Sakai City - 堺市

Kame no Yu

Japanese Name: 亀乃湯
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
大阪府堺市北区黒土町2264-3
Type: Supersento
Webpage: http://www.kamenoyu.net/
Price: ¥600
Holiday: None
Hours: 10:00-27:00 (Weekends Holidays 7:00-27:00)

Review

Located a 10 minute walk from Mikunigaoka station Kame no Yu is a fine supersento with mostly outdoor baths. The baths here are very well built and thought out especially the large rocky outdoor ones. Kame no Yo, like most supersento built recently, has a large TV (with audio) on the wall next to the main outdoor bath. Thankfully, a separate section of the bath is somewhat removed from the TV, but the audio is unavoidable.

While the baths were all very comfortable and beautiful, I found the lack of any landscaping outside to complement them to be a flaw. The large outdoor area had the baths laid out as if they were in a Costco warehouse for sale. There was some loose rock, but it lacked any rock garden feeling to it. It seemed like they just forgot to plant anything there. It was somewhat off-putting especially as I went during the daylight hours. The lack of any green to contrast the white walls and grey rocks of the baths made the area seem unfinished.

That's a minor critique as the baths inside and out, including a wonderful shallow indoor bath lined with great brown stone and topped with cedar really make Kame no Yu a wonderful option if you're in the Sakai area.

Despite just being a simple hot spring, it had a "this is really an onsen" feel. I left refreshed and happy I took the trip to one of my favorite neighborhoods in Kansai to enjoy it.

If you were unaware just on the opposite side of the station is the tomb of Emperor Nintoku. This keyhole shaped burial mound, called kofun in Japanese, is the largest in Japan.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Goryo Tennen Onsen - 御陵天然温泉
Type: Simple Hot Spring - 単純温泉
pH: ?
Type: ?
Well Temperature: 40.1
Type: Hot spring -
温泉
Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性

Minatoshio Yu.jpg

Minatoshio-Yu

Japanese Name: 湊潮湯
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
大阪府堺市堺区出島海岸通1丁213湊潮湯らぽーる2
Type: Sento
Webpage: http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~minatoshioyu/index.html
Price: ¥410
Holiday: Monday (Unless Monday is a holiday)
Hours: 15:00-23:30

Review

According to their webpage this the last surviving salt water sento in Kansai. The salt isn't as strong as straight ocean water so it doesn't leave you sticky, but if you have any sore spots they will sting just as my inner thighs did. Ignoring the stinging the salt water is very refreshing. They pull the water from 2km away, run it through some processing, heat it and pump it into the baths. If you happen to get any of the bathwater in your mouth, you'll know for sure that it's from the ocean. Minatoshi-yu looks recently remodeled and has a very clean feeling to it. It's very bright and open inside, despite its low ceiling. This is in contrast to the cluttered lobby that seems to be the gossiping spot for the local grandmothers. At least the night I went there was lots of chatting going on. I also think I heard the grandmother behind the counter ask her counterpart at the food bar, "Gaijin daijyobu desuka?" (Are foreigners ok?) when I entered. I didn't hear the reply, but I wasn't asked anything unusual at the counter. Perhaps foreigners are a rarity there, or the grandma was filling in for the typical front person Just didn’t know what to do. I know of two Supersento in western Kobe that also have saltwater baths, but haven't yet added them to this page. The salt water is an uncommon in sentos and worth trying at least once. I would put this down as one of the more unique sentos in the Kansai area and worth going out of your way to try.

Sarasa no Yu.jpg

Sarasa no Yu

Japanese Name: さらさのゆ
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
大阪府堺市北区蔵前町1-3-5
Type: Supersento
Webpage: http://www.sarasanoyu.com/
Price: ¥600
Holiday: None
Hours: 9:00-27:00

Review

Don't let the 10 minute walk or frustrating parking lot dissuade you from this gem of a supersento in Sakai. This two story with the baths on the roof style bathhouse has some unique baths that make it one of the best in the area.

The spring water is brownish and stains all the baths it's used in. They really market the fact that the spring is from 1,350m deep well and the heat of the water. The 52 degree water isn't fed in to the baths straight thankfully. This is one of those baths that you can tell that it's truly real spring water. The signature bath fed by a waterfall a little taller than myself was one of the best I've seen.

Besides the spring water baths, the normal baths are quite nice too. There is a luke warm carbonated bath that is just divine to chill off in... if you can find a space. There's also a kiddy bath with rubber ducks to play with.

Downsides? Really cramped changing room and it's always been packed.

Secret hint! Great Engrish on the menu in the restaurant. You'll get a chuckle from it. I even posted it on my blog.

The two baths are different in design and change daily.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Kigenzen Onsen Saiko no Yu - 紀元前温泉 最古乃湯
Type: Sodium chloride spring - ナトリウム-塩化物温泉
pH: 7.3
Type: Neutral -
中性
Well Temperature: 51.7
Type: Extra hot spring -
高温泉
Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性

Senjyu no Yu

Japanese Name: 千寿の湯
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
堺市東区日置荘西町1188
Type: Supersento
Webpage: http://219.119.173.6/1010-u/top/top.html
Price: ¥600
Holiday: None
Hours: 10:00-26:00

Review

Senjyu no Yu is located only a few minutes from Hatsushiba station. While they don't have a spring on the premises, they do tank spring water in from Kameyama city in Mie prefecture twice a week according to one website. Of course being a tanked in onsen that means the water is recycled and treated rather than being a constant fresh stream. I went here 5 years ago and remember it being a good basic supersento. One unique addition was the blow dry room which only kind of worked.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Turtle Onsen - タートル温泉
Type: Sodium bicarbonate spring - ナトリウム炭酸水素塩泉
pH: ?
Type: ?
Well Temperature: 29.8
Type: ?
Osmotic Pressure: ?

