Ever dreamed of soaking yourself in a pool of wine, green tea, or coffee? I made this dream of mine come true at Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (箱根小涌園ユネッサン). Unlike the traditional onsen, Yunessun is a hot spring amusement park that combines your favourite beverages with onsen water. Each bath consists of the real ingredients of various beverages and contains rejuvenating components that are good for your skin. No matter how tempted you are, do note that you can’t drink the water from the baths. You can walk around and relax in each onsen at your own pace. If you’re in Tokyo, definitely include a day trip to Hakone in your itinerary to experience onsen in the most unique way.
After roughly two hours’ train ride from Tokyo, we finally arrived at Yunessun. Before entering, you will be given a wristband that serves as your locker key and purchase records for the cashless system used inside the premise. If you forgot to bring a towel or packed a wrong swimsuit, don’t worry as they provide a rental service.
There are two areas in the facility, the Yunessun area, which is where all the themed baths are and requires you to wear a bathing suit, and the Mori-no-Yu area, which is like the traditional onsen and requires you to wear no clothes.
The first thing you will see when you enter the Yunessun area is a large blue Mediterranean themed indoor pool called “Gods of the Aegean Sea,” which also has a kids’ pool and a jacuzzi.
Wine and coffee baths
We were so excited and went directly to the wine bath. Legend has it that in the ancient times, Cleopatra and Queen Mary used to bathe in wine to regain their youth. With the giant wine bottle decor, bright purple water and smell of wine aroma, the bath was everything I hoped it to be.
Next, we went to the coffee bath. I think the coffee bath is my favourite as it has the most pleasing scent of all. Yunessun claims to be the very first onsen in Japan that used a flannel drip to extract the ground coffee in low-temperature onsen water. Coffee is known for its rejuvenating effect and relaxing components that can relax your tired bones and cure fatigue.
Every few hours in both the wine and coffee baths, there is a performance where the staff pours an actual coffee and wine to you, so exciting!
Sake and green tea baths
The sake and green tea baths are smaller in size compared to the other baths. In the sake bath, you can see sake dripping into the tub from a big sake barrel on the side of the tub, that gives aroma to the room. The green tea bath has a bright green color and a relaxing aroma. The bath size is as small as a jacuzzi. It’s best to go there when the performance is going on so you can have the entire bath to yourself!
In the outdoor area, there is an attraction called “Rodeo Mountain,” which consists of three giant waterslides with fast flowing warm water streams. This is where all the fun begins. The waterslides are not scary, but fast! Suddenly we have forgotten about the cold temperature as we found ourselves going back and forth the slides countless times. After getting tired from playing on the slides, we relaxed in the cave bath, which has a mystical atmosphere and a waterfall.
The open-air bath and Mori-no-Yu
We walked a little further and found an outdoor scenic bath that overlooks gorgeous scenery of luscious green and Hakone’s outer crater rim. It was a bit foggy and chilly that day, which made the atmosphere even more Zen. After an adventure in the Yunessun baths, you can head to Mori-no-Yu to immerse yourself in an onsen surrounded with rocks and bamboos before heading home.
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can both relax and have fun at the same time. Unlike the regular onsen that is often associated with older people, Yunessun is fun and enjoyable for all ages. It is one quirky experience that you can only find in Japan.
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun information
1297 Ninotaira Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0407
From Shinjuku Station, take the Odakyu Line to Hakone Yumoto Station or Odawara Station. Then, take the Hakone Tozan Bus or the Izu-Hakone Bus to Kowakien Stop.
- Yunessun: 9 a.m. – 7 a.m.
- Mori no Yu: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Combined Yunessun & Mori no Yu
- Adult: ¥4,100
- Child: ¥2,100
- Yunessun only
- Adult: ¥2,900
- Child: ¥1,600
- Mori no Yu only
- Adult: ¥1,900
- Child: ¥1,200