This has got to be one of my favorite onsen, ever! So worth the journey up the narrow steep mountain roads (although I refuse to drive myself). When I mentioned that one of our previous guests had said, “Now this is off the beaten path.” another guest responded with “What path?”. This onsen is obviously a dream in the making and was not built as a business venture. You’ve got to see it to believe it, and when you are there you will also appreciate the alkaline waters with a PH of 9.5. That means silky water and super soft skin.
Open: 10:00 – 20:00
Adult: 700 yen
By car: About 30 minutes from tabi-tabi
By Bus: From Izukyu Shimoda take a bus to Yokokawa bus stop, from there it is a 30 minute walk (maybe 15 to get back). You can find it on our tabi-tabi map here.
Kanaya Ryokan has been welcoming guests since 1866, but is most famous for its 15 meter long “sen-nin buro” (1000-man bath) built in 1915. This beautiful wooden bath is not only long but also very deep. In fact, it’s big enough to swim in.
The women’s bath (pictured above) is much newer but probably just as nice, and although not quite as big as the main bath you can still do about 6 or 7 breast strokes in the longest part. The women’s bath has many partitions with a slightly different temperature in each one.
Women don’t have to feel left out though. The main bath (sen-nin buro) is not actually a men’s bath, it’s “konyoku” (mixed bathing). Curious women can take a key and enter the sen-nin buro through a double door from the change room. Hang onto your key or you’ll get stuck with the boys.
Both the women’s and the men’s bath has a small “rotenburo” (outdoor bath) as well. Nothing really exciting outside but still nice to get some fresh air.
Kanaya Ryokan is in Rendaiji, one stop from Shimoda by train.
You can find it on our recommendation map here
Open: 09:00 – 22:00
Price: weekdays ¥700 / weekends and holidays ¥1000
We often drive to the west coast of the peninsula to watch the sunset. There are some great viewing spots on top of high cliffs where you can enjoy soft hues in a colorful sky. There are some place markers on our google map here. Drive another 30 minutes up the coast and there are several free onsen to enjoy. Onsen water near the sea is usually a bit salty and called “ensen” in Japanese.
This onsen has only one small bath, is konyoku (mixed bathing but swim suites are optional), not that hot (about 37 or 38 degrees), and not very easy to find. There is also very little parking and can be a little busy on weekends during the summer months. If you go at night you will definitely need a flash-light. As you can see, the best time to visit though is while the sun is setting.
We took this Swiss family to enjoy one of our favorite spots with us. This adventure (a windy ride through mountain roads followed by a hike down a steep path) naturally lead to more “off the beaten track” stories like a near miss lighting strike on a trek in Mexico! Thanks for joining us, Jobin family!
Open: June – September