Origin of Unyu Tenzan

By Kikki - Last updated: 日曜日, 12月 20, 2009 - Save & Share - 2 Comments
Unyu Tenzan is located in Hakone Yumoto Onsen region in Kanagawa Prefecture. When you drive to Hakone-yumoto along Rout 1, you may turn left just before Hokone-yumoto Station of Odakyu Line and cross the Sanmai-bashi Bridge proceeding to Old Hakone Road for about ten minutes. You may suddenly find signboard in mountain path. Drive down the steep entrance way into the parking lot, whole facilities can be seen on your sight.


Origin of Unyu Tenzan is discribed in Mr. Ebisawa’s book titled “Onsen.” It said; Unyu literally means to play among the clouds. Tenzan was drilled in 1966 as a remote sub-bath of Shunkoso Inn.

Bathers had to clime a hilly trail for 30 minutes, to reach this Sugumo River bank onsen. The simple lodge was initially meant for use by only the Shunkoso guests, but word of mouth, slowly spread popularity about its appealing rustic existence. In 1976, the Japan Travel Bureau published a book, titled “Journey to the Open Air Onsen.” Along with the entire major onsen hotel, Tenzan was mentioned as something of an oddity, but ideal for a quick rest and getaway.

Outdoor bath in Tenzan around 1975.

Outdoor bath in Tenzan around 1975.

A temporary structure was built to accommodate the growing number of visitors.
A nearby restaurant served river fish caught on the spot. Skewered fish was barbecued in an open-air fire pit. The nonchalant appearance created a perfect atomosphere for families and friends to commmune with each other, and enjoys quiet of nature.

The inn manager saw the future in a modern version of the “floating world of furo”.

Posted in Enjoy! Bathing in Onsen • Tags: Top Of Page
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