Onsen Station is located 15 minutes by train from Shin-Yamaguchi Station.
It is close to the center of Yamaguchi, so it is an easy place to stay when visiting Yamaguchi.
This hot spring area has a history of about 800 years, and is known as a “hot water for beautiful skin” because of its clear, colorless, alkaline simple spring water.
The symbol of Yuda Onsen is the white fox
There is a legend that the white fox used to come to Yuda Onsen to heal wounds, and you can see statues and illustrations of the white fox in various places.
The “white fox” is a symbol of Yuda Onsen.
Access to Yuda Onsen
You can get Yuda Onsen Station in 15 minutes by train from Shin-Yamaguchi Station on the Shinkansen.
Or in 10 minutes by car from the Ogori Interchange on the Chugoku Expressway or the Yamaguchi Interchange on the Sanyo Expressway.
It is a hot spring resort with easy access.
“Nishi no Miyabi Tokiwa”, Unique inn in Yuda Onsen
The first inn in Yuda Onsen that you must visit is Nishino miyabi Tokiwa.
This inn is famous for the landlady’s “landlady theater” where the landlady herself stands on the stage, and it is so popular that it is taken up on TV.
Check in and Meet the Famous Landlady
When I arrived at the Nishino miyabi Tokiwa, I found a sign for the old and tasty landlady theater.
This alone is enough to make its presence felt.
What kind of landlady will I be able to meet?
I’m looking forward to meeting the landlady.
While I was waiting in the lobby, the landlady, Takami Miyagawa, appeared and I had a quick chat with her.
iconI understand that you yourself will be on stage at the “landlady theater”. Isn’t it hard?
iconLandlady: In the “landlady theatre”, I stand on stage for about an hour from 8:45 p.m., and then I practice again. After that, I’ll be practicing my tricks again…….
iconIt’s amazing… I saw a description of the 55th anniversary of the “landlady theatre” – is that true?
iconLandlady: I started when I was 20 years old, so I’ve been doing it every day for 55 years now.
iconEh! You don’t have any predecessors? Is it all your own business for 55 years?
iconLandlady: I have been here for 55 years without getting sick. I can perform 100 to 120 tricks now. The staff members who perform with me also create their own performances as they pass on their art to their younger colleagues.
iconYou really love the arts, don’t you?
iconLandlady: I love it. I like it more than eating three times in a day. It’s fun to create all kinds of things. I can still come up with all kinds of ideas.
iconIsn’t it hard to balance the work of being a landlady?
iconLandlady: It’s hard. About 90 percent of my energy is used up by the landlady. I use up the remaining 10% of my energy in the “hostess theater.
I had a vague image of a good-natured, jocular person, but it’s not like that at all.
I felt the power of his extraordinary determination to perform on stage.
I would like to see the way of life of the landlady at the “Landlady Theater”.
Go to Guest Room
The attraction of Tokiwa is not only the landlady theater.
They showed me the room.
Spacious Japanese style room.
The scent of tatami mats makes you feel at home.
If you open the shoji, you can see the whole view of Yuda Onsen from the window.
An illustration of the landlady of the tea confectionery.
It is indeed a famous landlady.
6 Different Baths at Nishino Miyabi
At Tokiwa, there are six different types of baths, each with a name associated with Yuda Onsen or Yamaguchi.
The men’s and women’s baths change between evening and morning, so guests can enjoy all the baths in one night.
This is the Ishin Remei no Yu.
The Ishin Remei no Yu was originally an open-air bath that was built by renovating the garden of Shinagawa Shrine, which is dedicated to the deity of Yajiro Shinagawa.
Visitors can enjoy a bath while gazing at the beautiful garden.
The dressing room still retains the atmosphere of the building from that time.
It is said that in the period just before the Meiji Restoration, many samurai, who were considered to be emperors, gathered in Yuda Onsen to devise a secret plan to defeat the Tokugawa shogunate.
This is the most elegant bath among the many baths in Nishino Miyabi.
“Yamaguchi Nontanoyu” is an indoor bath with a unique gourd-shaped bathtub.
The bath is a mixture of Western and Japanese styles, and you can see stained glass windows in the bathtub.
There are six other baths to choose from in total, including the half open-air bath “Sanzoukino-yu,” the “Yang Kiki-Bath,” and the “Bamboo Forest Open-air Bath Wakatake”.
The landlady says, “I think it is more fun to have many baths.”
As she says, it’s fun to have many baths, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been to many inns.
