Japanese Onsen and Where to Find Them
In Japan, onsen or hot springs can be found anywhere. Every region of the country has its share of hot springs and resort towns, which come with them. Japanese people enjoy them and so do foreign visitors. If you want to feel the real atmosphere of Japan, bathing at a hot spring is one of the best choices.
There are many types of hot springs: indoors and outdoors, gender separated and mixed, developed and undeveloped. This article will introduce you to an indoor onsen in which you can still enjoy an outdoor view. It’s Miharashi Onsen (Mihara City Hot Spring), in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture. I visited Miharashi Onsen during my trip to Hiroshima last winter. It was my first time to go to a Japanese hot spring. If you’re also going to have your first visit to a Japanese hot spring, you had better learn proper etiquette for Japanese public bathing first.
So Miharashi Onsen is an indoor hot spring located near the Seto Inland Sea, Japan’s most scenic waterway. It’s a little bit far from the downtown of Hiroshima, but it’s really worth visiting.
This hot spring has the highest temperature of 45.1 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) among spas located in Hiroshima. The bath with the view is very popular. You can see the view of Seto Inland Sea while bathing in the hot spring. There are saunas and around 10 kinds of bathtubs. There’s also an open-air spa on the top of the building, facing the sea. You can spend the whole day relaxing and enjoying Seto Inland Sea within a reasonable price, 1410 yen for adults and 630 yen for children. For ladies, if you’re lucky and come on what Miharashi Onsen calls ‘Women’s Day’, you’ll get a 50% discount! I went there on Saturday in December and it was ‘Women’s Day’, so I got 50% off. The staff there showed me a calendar and there were several ‘Women’s Day’ in a month. However, it seems like the days are different each month.
Need a Break from the Hotspring? Take a Walk to the Beach
It turned out that I could not stay in the hot spring too long. After two hours, I felt dizzy and decided to get out of the hot spring. However, my friends still wanted to stay in the hot spring, so while waiting for them, I took a walk outside Miharashi Onsen. There’s a beach next to it named Sunami beach, so I stayed there for a while. Because it was winter and the wind blew strongly, only a few people were there.
Miharashi Onsen: Restaurants or Packed Lunch
Not so long afterwards, I felt hungry. I went for a stroll to find a convenience store, but I couldn’t find any! There’s no convenience stores around. Actually, there’s a restaurant in Miharashi Onsen, but at that time I wanted to save some money so I didn’t eat at the restaurant. So here’s a tip for you: bring your own meal if you don’t wanna eat at the restaurant or you’ll be starving to death.
Overall, Miharashi Onsen is a nice place to visit while you’re around Hiroshima. You can enjoy the hot spring and sea at the same time. Its surrounding also offers you impressive scenery.
Get There and Around
Approximately 25 minutes from Miharakui IC of Sanyo Expressway. Mihara Onsen has a parking lot which is available for 230 cars. There’s also parking space for large-size buses.
[By public transportation]
Approximately 15 minutes by bus from Mihara Station to “Miharashi onsen-mae” bus stop. Mihara Onsen provides free shuttle bus transportation. The last free shuttle bus from the hot spring is at 16.45.
[Official Website] www.morikawakanko.com (in Japanese only)
|Address||Sunami haitsu 1-1-1, Mihara-shi, Hiroshima 723-0035|
|Access||[map]Sunami haitsu 1-1-1, Mihara-shi, Hiroshima 723-0035[/map]|
|Opening Hours||10:00 - 22:00|
|Price Range||Adults: 800 yen; Children: 400 yen. Membership discount and other set-discounts are available.|