Daikoku-yu is located in the heart of Gion, Kyoto’s Geisha district. Whether the Geisha bathe here is a mystery, as is everything else surrounding these white-faced creatures. Perhaps the biggest clue that the Geisha do, or at least did bathe here is the size of the bathing areas. The women’s baths at Daikoku-yu are more spacious than the men’s side.
In the centre of the bathing area is the main bath: a deep bath with water jets on one end. Behind that is a shallow bath connected to a denkiburo. Besides that there is also a medicinal bath with regularly changing minerals or herbs.
What is striking about Kinryū-yu is the large mural on the back wall. The women’s bath features a lake with a church-like structure on the shore, the men only see rocks and the lake. It is as if the lake water runs into the baths underneath.
On Tuesdays, when Kinryū-yu is closed for regular bathing, it is often used as an event space with live music and flea markets. Kinryū-yu calls this 銭湯deフェスタ (Sentō de Festa). These events are hosted by Yuu-chan. Read her blog here (and the Google translation here).
Kinugasa Onsen is housed in a nondescript concrete building, like you see anywhere in Japan. The family that runs it though have been running a bath house at this location since the Edo-era. It is still a popular place for the locals to meet and for tourists to get a sense of what Japanese bath houses are all about.
Like every sentō, this bath house has its own unique selling point: a cold sauna. Cool down in this icy cold room before dipping into one of the hot tubs. It is a very pleasant sensation.
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A beautiful onsen with the rotenburo looking out onto the lake behind the building. You will need to travel a bit to get here, but you will not regret it.
In front of the entrance to Yupika is a free footbath. The onsen water flows through here too and has a very comfortable temperature. You will need to bring your own towel to wipe your feet.