‘Fusion of Onsen with Spa’ is now in fashion

By Kikki - Last updated: 月曜日, 5月 2, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

 ‘SPA’ in Onsen Resort:

Fusion of Local Resources and Healing Technology

Daisen Lake Hotel-Part 3



Name Daisen Lake Hotel
Address: Lakeside Ohnoko, Daisen-cho, Saihaku-gun, Tottori, 689-3317 Japan
Phone:  0859-52-3333
URL: http://www.daisen.com
Chick in 15:00 Chick out 10:00


An instigator of ‘beauty and wellness’ gives an interview. 

Architect Hiroshi Ebisawa

Hiroshi Ebisawa Architect & Assocites



Architect Hiroshi Ebisawa

Architect Mr. Hiroshi Ebisawa, an instigator of ‘beauty and wellness’ gives an interview. Mr. Ebisawa has devoted for Onsen design since he took in charge of design for ‘Tenzan Tojikyo’, an Onsen facility targeted for day-trippers in Hakone in 1985. He also involved in the spa project at Daisen Lake Hotel which opened on December 1, 2010. “Japanese Onsen are watched by the entire world with keen interest. Now it is a time that Onsen is not only concerned as a place for relaxation but also for wellness.” The instigator says.


How it all was started?

 ‘Tenzan Tojikyo’ in Hakone is my first design in this field in which targeted for quick Onsen bathers. It opened in 1985. Contemporary architecture does not fit for surrounding nature in Hakone, but Japanese style. On the other hand, modern building was lionized as a trend by the people at that period, and therefore, our task was how to arrange trendy taste into traditional Japanese style architecture. How to make full use of external surroundings to the design? It was that, for example, how to unite a unique ‘nureen(濡れ縁)’ or an open veranda in traditional Japanese house and western deck. It was regarded as the harbinger of so-called ‘higaeri-onsen(日帰り温泉)’ or an Onsen facility for quick bathers at that period, so that a large number of people in the Onsen business visited here after its opening. It was a great opportunity being involved with Onsen design for my self.

Since then, I have been involved with other Onsen projects, such as the Onsen project in the Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki.

What is your true charm on onsen design?

I think the attraction of Onsen is depended on two factors that is abundant volume of Onsen water and beautiful scenery form the facility. They are indispensable factors for relaxation and luxurious period. Important point in Onsen design, I consider, is how to create open-air space that is specifically for ‘bathing in open-air space.’ Open-air bathing is skillfully employed in Baden-Baden in Germany, and Finnish wood-heated sauna, because it also has a physiological importance.



Images of ‘ukiyo-buro(浮世風呂)’ from old books


Another factor is the taste of Japan. It fits to and harmonizes with Japanese landscape. In other words, it is that creating the world of modern style ‘ukiyo-buro (浮世風呂)’or the situation of daily life and culture through the conversations of customers at the public bath in the Edo era. Important point is that how we employ such historical background into the facility.

Prospects of Onsen facility for the future 


One of the spa rooms in the Daisen Lake Hotel.


Recently, I designed spa facility for the Daisen Lake Hotel. It is really a private space where you can observe true natural scenery from the guest room. You can enjoy both Onsen in an outdoor bath and an artificial carbonated water bath. Onsen in our country has undergone many changes to meet with demands of people such as recreational, entertainment-oriented, and relaxation-oriented facilities. And now people are beginning to realize Onsen as a facility for recover and improvement of good health. I suppose, quality of Onsen water itself will be one of the essential factors in near future. The taste of the times will be effectiveness of Onsen water. It is getting to be an original style of Onsen as ‘Toji’ or a hot-spring cure.

Japanese way of living is now very popular among people around the world, and Onsen is getting the center of public attention. It actually happened, because I am going to participate to the spa facility in China projected by the Singapore based company ‘Banyan Tree.’ They are planning to employ Japanese style Onsen in the project. That means one of worldly known brand spas is also interested in Japanese style Onsen.

Rough layout plan of the spa in the Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki


Rough layout plan of the spa in the Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki


As I consider on a new model of Onsen, ‘the fusion of spa and Onsen’ will be able to expand its possibility in our country, which I tried to design as a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki in several years ago





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