Tarumi Ward - 垂水区

Taihei no Yu - Tarumi Onsen

Japanese Name: 太平の湯 垂水温泉Prefecture: HyogoCity: Kobe - TarumiAddress: 兵庫県神戸市垂水区海岸通2166-2Access: 15min walk from Sanyo or JR TarumiType: SupersentoWebpage: http://www.sentou.co.jp/Price: ¥780 (Weekends & Holidays: ¥870)Holiday: NoneHours: 10:00-24:00 (Weekends Holidays 8:00-24:00)
ReviewBeautiful views from this super sento along the coast in western Kobe. On the Kobe side of the Akashi Bridge there are two super sento that allow you to check out the majesty of that bridge while you are in your most majestic nudity. :P To make up for the lack of a hot spring they make the amenities and other decorations are very opulent. I liked everything about the bathing areas here.While busy, thanks to the great view and location, it seems to get less of the trashy beach yankees that Tatsu no Yu gets.

Takamaru-yu (Takamaru Onsen)

Japanese Name: 高丸湯 (高丸温泉)Prefecture: HyogoCity: Tarumi WardAddress: 兵庫県神戸市垂水区泉が丘4丁目4−36Closest Station: Takinochaya Station / 滝の茶屋駅Category: SentoPrice: Hyogo Prefecture Public Bathhouse Association price or cheaper (sauna, if available, may be extra)Holiday: Monday & WednesdayHours: 16:00-19:00Review:You have to love the amount of political posters and 70-80s looking facade here. Then there is a coin laundry placed between the main entrance and the shoe boxes with retro era washing machines whirring along. Then you see the tiles on the floor of the shoe locker. Those beautiful tiles continue all the way to the back walk of the sento with a mosaic that becomes the fountain that fills the baths. This place was well thought out. But, Takamaru is small. Very small. The sauna, now a storage closet, is in the changing room on the opposite side from the baths. There are 3 baths; a very rare shallow electric, a jet and a main bath. 3 adult men of us in the baths was enough. Maybe 2 more guys could have made a tight fit. Sadly there is no cold water bath. Surprised to see that the water here is from a well but it was not apparent on the skin. The grandmother sitting in the bandai was kind and friendly as was the customer whom I chatted with while changing. A great feeling sento and one that might not be around too much longer. Visit this little bit of local history before it is too late.
Visit Date: November 2019

Tsuki no Yufune (James-yama)

Japanese Name: ジェームス山天然温泉 月の湯舟Prefecture: HyogoCity: Kobe - TarumiAddress: 神戸市垂水区青山台7丁目4番46号Access: DifficultType: Supersento w/ natural hot springWebpage: http://www.tsuki-no-yufune.com/Price: ¥750 (Weekends & Holidays: ¥850)Holiday: NoneHours: 9:00-25:00
ReviewJames-yama is an interesting name for a hill in western Kobe. James? Really? Do the citizens of Kobe really like late 80's early 90's British pop that much? This silly named hill also has a wonderful, yet also silly named supersento. The design here focuses on exposed concrete and with many dark areas. This is a very relaxing onsen. You will find many kids there and the design of this supersento is lost on them. The sloped outdoor area is about as big as it could get given the location. It overlooks one of Kobe's freeways. One of the best views available from any rotenburo in the area. The main hot spring bath is quite large and empties out of one end as a waterfall. The hot spring leaves a white residue on the tub and the area around it. Sadly it’s only used in this one bath. A second rocky bath outside is filled with heated sea water.On a September 2012 trip here the main shallow indoor bath was filled with small wheels of cedar to enhance the bath. My 2 year old daughter just enjoyed throwing them around, as did all of the young boys and a few of the old men in the bath. This last trip here really soured my experience for this supersento. It felt too small, especially in the changing room. This could have been because it was a national holiday and there were more casual bathers than usual.
Hot Spring DataWell Name: James Yama Onsen #1 Spring - ジェームス山温泉1号源泉Type: Chloride spring - 塩化物泉pH: 6.6Type: Neutral - 中性Well Temperature: 31.2Type: Warm spring - 低温線Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性