This is an interesting feature of Nishi no Miyabi Tokiwa that is not found in other inns.
Meals are Excellent Kaiseki Cuisine
I went to the dining room at the designated time and found the meal ready to be served. (*This is usually a restaurant-style dining hall.)
It would be great to have it with a beer.
Here’s a colorful, Yamaguchi specialty: kawara-soba.
The tea-soba is grilled with tiles and then dipped in a dipping sauce with grated radish.
The hamo nabe finishes up nicely as I taste the tile soba.
I was happy and busy.
The hamo were fluffy and soft.
The hamo had a strong flavor, but it didn’t have a bad smell at all.
The hamo dashi was so good in the soup that I drank it all at once.
To finish the dish, let’s have some takikomi gohan (rice cooked with vegetables).
There were clams in the takikomi rice.
There was also some burnt rice in some places, and it was very tasty.
I was very happy to be able to eat so much delicious food from Yamaguchi.
Good rooms, plenty of baths, good and hearty meals.
I’m completely satisfied, but the night in Tokiwa has a long way to go.
Specialty of Yuda Onsen!”Landlady’s Theatre” Begins
The performance at the Landlady Theater starts at 8:45 p.m.
Oh, they’ve already taken the front seat.
I knew I should have come sooner.
I could tell how popular it was by the conversations of the customers.
As soon as the show started, the landlady appeared on stage with a big smile on her face.
She brings the audience up to the stage one after another, communicates with them actively, and dances with them to the music.
She also does some illusionary magic tricks…….
There was also a “water trick” in which the performers skillfully manipulated water with music.
I was completely overwhelmed by the many entertaining performances that included not only amazing tricks, but also de-stressing tricks that left me breathless.
The landlady’s drumming skills were also excellent.
For the last trick, she dipped ink in her hair and drew a calligraphy with a hair brush.
The landlady was very popular afterwards, surrounded by customers.
The year was 1964.
The landlady theater has been held every night since the year the last Olympics were held in Tokyo.
The landlady’s theater is also her “theater of life”.
In the shop, you’ll find outstanding items for the landlady.
You can enjoy talking about the landlady while eating her sweets.
When you visit Yuda Onsen, I hope you will have a hot and elegant time at Tokiwa, Nishinoga.
Nishino Miyabi Tokiwa
Address: 4-6-4 Yudaonsen, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
“Ume-no-ya” Homemade Food and Onsen
There are still many good inns in Yuda Onsen.
Ume-no-ya is an inn with a 100% flowing hot spring and home-made dishes that emphasize the importance of ingredients carefully selected by the landlady and head chef, who is a vegetable sommelier.
The hot spring is a mix of their own good quality hot spring containing sulfur, which is good for the skin, and the Yuda hot spring.
They are proud of the hot spring which is not heated by water addition or heating at all.
The open-air baths are tasteful and you will be healed by the hot water from the hotel’s own source.
You can enjoy a variety of dishes such as hamo and fugu.
I recommend this inn for those who want to enjoy the hot water and cuisine of Yuda Onsen to your heart’s content.
Address: 4-3-19 Yuda-Onsen, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Matsudaya Hotel with Charming Garden
Matsudaya Hotel has a rich history, and many of the leading figures in the Meiji Restoration gathered here.
The bath tub in the “Restoration Bath” was built in 1860.
It is said that patriots of the Choshu, Satsuma and Tosa emperors are said to have bathed in the bathtub.
Historically Great men may have bathed in the bathtub.
Many history fans visit the Matsudaya Hotel to see this bathtub.
The hotel has many materials related to the patriots of the Meiji Restoration.
The hotel also has a room called the “Restoration Materials Room” where visitors can see a variety of interesting documents.
It’s a great space for history funs.
The Japanese garden at the hotel was also very impressive.
This garden is registered as a national monument (a cultural asset).
In the garden, there are historically valuable cultural assets such as the red pine tree, which appears in Ryotaro Shiba’s book, and the meeting place for Saigo, Kido, and Okubo, so I recommend checking in early and taking a walk in the garden before the sunset.
Address: 3-6-7 Yuda Onsen, Yamaguchi City
Sightseeing spots to Around Yuda Onsen
Yunoya, Experience Yuda’s Hot Springs
Yunoya is located almost opposite Ume-no-ya.
It is one of the seven onsen sources managed by the Yuda Hot Springs Association, and was renovated from a dilapidated facility for tourism purposes.