Shofuku

Japanese Name: 祥福
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
大阪府堺市堺区築港八幡町1
Type: Supersento
Webpage: http://www.syofukunoyu.com/sakaihama/sakaihama_top.html
Price: ¥700
Holiday: None
Hours: 9:00-27:00

Review

Shofuku won a readers poll in a recent higaeri (day) spa guide magazine so I was hoping for something a bit more. Yes they had some great baths including carbonated ones, but the bathing area was small and quite busy on the Sunday afternoon I went. Shofuku is a very family friendly place, or, at least, it's got a lot of families who go there together. Again, not a bad thing and I was there on Sunday at noon--of course there is going to be a lot of families. If you live in the neighborhood, it's a good option for supersentos. It's also quite easy to get to by bus from Nankai Sakai station (south bus stop).

It seems that the ganbanyoku/relaxation area (extra fee) is quite popular with the customers as is the buffet.

Interestingly enough they also had pamphlets including bathing instructions in English, Korean, and Chinese. I didn't see any other foreigners during my time there and was quite surprised to see information in any language other than Japanese.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Sakaihama Rakuten Onsen - 堺浜楽天温泉
Type: Simple Alkaline Hot Spring - アルカリ性単純泉
pH: ?
Type: ?
Well Temperature: ?
Type: ?
Osmotic Pressure: ?

Tokiwa Onsen

Japanese Name: トキワ温泉
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
大阪府堺市神明町西
Type: Sento (with Hot Spring)
Webpage: 
Price: ¥410
Holiday: 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday
Hours: 15:00-23:00

Review

Opening the door to the bathing area the smell just hit me. Wow, this is exactly the kind of place that I love. A great old sento that looks like it's been here for years, filled with local history and just enough dust. The water was decent, but it was straight from the ground. No heating, cooling or mixing with municipal water. That's what this place is: a hot spring fed into a few baths. The smell was nice and the feel was good. Not the best water, but worth going back.

The design is quite simple, but classic for a little sento like this one. It looks to me that the jet baths were added on in a remodel, but I could be wrong about that. The center bath has a two level design with the upper bath being hotter and shallower. The cold bath is small, but enough space for one to sit in. Sitting at the fountain to rinse off was very refreshing. The sauna is accessed from the changing room. Not much to it, but good enough.

The whole place is super small in comparison to most sento in the Kansai area. The reason for this place being here is the hot spring--that's it, but that's all that it needs. The main bath is well built and full of good places to sit. There's a nice mosaic of Mt. Fuji on the back wall and the mirrors have old advertisements for nearby businesses. The men's bathroom is outside in an enclosed patio that is accessed from the changing room. There's a little sitting area there with an ashtray that in the summer would be a great place for a nice post bath smoke.

This old building has a very utilitarian feel to it. Lots of old exposed wood and notices written on old yellowed sheets of paper. The customers all seemed part of the same large family that have been coming here for years many of them greeting each other when they came and left. I loved how busy the place was and all of the buckets filled with soap and shampoo placed around the bathing area. The entire place had a sense of agelessness that really made the entire experience special.

Getting here you can ride the great Hankai streetcar line which, like this sento, has a living history feel. Tokiwa Onsen is a perfect place to really experience what day-to-day life in postwar Japan might have looked like.Every time I go here I get into a conversation with someone. It is not the place were you will be able to have a quiet soak, but it will be an enjoyable one.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Tokiwa Onsen - トキワ温泉
Type: Simple hot spring - 単純温泉
pH: ?
Type: Weak alkaline -
弱アリカリ性
Well Temperature: ?
Type: Warm spring -
低温線
Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性

Yu~Bath Sakai Hamadera

Japanese Name: ユ〜バス堺浜寺店
Prefecture: Osaka
City: Sakai
Address: 
大阪府堺市西区浜寺船尾町東1丁108番
Type: Supersento
Webpage: http://www.yu-bath.com/s-bath/index.html
Price: ¥700
Holiday: 1st Monday of the month
Hours: 06:00-03:00

Review

The spring water was quite nice and obviously from a real well, but it was only one bath. The normal indoor baths were nice, but the "Royal" baths all felt dirty. There was a lot of diversity in the baths, but they all felt dirty, the rotenburo especially. The salt sauna had a very strong unpleasant smell and the dry sauna, while nice and hot, was dirty and had holes in the walls. If you super-sized a typical sento and fill it with dirty truck drivers you'd get this place. The design in the normal bath area was stoic, while the "Royal" area had a bit more thought given to the design--but not much and it was pretty ostentatious anyhow. The rotenburo was all white in a Greco-Roman theme. The palm tree out there was half-dead with fake palms attached to the trunk. It felt like a love hotel. The indoor spring water bath had a rocky theme with a geometric waterfall which I did enjoy however. Located next to a freeway onramp, a few love hotels, chain restaurants, this was the most truck stop-like of all the supersento I've been to. The staff was pleasant and the costumers all seemed to mind their own business and not interact much with each other. The beer I had tasted rancid.

I feel bad saying this, but I really didn't enjoy my time here. The other Yu~Bath supersentos have a much better atmosphere.

The men's and women's sides at this supersento are different. They change each week. I went to the right hand side bath, closest to the door.

Recently Yu~Bath has been promoting this bath, so maybe they have cleaned it up a bit. I do want to give it another try.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Sakai Rikyu no Yu - 堺利休の湯
Type: Sodium chloride spring - ナトリウム塩化物泉
pH: ?
Type: Neutral -
中性
Well Temperature: 51.2
Type: Extra hot spring -
高温泉
Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性