Tsuru no Yu

Japanese Name: 鶴の湯Prefecture: HyogoCity: Tarumi WardAddress: 兵庫県神戸市垂水区川原2丁目1−16Closest Station: Tarumi Station / 垂水駅Category: SentoPrice: Hyogo Prefecture Public Bathhouse Association price or cheaper (sauna, if available, may be extra)Holiday: WednesdayHours: 15:30-21:00Review:Some sento I cannot recommend that everyone go to. This is one of them. Yes, I loved the plant in the corner and big drain in the corner of the washing area. The main deep bath was deeper than usual and this also had baths that were below the floor line allowing you to step down into them--a fun difference. There is the element of Japanese DIY handiwork here. Something that I do love and you see often in quirky sento like this one. Here the baths were being continually filled with water from a shower and the hot water faucet closest to the baths by two small pipes. The electric bath, which I was a bit scared of, was being powered by a piece of conduit coming in from an open window on the wall. None of the wiring was exposed but the conduit was just tacked to the wall. The non operational sauna was accessed through the changing room and the window in the men’s bathroom was cracked wide open and gave a great view of the street. Outside the facade of Tsuru no Yu is different than other sento in Kobe. This bath is built into an apartment building along with a cafe. Tattoos seemed to be allowed along with smoking. I would recommend this sento to people who have been going to sento for years and want to have a very nostalgic experience. That said, this is not a sento for a first timer.
Visit Date: November 2019

Yuya-no-Sato

Japanese Name: 柚耶の里Prefecture: HyogoCity: Kobe - TarumiAddress: 兵庫県神戸市垂水区名谷町湯屋谷2251Access: Bus from Kobe Subway Myodani or Sanyo/JR TarumiType: Sento w/ natural hot springPrice: Hyogo Prefecture Public Bathhouse Association price or cheaper (sauna, if available, may be extra)Holiday: NoneHours: 10:00-08:30
ReviewIf there was a sento at Tokyo Disneyland, it would look like Yuya no Sato. A giant waterfall with a cavern like bath behind it, jet baths powerful enough to push you across the bath, and a monkey bar above that very bath. The spring filled outdoor bath, carbonated bath, cavern like mist sauna are great for sento enthusiasts. Let’s not forget to mention the "Spirited Away" looking exterior. It's almost a simulacrum of a sento. Overall it's an enchanting, wonderful place. It reminds me much of the Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama that was the inspiration for the one in "Spirited Away.” One note, the locker numbers are written in kanji so if you can't read numbers in kanji you might have a problem.
Update 2018: The entire place looked like it was in need of a good repair. That said it was still clean and enjoyable. I forgot how good the spring here is.
Hot Spring DataWell Name: Myodani Tamago Onsen - 名谷玉子温泉Type: Chloride spring - 塩化物泉Type: Weak alkaline - 弱アリカリ性Type: cold spring - 冷鉱泉Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性

*Closed* Tensui-yu

Japanese Name: 天水湯Prefecture: HyogoCity: Kobe - TarumiAddress: 兵庫県神戸市垂水区天ノ下町12-9Type: Sento
ReviewAmazing old and well used sento. Don’t let the worn appearance fool you this is a must try for any sento fan. The owner is an ex-bodybuilder who now runs the sento for fun—at least it seemed that way. The baths were unique. In the middle was a trough of warm water to rinse off with. I’ve never seen anything like it. There were 3 baths. In the back is a main bath that had a row of ineffectual jets jerry-rigged into it. The second bath was a warm bubble bath that was much cooler than the others thanks to the abundance of bubbles. Lastly, there was a cold bath. It seemed once long ago it would have been constantly filled, currently there's (another) jerry-rigged shower above the tub. The stopper for the bath is usable by the bathers so you can fill up the cold water using the shower if you want? Not sure the manners on this one. The water coming out of that shower was incredible especially after getting out of the super hot and super dangerous steam sauna. There is no gate or cover over the super hot flowing water that produces the steam. The owner was very happy to see a sento enthusiast gaijin such as myself and really made me feel welcome, almost too much so. If you cannot speak any Japanese you might have a tough time because I’m sure he will want to chat with you if you go. Overall it was a great experience checking out this old, quirky sento.
Update November 2019: Sadly closed. Putting all the photos I have of this sento online for reference.