Tani no yu is one such local onsen. Here, customers pay the bath fee at the top of the stairs, and then descend to find the bathing area at the bottom — quite unusual for onsens. Having the dressing area directly beside the bath is a common layout found in Beppu onsens.
I wanted to see the beautiful statue of the Buddhist symbol Acala on the men’s side of the bath so I asked the receptionist if it was okay. “If there’s nobody in there, go for it,” she said, laughing. I learned that originally the source of the hot water came from below the pedestal which the statue sits on, but now there is just a hole where it once flowed.
|address||1-8 Kitaju, Kanawa, Beppu-shi|
|recommended for||bath fee 150 yen|