[Legacy of the Bubble Era] Yamamizuki, Shimanto Onsen

Are there any relation between the bubble economy and hot springs?

During the bubble years, many recreation facilities including hot springs were developed across Japan.

However, quite a lot of these were abandoned in financial difficulties afterward.

This hot spring went out of business, even though it hardly did the business, and after a long interval of silence, it was perfectly renovated and you can enjoy the glorious ocean view from the spring with unique color…

The Farthest Edge of Shikoku Island

The most popular hot springs in Shikoku Island is Dogo Onsen, where Soseki Natsume, one of the most famous novelists, set the story in “Botachan.”

Other than this, there are few hot springs in this island.

Nonetheless, some unique hot springs are scattered across the island.

Shimanto river

Photo by cotaro70s – Shimanto river (2013) / CC BY-ND 2.0

Today’s destination is south-west of Kouchi; the farthest edge of the island.

There is a building with exotic atmosphere on the hill at the mouth of the Shimanto River.

Entrance

Because of the aftereffects of the burst bubble, this facility had been abandoned for about ten years.

However, it was renovated nicely, so that it looks a brand-new facility from the appearance.

They have both private baths and gender-separated pools, and let us go to the common pool, going through the darkish lobby,

Restaurant

I saw “legacy of the bubble era” in the old-fashioned lobby.

Brilliant brown and deep blue

When you walk out of the dressing room, you will find brilliant brown water in the tub!

In the same direction of eyes, there is glories view of the Shimanto River and the Pacific Ocean with deep blue, which enhances beautiful contract.

Open-air Bath (Front)

Indeed, there are many “scenic” hot springs, but most of them have unremarkable view from the tubs.

In that respect, the scenery from Yamamizuki can be said as excellent.

Open-air Bath (Angle)

Unfortunately, small amount of water is being poured into the tub.

Furthermore, it is artificially heated, because water temperature of the source is only 79 degrees.

Despite these weak points, here is still attractive, because of the characteristic nature of the spring with metallic smell, and the glorious view of the Pacific Ocean.

Summary

😆 Pros

Unique nature of spring in Shikoku Island, and excellent scenery

😥 Cons

Additional tubs with unheated water required, even if they are small

Yamamizuki, Shimanto Onsen, Kouchi, Japan
Rating
Walk-in YES
Lodging YES
Official Website YES

Related hot spring

It takes one-hour drive from Yamamizuki.

There is an unusual “DIY” hot spring.

Sugaru Tennen Onsen

Sugaru Tennen Onsen, Kuroshio-cho, Kouchi, Japan

You need to pump up the cold spring from a tank to the tub, and you need to fire up to heat the water by yourself.

When soaking in this primitive hot spring, I recalled the old Chinese poem: the country is destroyed; yet mountains and rivers remain.

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