Natural Hot Spring Gushes out from the Rocks

By Kikki - Last updated: 金曜日, 7月 30, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Remodel of “Ubako-no-yu, Shumeikan




shumeikai-sign boad


ubako-onsen+Mt. Fuji

“Ubako Onsen” and Mt. Fuji


Shumeikan bath rooms

Hakone “Ubako-no-yu” is a famous Onsen, dating back to the mid 1800s. An old book titled “The efficacious of Onsen around the country”, published in the Tempo 10 (1840) in the Edo Era, ranked “Ubakono-yu” is one of the highest Onsens in Japan.  The Onsen is located in the northwest face of the highest Mt. Kamiyama at the center of the volcanic cone in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture. It is the oldest hot-spring among a group of Hakone Eight Onsens. Because of its isolated location, there is no “Onsen-gai” or a pleasure street surrounding the hot-spring.

Yamnba and Kintaro+cable car

It is said that the name “Ubako-no-yu” is derived from the Japanese folklore of “Kintaro(金太郎)”. The story said “Kintaro’s” mother, “Yamanba(山姥)(sometimes call her as “Uba”) a strong female monster, took him to the Onsen for a remedy when he was injured of his eye by a branch.

You can observe a red-roofed bathhouse stand isolated in amid of forest, from the ropeway that connects Ubako-no-yu with Owakudani Valley. That is the oldest inn in Hakone, named “Shumeikan”. The 2-story inn, on 10,000 sq. meters land, was built in the middle of the Meiji Era, after cleared the forest. The oldest inn is connected with a bathhouse and an annex for resting.

ubako-post card

“Ubako Onsen” in an old post card.

The natural hot springs produces 3,000 liters of hot water per minute during the summer rainy season, and stops during the winter. It is still important natural sauce without facilitate modern technology, such us excavation or pumping up. Bathers enjoy this seasonal aspect. A lot of visitors come arrive during the good season. The water is mildly acidic, and uniquely contains alum, said to cure mild eye infection. The old Shumeikan brochure printed in the early Showa Period refers to a Dutchwomen patient’s eye condition cured, after 10days of bathing at the Onsen, who was introduced Shumeikan by an eye doctor in Shiba, Tokyo.

ubako-shumeikan set

Tenzan purchased this oldest inn and asked Mr. Hiroshi Ebisawa to redesign for its renovation. The original structure was a simple hut built over a rock pool of hot spring water. After years of snow and weathering, it was time to remodel. The Architect intended to attract present day visitors while preserving its old-fashioned and primitive state when he first saw the inn.

shumeikan men's inner

The new design still maintains the sheer rock walls, natural hot spring water, and an inn over them. The old slanted beams and the rotting foundations were replaced and reinforced. And a new bare wooden ceiling was structured to create a different primitive atmosphere.

The closeness with nature is continued through the windows that face the bamboo forest. Unlike the grand Roman thermea, visitors at Shumeikan, travel a simple forest pathway with natural light filtering through the trees, to reach the traditional Japanese architecture, bringing them back to the basics of Onsen bath relaxation.

Guest rooms

Especially, a great deal of Onsen water gushing out from the crevice in a rock in summer rainy season Shuemikan attracts bathers. You feel something different fresh moment that is vivid inside and tranquility outside. Even a limited small space of bathhouse gives you a kind of strong impression.

General Information

Name: Ubako-no-yu, Shumeikan
Address: 110-1, Moto-hakone, Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan
Phone: 0460-84-8478
Business Hours: 9:00~17:00 (Every Thursday is closed)
Admission fee: 1,800 yen
Private room: +500 yen
Private bath: +1,000 yen

As a certified guide-interpreter in English and also a writer of the website “Cool Japan Guide”, I will be very happy to accompany you to this remote hot spring resort, “Shumeikan” in Ubako Onsen.

Thank you for your kind cooperation, I am looking forward to your contacts.

Please Contact Us/お問合せ

View Ubako Onsen Shumeikan in a larger map

Posted in Enjoy! Bathing in Onsen • • Top Of Page
1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (まだ評価されていません)

Send a Message

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.