Timeless Soothing Stream
The source of the hot spring in Yamanaka Onsen is said to have been discovered some 1300 years ago by the famous high priest Gyoki (668-749), and the public bathhouse was opened as a sacred place where people could cure their injuries and diseases. In the Edo era (1603-1868), one of the greatest Japanese haiku poets MATSUO Basho (1644-1694) spent time in Yamanaka Onsen to relieve travel fatigue and he applauded its hot springs as some of the best in Japan. He even wrote a haiku about them. Today, Yamanaka Onsen’s public bath is named Kiku no Yu taken from a Basho haiku, and the location hasn’t changed since the town began. It consists of two separate buildings, a men's bath and a women's bath, which stand in the square at the centre of town. Soaking in a hot spring is a great way to relax after taking an enchanting stroll amidst the green of Kakusenkei Gorge. You can also enjoy a foot bath outside the Kiku no Yu free of charge.