Yubara Onsen (Valentine Special)

A Special Place to Visit with that Special Person!

If you're looking for a special way to spend Valentine's Day in the Chugoku region, how about a trip up to Yubara Onsen? Located in Maniwa City, Yubara is Okayama Prefecture's most well-known hot spring town, and is situated along the Asahi River and next to the Yubara Dam.

Yubara is a hot spring town, with several nice ryokans, hotels, and hot spring facitlities to chose from; visitors can also opt for the 'day plan' which allows them to use the hot spring facilities at the ryokans and hotels without the pressure of staying overnight.

On February 14th & 15th (2015), the iconic outdoor 'rotenburo' bath named "Sunayu" will be surrounded by romantic candlelight in celebration of Valentine's Day. The "Sunuyu" bath is completely free-of-charge and is open 24 hours a day. Visitors should note that in addition to being outdoor, it is also a mixed-gender hot spring and is visible from the road! To that end, women are allowed to wrap themselves in a towel while in the bath.

If you're not brave enough to try the public bath, there are plenty of other bathing facilities to chose from. Don't forget to try the delicious ice cream and yogurt, 'yakiniku' beef, and Hiruzen 'yakisoba' that have put Maniwa City on the gourmet map!

Getting there: approx. 1.5 hours from Okayama city via Sanyo Expressway & Chugoku Expressway OR 2.5 hours from Osaka vai Chugoku Expressway & Yonago Expressway.

More information: http://www.yubara.com/en/

Note: The event for this year has ended; however, the onsen also has a candlelight event at Christmastime, complete with fireworks! You can start planning your Christmas onsen visit well in advance!

by Andrea Miyata

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