The Kibune/Kurama area is close to Kuramadera Temple and Kibune Shrine, known as one of the largest power spots in Kyoto, and is crowded with many tourists, especially on weekends. However, since it involves climbing up and down mountains, it requires quite a bit of effort, even for sightseeing. How about taking a day trip to Kurama Onsen to heal your body after a tiring and sweaty day of mountain climbing?
Kurama Onsen｜Popular one-day hot springs in the Kibune and Kurama areas, easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka
From Kyoto City, take the Eizan Electric Railway from Demachiyanagi to the last stop, about 30 minutes. A free shuttle bus runs from Kurama Station to Kurama Onsen according to train times. However, the area still retains its old townscape as an old inn town, so taking a leisurely stroll to the hot springs is also a tasteful way to get there.
It takes about 10 minutes from the Niomon Gate of Kuramadera Temple. The road is a straight one, so you will not get lost at first. After about 10 minutes heading north, you will see a large sign for the hot spring on your right. There is a Kyoto Bus stop right in front of it, so it is convenient to come from Kyoto City by bus at once.
A day trip to Kurama Onsen is definitely recommended to fully enjoy the hot springs.
The facility that can be seen from the parking lot upon entering the site is a smaller, two-story building than one might expect. Krama Onsen also offers overnight accommodations, but it does not seem to be taking that many overnight guests. If you wish to stay overnight, you may want to make a reservation as soon as possible.
First of all, you must pay the bathing fee at the counter on your left as soon as you enter the building. There are two options to choose from: the open-air bath course, which allows you to use only the open-air baths, and the one-day course, which allows you to use the large baths in the building as well. For first-time visitors, I recommend the one-day course. I will explain the reasons for this in the following order, but first, let me introduce the fees…
Open-air bath course: Adults 1,000 yen, children 700 yen
One-day course: Adults 2,500 yen, children 1,600 yen
Note: Children are between 4 and 12 years old.
The bath fee for the one-day course includes rental fees for a yukata (Japanese bathrobe), bath towel, and a set of face towels (you can also rent or purchase towels for an extra fee for the open-air bath course). So even if you come empty-handed, you can enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs without any inconvenience.
After all, it would be nice to have a hot spring where you can just drop in whenever you want without having to prepare anything. I personally can’t imagine sightseeing while carrying around a bath towel all the time for the purpose of going to a hot spring right from the start…
Horeiyu: An open-air bath where you can feel the changing of the seasons against the backdrop of the great nature of Kurama Mountain
To get to Horeiyu, an open-air bath where you can bathe while enjoying a view of the great nature of Kurama Mountain, leave the building and walk up the slope to the left of the parking lot.
The spring water at Kurama Onsen is a simple hydrogen sulfide spring, which is said to be relatively common in Japan. The water at Kurama Onsen has a sulfur smell, but the sulfur smell has been removed by the circulation heating system, which may disappoint hot spring enthusiasts. However, the enjoyment of taking a long soak in the lukewarm water and enjoying the great outdoors is not lost at all.
On this day during Golden Week, the contrast between the blue of the clear sky and the green of Mt. In the fall, the red of the autumn leaves will add to the contrast, creating an even more beautiful view…
For lunch, I enjoyed Kyoto’s wild vegetables and jidori chicken at a restaurant on the first floor of the facility.
If you feel a little hungry after enjoying the outdoor hot spring baths, how about having lunch at one of the restaurants in the facility?
The menu includes a variety of Japanese dishes such as rice cooked in a kama-gohan (rice cooked in a pot) using Kurama’s specialty sansho (Japanese pepper), wild vegetables, and local chicken. Prices are a bit high for a ryokan, but one of the joys of hot springs is to enjoy a relaxing meal at your own pace while sipping on beer or Kyoto’s local sake after a bath.
Incidentally, there is also a more economical bathing plan that includes rice with these wild vegetables and jidori chicken and a hot spring bath (4,800 yen for the set). It may be just what you are looking for when you want to take a leisurely soak in the hot spring from morning to evening and then go home! This may be just what you need for a relaxing morning to evening soak in the hot spring before heading home.
After lunch, you can take a nap in the lounge on the second floor, which has been opened up to accommodations.
After you have had your fill, it is time to get a little sleepy. You want to take another dip in the hot springs, but it may be a little too early… For those of you who are still feeling a bit tired, the rest room on the second floor of the facility is open to the public.
Upon entering, you will find a large Japanese-style room with only one TV and two massage chairs. I guess this place is used as a banquet hall at night.
Each of the guests who had arrived earlier were taking a break in their own way. Throwing their feet up on the tatami mats to watch a live professional baseball game, leaning back in a massage chair to enjoy the view outside, or surfing the Internet on their smartphones using the free Wi-Fi…
You can lie down on the tatami mats as you are, or you can borrow one-person mattresses, pillows, and towelettes for free, so you can really take a nap by borrowing these items. Use the rest room as you please to rest your body and mind until you are ready for your next bath…
For the last hot spring, go to the large bathhouse in the facility… sweat it out in the sauna and get ready for the shuttle bus ride home.
Now that your body and mind are ready, let’s go to the large bathhouse in the facility.
The large baths are more spacious than the outdoor baths and have a sauna attached. After sweating it out here, take a cold water bath filled with mountain water to tighten up your body. Wash your body in time for the return shuttle bus, take a final dip in the hot spring, and get ready to finish your day trip plan! Return your borrowed yukata and towel to the counter and have a cup of coffee until the bus departs…
You can take a swig of standard coffee milk or…
Enjoy your stay at Kurama Onsen to the last minute!
Address: 520 Kurama Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone number: 075-741-2131
Business hours: 10:30-20:20 (last admission at 19:20 in winter)
Closed: Open daily (inquire on October 22 when the Kurama Fire Festival is held)
By the way, the guest I was with on the shuttle bus on the way back…
I can make a day trip even from Tokyo!
(It’s true!). (It’s true!) He is a strong man.
P.S. After returning to the city center from the hot springs, a quick drink at a restaurant like this might be a good idea…