Located around 7 kilometers to the south of Takamatsu city’s urban areas, there is a town called Busshozan.
Including Honenji Temple, which was established by the Matsudaira family, numerous historical buildings from the Edo period (1603~1867) still remain in the area.
Within the ancient townscape of Busshozan, there is a hot spring facility called Busshozan Onsen.
In contrast to the usual image one might have of a ‘hot spring facility’, the exterior of the building has a rather simple, modern appeal.
And yet, it seems to fit comfortably and quietly with the calm atmosphere of Busshozan.
As you enter the building, the first thing that catches the eye is the long lounge space and dining area.
In the lounge people drink milk while taking a break from bathing, and in the dining area others slurp up udon noodles… everyone relaxes as they please. The ambience is very comfortable.
By the wall, there is a billboard that says: “50m bookstore”.
Actually, the Busshozan Onsen includes a hot spring facility where you can read while bathing. Visitors can purchase secondhand paperbacks for as little as JPY200. You might just find a nostalgic book from way back when…
In the bathing area, both the men’s and the women’s sections have indoor and open-air baths. Hot water flows continuously from the sodium hydrogen carbonate & chloride spring to all the baths. It’s an alkaline spring that has since olden times been called the “spring for beauties”. The water feels slippery to the touch.
Creating a spacious, comfortable space, indoor and outdoor baths surround the inner yard.
Relaxing and reading while soaking in the gentle 33 degree water is a really nice idea!
After bathing, it’s time for shaved ice!
It’s so delicious and popular during the hot summers, there are even customers who come just for the shaved ice.
This one is brown sugar syrup flavor shaved ice with sweet dumplings.
The thinly shaved ice is fluffy like powdered snow, and the brown sugar syrup blends in well.
After it gets a little bit warmer, you can also enjoy shaved ice with fresh fruit syrups such as kiwi and pineapple.
To get to Busshozan Onsen takes around 15-minutes by the Kotohira Railway (also known as Kotoden) from Takamatsu city to Busshozan station.
From Busshozan station, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the hot springs.
On this particular day, we used Kotoden hot springs train and bath tickets!
It’s a good-value ticket that includes the train fare both ways and access to the hot springs.
The fan, made from bamboo, is the ticket both for the train and the bath. The set, which includes the train fare + Busshozan onsen bath fee + towel + fan is JPY1000.
They are sold at the following Kotoden stations: Takamatsu – Chikko, Kataharamachi, Kawaramachi, Ritsurin Koen, Imabashi and Busshozan.
By the time we finished collecting data for this article, it had become pitch black outside. The day we visited the hot spring it was still the cold time of year, but my body felt warm for the whole journey back home, and I had a good night’s sleep.
Address: 114-5 Otsu, Busshozan-cho, Takamatsu city, Kagawa prefecture
Business hours: Weekdays 11.00-24.00
Saturdays, Sundays & National holidays 9.00-24.00
Last entrance: 23.00
Holidays (closed): Every 4th Tuesday of the month
Bath fees: Adults JPY600 (Middle school students & older)
Children JPY300 (3 year olds & older)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Yumi Kobayashi
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