Kawayu Onsen
Kawayu Onsen
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
137 reviews
Excellent
69
Very good
53
Average
14
Poor
0
Terrible
1

GabyVM
Jakarta, Indonesia7,714 contributions
Couples
The best way to enjoy the outdoor river onsen at Kawayu Onsen is by staying overnight in one of the Japanese style lodges (minshuku/ryokan) along the river so we can simply walk across shortly to the river. If you prefer privacy the best time is early morning or late afternoon when not many people are around.
After a long walk, it was quite rejuvenating to soak in one of the (predug) basins watching occasional hot bubbles coming out of the gravel bed, stream of clear water flowing by with lush trees densely decorating the surrounding often foggy mountain - it's one of a kind experience. You can have swimsuit or anything to go into the water covered by Japanese robe (yukata) normally provided by the lodge together with towels and outdoor slippers.
In winter, from December to February, nature creates a giant (40m x 15m with 60 cm depth) hot bath in the river up to 40C called "Sennin buro" which attract lots of people.
The village of Kawayu Onsen has 3 bus stops in the same road along the river: Fujiya mae (west side), Kameya mae (middle) and Kawayu onsen (east side) so you can alight in the one closest to your lodge. If you only come on a day trip, we noticed Fujiya mae and Kameya mae were nearer to the prepared basins accessible by descending the metal stairs.
Kawayu Onsen's attraction is just the river onsen so staying 1 night here as we did was adequate. Before coming here (from Chikatsuyu/Nonaka), we spent the day walking the 7 km Hosshinmon oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha trail - a cool experience.
Written October 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Andrew C
Melbourne, Australia341 contributions
Couples
After 22km hiking three mountain passes in the rain on the Kumano Kodo, this was a perfect end to the day. I'm sure it would be good without that lead-up! It's a beautiful spot accessed by one of two footbridges- try the low one if the river allows. The water is hot and soothing and the view is spectacular. The river rushing nearby adds to the atmosphere, and don't worry if it's raining as the water makes up for it.
Written April 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Naoto Kato
Aichi-gun, Japan17 contributions
Couples
On a river bank comes up 70 C hot spring. You can make up your own hot pring if you don't like the pre-arranged one.
So relaxing, so quiet. My favorite place to spend my early summer holidays.
A bit far from anywhere you come, but believe me it is worthwhile.
Written June 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

yuppies
Singapore, Singapore40 contributions
Couples
It never occurred to me that construction works will be ongoing at Senninburo over my period of visit, due to heavy rains.

There is nothing in the area if not for Senninburo, and I do not think an hour's bus ride one way (making it 2 hours both ways) is worth the effort.

The bus passed by Yunomine Onsen, which definitely seemed a lot more quaint and charming than Kawayu Onsen.
Written December 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anna J
Melbourne, Australia16 contributions
Friends
When describing this place to friends and co-workers, I was met first with scepticism (that something so nice actually existed) and then with extreme envy - it's that kind of place.

As everyone else has described, you sit in a hole in the stones of the river bank (you can DIY your own or sit in a pre-dug hole) and the hot water wells up around you. It's as lovely as it sounds, and the setting is amazing. If you get overheated, you can also go for a quick dip in the river to cool off (though be warned, it's pretty brisk!).

On a practical note, there are toilets/changing facilities on the other side of the river from the town (across the bridge). You can avoid the bridge and just paddle straight back across the river, but be careful as the rocks are quite slippery. I found it easier to just swim across, though this is not a warm option!

There are buses to and from Hongu, but they don't run that often so it's best to make yourself aware of the timetable.
Written May 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sigsiko
Osaka, Japan27 contributions
Solo
The contrieside is wonderful. The mountains and the river... amazing.
And then there is this small hot spring directly at the river side and for everyone free to use.
Written June 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jane S
Issaquah, Washington, United States110 contributions
Couples
It’s awesome to soak in the outdoor onsen and then take a dip in the river. The water is pristine! We wore our bathing suits and robes from our inn across the river. I could have stayed there all day. Such a beautiful place with hawks soaring in the sky and little fish dancing around your feet in the river.

We brought sandals as the river bed and banks are quite rocky.

I was too tired to come back out at nighttime, but I bet it’s beautiful to watch the stars and enjoy a soak.

The hot springs are definitely HOT so be careful!
Written June 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lolikia
singapore489 contributions
Friends
This place is a great experience for the whole family. You can use a spade and dig your own Onsen bath! Be careful where you step as it can be quite hot where the hot spring water comes to the surface. Even the ducks seem to enjoy the warm water!
Written September 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GenghisRon
Los Angeles, CA45 contributions
Couples
Beautiful forested river with various hot spots bubbling up. There is a permanent bath that is free and open the public along with several spots down stream where people have built temporary pools from stones along the edge of the river. Make sure to test out the temperature before jumping in- they can be very hot, especially the permanent bath.
Written May 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dirk W
Alexandra Headland, Australia5,110 contributions
Couples
If staying in Kawayu, why not try the hot onsen out open in the river bed ?! Just walk over in your yukata, get across the bridge, down those slippery stairs and into the hot bath. I actually ran a few times switching dips between the icy cold river and the nice hot bath.
Did anyone else notice the "poisonous snakes warning" sign on top of the stairs ?
Written May 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kawayu Onsen (Tanabe) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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