Through a viewing window in the onsen building, you can see how the source of the hot water is pumping 125 liters per minute.
Experience the energy of Yuda Onsen!
In the onsen building, there is a drinking fountain, where you can drink the source of the Yuda Onsen.
The water here is very hot, so be careful not to touch it.
There is also a “hot water river” where you can feel the steam and aroma of the hot spring, but be careful, it is not a footbath.
This is a free spot that doesn’t take a long time to visit and you can easily stop by.
The 7.8-meter high tower is lit up at night, making it a great place for a nighttime stroll.
Yunoya (Hot Spring House)
Address: 4-4-41 Yuda-Onsen, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
“Kitsune no Ashiato(Fox Footprints)” Footbath Cafe
Kitsune no Ashiato(means Fox Footprints) is a spot that has been designated as a Yuda-Onsen Tourist Information Center.
It provides information on how to enjoy Yuda Onsen, such as seeing, eating, and shopping.
Inside the facility is a cafe where you can enjoy drinks and desserts.
But the highlight of the cafe is here, footbath.
At Kitsune no Ashiato, you can enjoy a footbath while enjoying the cafe’s menu.
If you wish to use the footbath, please pay 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for elementary and junior high school students at the reception desk.
You can use a coin-operated locker key and an oshibori (hand towel) to wipe your feet.
Change into a pair of lending clogs and enjoy the various types of footbaths.
At the outdoor Shiki no yu(Four Seasons Bath), you can enjoy the feeling of an open-air bath.
You can enjoy the seasonal attractions such as cherry blossoms and autumn leaves, and at night it is lit up.
At “Kotone no Yu”, located in a different building from the main building, you can enjoy a footbath and a cafe menu while listening to soothing music.
These are Nakaya’s Cafe Latte (420 yen) and Gogitsune Baum (600 yen).
“Chuya Latte” is a unique latte with a portrait of Chuya Nakahara, a poet born in Yuda Onsen, Yamaguchi City.
The Kogitsune Baum is a moist baumkuchen with ice cream in the shape of a cute fox on top, which is so cute!
When you eat something cold when you’re feeling warm and fuzzy, the ice cream tastes even better than usual because it’s cooler than usual.
I think it’s the “finest” of “ice cream in a kotatsu” for Japanese.
It was perfect.
I highly recommend you get in the footbath and eat it while it’s still warm and crispy!
You can also enjoy local Yamaguchi sake while soaking in a footbath with the “Tasting Set” (500 yen).
It was great too!
You can rent a free “footbath Yukata” for the footbath.
This is recommended for those who find it difficult to enjoy the footbath in skirts.
Kitsune no Ashiato
Address: 2-1-3 Yuda-Onsen, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Business hours: 8:00-22:00
Closed: Open all year round
Inoue Park, Hot spring Resort Area with Sense of History
Inoue Park was built on the birthplace of INOUE Kaoru, one of the former orders of the Meiji Restoration, and is home to a statue of INOUE Kaoru.
A bronze statue of INOUE Kaoru stands in the park to commemorate his achievements.
He looks stylish holding a walking stick in his hand.
There are various stone monuments in the park, including a poetry monument by Nakahara Chuya and a monument to Taneda Santoka, which reminds us of the history of the park.
There is a footbath in Inoue Park with a hot spring water source.
It is open from 10:00-22:00.
Children can play to their heart’s content on the playground equipment, so parents can take a break and let their children play.
The white fox, the symbol of Yuda Onsen, can be seen on the playground equipment.
There is also a resting place called “Kaen-tei” in the park, which is available for free.
It was built at the end of the Edo period for Sanjo Sanetomi to stay at the residence of Inoue Kaoru’s brother, Inoue Gorosaburo, who was the brother of Kaoru Inoue.
Visitors can rest on tatami mats and enter free of charge.
The current building was newly built in 2015 based on the original layout of the house.
April-October: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
November to March: 10:00 to 16:00
Closed on Wednesdays, Aug. 13-15 and Dec. 28 ~ No_2153
Address: 2-5 Yudaonsen, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Yuda Onsen is a pleasant hot spring town with a historical flavor
Yuda Onsen is a fun hot spring town with historical romance and a series of unique inns.
It’s close to the center of Yamaguchi, so stop by Yuda Onsen on your trip.
Today, the curtain will rise again at 8:45 p.m. at Nishino Miyabi Tokiwa, with the “Landlady Theater”.
Legendary landlady will continue performing.
MAP of Yuda Onsen