The landmark of the retro Chinese-style construction
Takegawara Onsen is located some 10 minutes away from JR Beppu Station on foot. Established in 1879, the original building had a bamboo roof which was switched to a tiled roof when it was renovated in 1902 which gave the onsen the name of “Takegawara” (bamboo tile). The front of the building is built in the Chinese karahafu style with the profound and elegant roof leaving quite an impression and up to now, it has been the symbol of the onsen of Beppu.
An onsen where you can enjoy both the famous sand bath and a soak in the hot spring
There is a regular bath and a sand bath inside the building, both of which are separated for men and women. The famous sand bath is something that you have to try. Change into the yukata for use in the sand and then your name will be called in order before you lie down. Plop yourself down facing up as the attendant buries you in sand up to your shoulders as you warm yourself in the sand that has been heated by the hot spring, then relax and detoxify. An ideal session will last from 10 to 15 minutes during which you will gradually start sweating. Staying in the sand any longer will risk slight burns. Once you have finished the sand bath, take off the yukata, rinse yourself in the shower and then head for the bath. The hot water comes straight from the source spring at a slightly hot temperature of 43 degrees C. The high-ceilinged lobby evokes an image of the early Showa Era and is a space to relax after getting out of the bath. It’s recommended that when entering the sand bath that a shower cap or a hand towel be put on your head, and both are available for a rental fee. You can also use items such as shampoo, rinse and soap for a small price.
Have a light meal with some Oita delicacies
In front of Takegawara Onsen is the Takeya Café with homemade bento and side dishes where you can get a taste of dishes such as Dango Jiru, an Oita specialty miso-based soup which consists of thick noodles kneaded from flour and water, vegetables and pork.