Yumori no Sato – Like Bathing in Coffee
In this article, I would like to introduce an Onsen situated in Chofu City in the western part of Tokyo called Yumori no Sato. The onsen is not very famous among tourists but well-known among locals and perfect if you want to experience a traditional Japanese hot spring without all the touristy add-ons.
Black Water Hot Spring
Yumori No Sato is a black water onsen. The water in the hot spring baths is so dark your body will be invisible once you are inside. The dark color is due to the high mineral and humic acid content of the water. Darker water is said to make your skin feel smooth and have health benefits such as having a positive effect on muscle pains, digestions issues, bad circulation, and other illnesses. In the beginning, it might feel a bit strange to bath in the coffee-like water but after you get used to it feels very relaxing.
Fengshui Onsen Baths and Electrical Baths
The facility has two bathing areas, one for men one for women. The areas are separated into smaller baths, some inside and some on the outside. The separate baths are arranged in a Feng Shui pattern so that bathing in certain baths is said to have a positive impact on happiness in certain aspects of life. As a special feature, there also is an electric bath, where weak electrical power is running through the water. That might sound dangerous however the power is so weak that it does not harm the human body. Bathing in the electrical bath felt like having one of these electrical muscle stimulation devices attached to your body. It was an interesting experience, but I did not really become a fan.
Relaxing and Shopping after your Bath
After your bath, you can get something to eat at the restaurant on the second floor where they serve typical Japanese dishes. There also is a rest room where you can take a nap or relax while reading a book. On the first floor, there is also a smaller food stand where you can get light dishes, snacks or a matcha tea set that comes with Japanese sweets that I can recommend.
In the entrance area, you can buy souvenirs and bathing salts to take home so you can experience the black water in your own bath tube. If you still have time after you left the facility you can also explore the Jindaiji Temple that is only 7 minutes on foot away.
How to Get There
You can reach the Yumori no Sato via a free hourly shuttle bus departing from Chofu station and Musashisakai station. Alternatively, you can take the bus line Cho 34 (調34) departing from Chofu station or Ta 65 (鷹65) departing from Mitaka station to "Jindaiji" (深大寺).
You can choose between a one-hour pass and an all-day pass. The one-hour pass is 800 yen for an adult on weekdays and 900 yen on weekends. The all-day pass is only slightly more expensive and costs 1000 Yen on weekdays and 1100 on weekends. The passes do not come with towels. If you do not want to bring your own towel you can rent a towel set for 250 Yen.