Yunessun Adventure: A Family-Friendly Onsen Experience in Japan
Step into a world where warm waters embrace, and curious pools promise endless delights. Our recent journey led us to Yunessun, a family-friendly onsen nestled amidst Japan’s captivating landscapes. Here, relaxation merges bizarre-themed pools, crafting an experience both memorable and enriching.
A World of Baths and Wonders
Yunessun is renowned for its variety of baths, a sensory playground where every dip tells a different tale. Immerse yourself in the indulgence of a coffee bath, where the rich aroma envelops you, or venture into a wine bath, where rejuvenation takes on a new meaning. (Just make sure you don’t actually drink from either!) Our personal favorite, the sake bath, offers a glimpse into Japanese traditions, its warmth soothing and rejuvenating. For our little adventurers, the array of kid-friendly play areas and the exhilarating water slide created moments of unbridled laughter and joy.
Amongst the serenity, a touch of whimsy awaited us – the underwater wonderland within a cave. As we soaked in the tranquil warmth, a few sparse fish tanks were on display. There is a waterfall at the entrance of the cave that the Littles loved swimming through.
Practical Details: Navigating Yunessun
Our August excursion proved to be both exciting and practical. Unlike some dates that require reservations, we opted for a weekday adventure that allowed us to simply walk in. At check-in, each person is given a wristband so that you don’t need any cash or cards while inside the Onsen. Before departure, a convenient machine ensured hassle-free settlement of all charges. (Although if you arrived by car you pay for your parking separately at the exit gate.)
Shoes are left behind just after check-in. Then we stepped into the realm of barefoot relaxation. Changing rooms, divided by gender, provided space for preparation. While family changing rooms weren’t evident, open changing areas and complimentary lockers offered convenience. Most guests did not bring towels with them into the pool area, though there is plenty of hanging space for a small bag of necessities.
Before joining the pools, you have to do your pre-dip ritual – a cleansing shower and then a walk through a foot cleaning station. As we stepped into the coffee bath, its warmth cocooned us, while our kids’ delighted laughter filled the air. It was a sensory journey, a tale of family togetherness in the heart of a Japanese onsen
Our day unfolded in a symphony of moments, with each pool offering its unique charm. We noticed that most Japanese guests had brought with them a small inner tube that seemed to add an extra layer of fun to the experience. The availability of air compressors made inflating them upon arrival easy. We never needed a tube, none of the pools are particularly deep but everyone else had one.
We opted to try out the Dr. Fish footbath. This is an additional add-on for a few dollars per person you get to dip your feet into a pool filled with fish that eat your dead skin for five minutes. The groups are small and the pool is frequently closed for cleaning. We saw the wait for this experience grow rather long. We were glad to have done it early in our visit.
Culinary Delights and Reflections
Amidst the aquatic escapades, we paused for lunch. Yunessun offers a range of dining options, each promising a taste of Japanese flavors and also some American favorites. Opting for the “formal” restaurant, we discovered that formality seamlessly coexists with comfort. Dining in our bathing suits, the restaurant provides towels and loaner tops to keep everyone warm. The iPad-driven ordering system, adjustable to English made it easy to eat without worry.
While the area boasts additional attractions, we chose to pop into the Hakone Shinto shrine and then return to Yokota Air Force Base. It’s a two-hour drive back. Many people stay in the area and combine it with the Hakone loop.
Yunessun isn’t just an onsen; it’s a gateway to shared experiences, laughter, and the joy of discovery. It was a great way to participate in some of the bathing rituals as a family and kick off our time in Japan.