Kuramae Onsen Sassa no Yu (蔵前温泉さらさのゆ) Sakae-shi Osaka
Onsen or hot spring is one of the highlights of Japanese tourism, culture and tradition. While many will go to private or resort owned onsen, we opted to visit the common or public onsen during our trip to Osaka. It is a hidden gem and our friend who resides in Osaka had no idea about this place.
It is called the Kuramae Onsen Sassa no Yu (蔵前温泉さらさのゆ) in the town of Sakae-shi. The best way to go there is via train with Kitahanada station the nearest station. From the station, you take a brisk walk and you will reach the onsen. We enclosed the map below and it will be useful, trust us.
Growing and living in a different country and culture, it was not a norm to be naked with a group of men. Rachel didn’t find it comfortable too naked among the local ladies. However, we wanted the experience the tradition in a public onsen, not the commercialize ones in Osaka City.
We found the place thanks after a few locals gave us the correct direction. It was not located on a hillside but in the middle of the town.
We went to the counter and asked help for locker and such. Luckily, one of the staffs there can speak simple English and it was good enough. The hospitality in Japan is second to none and in minutes my friend and I was naked with a piece of cloth as big as Adam’s leaf.
It was enough to cover our manhood and not elsewhere. Since it was an area with naked men, I was not allowed to take pictures or such and the rules applied to the ladies section too. Well, stop your imagination on unisex onsen. We were told unisex onsen is hard to find, like a needle in a haystack.
Well, so I was walking around with the cloth covering my manhood looking for my friend who seemed to be lost. There were pools of water with different temperature and too bad I didn’t know how to read kanji (Chinese characters) so I didn’t what the signs mean.
I was courageous and walked to the outdoor pools. Mind you it was winter and it was cold. Swiftly I jumped into the pool but it was scorching hot (it will take a while for the body to adjust to the temperature). Amazingly the outdoor pool had a LCD TV and it was a weird moment to be in the pool with few naked men watching TV. My friend found and joined me after that.
Yes, of course we saw our manhood and many other dozen of manhood around us. It was the most awkward moment I had in my entire life. We saw too many different shapes and sizes unintentionally. However, the hot spring was relaxing. It didn’t take long for us to dip to another pool. You can never dip into a hot spring more than 15-20 minutes or else you get dehydrated.
After trying out a couple of different pools, we went to the bathing area. It was rows of shower heads with small stools. You need to tap the water leveller and it will stop after 3 seconds, I believed it was for water conservation.
Yes, we finally achieved our mission to visit a public onsen and paid local pricing. Even it was quite far from the city but I believed it was worth it. At first, I felt shy walking around naked amongst the locals but after a while, you will blend into the scene. If you are looking for a true Japanese experience, you must not miss the public onsen. When we left, we saw a family visiting the onsen as if they were visiting a theme park, happy and jolly. I believe it is a joyful place to visit for families.
A Japanese family walking into Kuramae Onsen Sassa no Yu (蔵前温泉さらさのゆ) .
We don’t mind to visit a public onsen again in our future trip to Japan. However my imagination still runs wild on visiting a unisex onsen. Hope to visit Japan soon and visit more onsens!
Kuramae Onsen Sassa no Yu (蔵前温泉さらさのゆ) Sakae-shi Osaka Address, Tel, Contact and Map:
Ōsaka-fu, Sakai-shi, Kita-ku, Kuramaechō, １丁３−５ (English)
大阪府堺市北区蔵前町１丁３−５ 591-8004, Japan