After passing through near Tawara-yama windmills, we get to Kugino Onsen Konoka-Yu in Minamiaso Mura. “Mura” means “village”, not “town”. This onsen is Sen-to which means public bath that we can use for a fee, and in general, Sen-to isn’t a hotel or ryo-kan, and therefore, we cannot stay overnight. I usually take this onsen about 30 min. It costs 300 yen once for an adult.
“Yu” (湯) in “Konoka-Yu” (木の香湯) means hot water of onsen (温泉). “Konoka” has a meaning of flavor of wood. You have to buy a ticket at the counter before entering the facilities using vending machine and hand it to one of the clerks, saying “O-ne-ga-i-shi-ma-su” (おねがいします) or “Kon-ni-chi-wa” (こんにちは). The changing areas and the large communal baths for men and women are segregated. “O-ne-ga-i-shi-ma-su” is a very useful word containing all the context of your aim at the place. Clerks would guess what you want to do when hearing the phrase. Please remember and use the phrase “O-ne-ga-i-shi-ma-su” in Japan.
When you take onsen, you have to be careful not to bother others in a public bathroom. A person who has a tattoo is not allowed to use the onsen facilities.
1. Pour bathwater over yourself.
2. Wash your body before you soak in the bath.
3. Soak yourself in the bath.
Do not wear swimsiuts.
Do not soak towels in the bathtub.
Do not swim.
4. Wipe your body lightly before you go out into the changing area.
5. After you enjoyed onsen , you can say “I-i-o-yu-de-shi-ta” (What a confortable onsen I took!) to the clerk. Then he or she would surely be very happy and would answer “A-ri-ga-to-go-za-i-ma-shi-ta” (ありがとうございました). That includes the meaning of “Thank you very much for coming and please come again”. Try these on them. Then you will find that they will like you for it. They will show their appreciation for your efforts.
Minamiaso-Mura Kugino-onsen Konoka-Yu（2015年）
“Kumamon” is a very famous “Yuru-kyara” of Kumamoto Prefecture. The real Kumamon with a man inside is very popular in Japan. Stuffed toy of “Kumamon” is waiting for you here at the clinic for acupuncture and moxibustion. Smaller one parrots your words.（17:20 July 12, 2015）