Went to Yunessun (spelled Yoo-ness-sang) last Thursday and luckily on this day, its not packed with people, so we were on our relaxing pace. Its not a super-modern state of the art onsen, but where else can you have such quaint onsen?
From Shinjuku station to Hakone-Yumoto station, you can either take Limited express aka Romancecar (2020 yen for 1 hr 25 mins) or if you're a cheapo like me, you can take the local route via Odakyu line for 850 yen) for 2 hours ride. Once you've arrived the station, just head to bus station that goes to Yunessun or Kowaien. Oh yes, you can pay both trains and busses using your PASMO card.
Admission & Tickets
The actual admission is 2,800 per adult, but if you get your hands on the online coupon (just print it) via their site http://www.yunessun.com/ticket/, you can choose some package with or without meals. Its in Japanese, but you can just paste the link on Google and have it translated to English. I've got mine on 'couple discount' which is 5,000 yen for two, which allows me to go to both Yunessun (swimsuit zone) and Mori No Yu (naked zone). I've passed on the naked zone since I've only arrived there at 2pm.
Once tickets are purchased at front desk, you'll be given a RFID watch that allows you to perform multiple transaction from renting towels, buying drinks from vending machine, pay for photo op at Dr Fish Spa, lockers access to purchasing meal. At the end of your trip, just slot your watch in the vending machine and it will tally up your purchase.
After you've located the locker and have everything changed, this is where it gets interesting. The entrance of Yunessun is at the exit/end of the washroom/changing room. Took us awhile to figure that out.
There are two parts of Yunessun - the indoor and the outdoor area. The outdoor area has all the beverage-related onsen from Coffee, Sake, Green Tea, Wine and even charcoal flavor (blue colored onsen..?). If the crowd is just right, you can appreciate the forest trees at this area. Love it. Unfortunately, despite the nature surrounding the onsen, the only genuine flavor I can feel is the coffee onsen. Seems like the onsens that are 'sponsored' here are mostly derived from genuine flavor. The wine, sakes and green tea smells very perfumey and artificial. But what the heck...
The indoor area has something interesting as well. The dead sea onsen is quite amusing. But ladies...erm, just heads up...a bit prickly down there. The Dr Fish spa is not something new to me, but for those who haven't experienced Garra Ruffa fish nibbling off your dead skin, its worth a try. Its a ticklish experience ;)
Every few months or so, Yunessun will feature a new-themed onsen. For my visit, they have corn-chowder jacuzzis from the food brand called Gari Gari Kun. Every few hours (timetable visibly shown at some featured location), there will be a 'chef' coming and with actual (or simulated) food ingredients and he/she will pour them to visitors. I've got 'caramelized' by the chef. Yummy!
Would I recommend this attraction? Its up to you...if you have more time in Tokyo, do take advantage of the Free Hokane Pass that allows you to do hop-in and off to location around Hokane. Its a cosy trip on the other side...why not...
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