Yunogo Onsen is one of the very best onsen (hot springs) in the Okayama and Mimasaka area. Located only 10 minutes drive from the Mimasaka IC on the Chugoku Expressway, it is in a very popular spot that is packed with facilities such as inns, onsens, foot-baths, and many other things. Yunogo has a long history, and it all started in the Heian Period when the Buddhist high priest Ennin saw a white heron rest in the water to heal its wounds. He took a closer look and discovered a natural hot spring. The onsen also goes by the name Saginoyu (The Heron’s Bath). Slightly alkaline and containing sodium and calcium chloride, the water is good for the skin.
High-Class Hotel For Special Occasions
In this article I’m going to introduce a slightly luxurious hotel for those special occasions – the Kifunosato.
The first thing that greets you when you enter the lobby is a large flower arrangement. It’s about 3 meters wide and stretches all the way to the ceiling. There are more than 70 additional flower arrangements throughout the hotel, and many of the flowers are seasonal. The hotel was named “Kifunosato” to allow guests to feel the passing of the seasons, like the progress of a song. (“Kifu” means “seasons and music”.)
The lobby and the corridors are completely covered in tatami, so you don’t have to wear indoor slippers when moving around. Families with young children seem to love this.
Staying one night in one of the 33 rooms includes 2 meals. Furthermore, in August 2016 they also added two particularly exceptional suites. So, naturally I’m going to give you a quick introduction to those.
The suite called Nogijiku (Japanese Chrysanthemum) is large and spacious. Looking out from the big windows you can see the inner gardens, which are made to resemble satoyama (mountain areas near villages). The comfortable and homely suite allows guests to relax in a pleasant atmosphere. The bathroom is made of sawara cypress.
The other suite is called Miyakowasure (a kind of Japanese aster). This suite is designed differently from the other; it’s quite stylish and has a refined, urban feel to it. It also comes with a fantastic bathtub. There are many repeater guests and guests staying several nights at a time here at Kifunosato, and you can see that they are more than satisfied with the service, food and general running of the hotel.
You can enjoy the beauty of the inner garden from both the indoor and outdoor baths. The photograph above was taken from the women’s bath. The spacious area makes it easy to relax, and there is also a medicinal steam bath as well as a detox low-temperature sauna. It is quite difficult to leave this paradise.
Yukatas & Cocktails @ STAY BAR
If you feel like going for a walk in the evening, visit STAY BAR. Guests are allowed to wear their hotel yukata at the bar, which is located only 3 minutes walk from the Yunogo Tourist Information Center.
The bar serves a wide variety of cocktails and whiskeys, and even non-alcoholic cocktails for the teetotalers amongst us. The friendly bartender will do his best to please you, so if there is something you would like that doesn’t appear on the menu, feel free to ask.
For the next special occasion, why not come to Yunogo and spend a slightly luxurious time together with your loved one and deepen your bonds??
Address: 180 Yunogo, Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture
Address: 600-1 Yunogo, Mimasaka, Okayama Prefecture
Open: 19:00 – 25:00
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Chiaki Sawasaka
Chiaki Sawasaka I was born in Okayama Prefecture, and came back to live here in 2010. I used to be a systems engineer, but now that I have returned to Okayama, I’m doing a number of different things, such as working at a local Okayama newspaper, organizational work and advertising. I like people who are kind and warmhearted, and who know how to stop for a minute and appreciate the beauty of nature. Over the last few years, I’ve come to know the richness, magnificence and the difficulties of living in the countryside. The sea is good, but the mountains are good, too. I sometimes go to the mountains to plant trees with Team yosako.
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