If you have a love of adventure and wild, wacky things, Japan is a fantastic destination. It’s renowned globally for its impressive gastronomical scene, jaw-dropping landmarks, and incredibly heart-warming hospitality – and then there’s its alter-ego.
Bar hop and rub shoulders with the locals until the early hours at Golden Gai. No first trip to Tokyo is complete without a crazy performance at the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. Watch dressed-up maids dancing to rock music whilst serving you food and drinks in Akihabara.
And, of course, what’s a trip to Japan without an onsen visit?
But not just any onsen! The Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Hot Springs is where it’s at!
Whilst most people picture onsen baths being nestled deep in the mountains and forests, surrounded by peace and tranquillity, others want a bit more of a crazy and memorable experience. You can certainly get it at Yunessun!
This hot spring touts itself as an ‘onsen amusement park’ and boasts a whooping 26 baths to choose from! From stunning outdoor baths overlooking the mountains to hot spring caves and mist saunas, you definitely won’t be missing the quintessential onsen experience here.
However, it’s the themed onsen pools that really draw the crowds here.
From bathing in an ancient Grecian-style bath to bathing in a pool of red wine, the outlandish options here will surely impress you!
Option 1) Bathe in Red Wine
Yunessun’s site recommends bathing in the red wine onsen bath as a rejuvenating experience for the body and soul. It is a bizarre yet stunning bath that’s decorated with a huge 3.6m wine bottle tipping itself into the pool. It is topped up throughout various times of the day with fresh wine, and at certain times of the day a ‘sommelier’ will come and fill up bathers’ glasses with wine to drink!
It was apparently an activity that was loved by Cleopatra and Queen Mary as well, so there’s that!
Option 2) Bathe in Green Tea
The ocha onsen at Yunessun is also a super popular bath to experience. This onsen bath is located outdoors and overlooks the peaceful greenery of the surrounding forest.
It’s said that the tea used in the ocha onsen is actually grown in the surrounding areas as well!
Option 3) Bathe in Coffee
When you first see the brown water of the coffee onsen bath, you feel a little deterred, but look past that and you’re in for a wonderfully rejuvenating experience.
The coffee beans that are used for this bath are brewed from waters direct from natural springs, using the low-heat Nel Drip-style brew method. The effects of coffee body scrubs have taken the world by storm over the past few years, and this is no different.
Relax to the wonderfully addictive aroma of coffee in this coffee onsen bath.
Option 4) Bathe in Sake
Alcoholic fiends, rejoice! This sake bath is what dreams are made of. Just kidding! But not really.
Genuine Japanese sake is actually slow-dripped into the bath from a big barrel located next to the bath, but it’s definitely not for consumption! Rather, it’s to fill the air with a subtle sake aroma. This combined with the warmth of the bath will have your body languid in mere moments.
In addition to the above, there is a whole heap of other themed onsen baths here for both adults and children to enjoy.
The aforementioned Aegean Sea of Gods one is probably the most aesthetic, and also boasts an illuminated fountain show with bubbles and music every 30 minutes. The Rodeo Mountain water slides will have your heart pumping in seconds. Let the kids run around the BOXAPPY Jungle Gym, complete with mini water play equipment whilst you refresh yourself in the aroma room.
There are also a few indoor baths, open-air baths, and saunas to enjoy if you’re looking to wind down.
The Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Hot Springs is truly a well-rounded onsen experience for everyone.
- Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0407, Japan
- Price: Adults: 3,500 yen, Children: 1,800 yen
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday – Sunday: 9:00am – 8:00pm
- Website: https://www.yunessun.com/global/en/spa/