Funaoka Onsen is one of the most iconic bath houses in Kyoto. For over a hundred years locals and travellers have soaked their weary bodies and sought relaxation here.
The building hasn’t changed much since its opening. It is perhaps one of the few bath houses in Kyoto where time has stood still and it gives a great impression of what bathing in Kyoto meant a hundred years ago. This has earned Funaoka Onsen a mention in the Lonely Planet guide of Japan. There it’s claimed that this is the best bath house in Kyoto.
Some of the more impressive features of this sentō include the cypress wood bathtub in the garden, the ornate water fountain in the cold water bath and the decorated ceiling of the changing room. Besides that there is a sauna, water jets, an electric bath and a rather large hot bath.
Make sure to check out the carved wooden panels along the edges of the ceiling in the dressing room. Local wood-carvers produced these panels during Japan’s invasion of Manchuria. The (sometimes violent) images offer some insight into the prevailing mindset of that time.
The first electric bath in Japan is reported to have been installed here, at Funaoka Onsen.
Hotels near Funaoka Onsen
Around the web
- Deep Kyoto has a good review of Funaoka Onsen.
- And so does Cycle Kyoto.
- Funaoka Onsen is third on the Lonely Planet list of things to do in Kyoto.
- Photo’s of Funaoka Onsen on Flickr.
In business since: 1923
Hours: 15:00 – 01:00
Closed: open every day
Address: Kyoto, Kita Ward, Murasakino Minamifunaokacho 82-1
Rotenburo, wooden bath tub, deep bath, shallow bath, jet bath, medicinal bath, sauna, cold bath, utase bath, electric bath.
By train: the nearest train station is Kuramaguchi on the Kyoto subway Karasuma line. From there Funaoka Onsen is a good 15 minute walk in westerly direction. Read more here on getting around Kyoto by train.
By bus: the nearest bus stop is Senbon-Kuramaguchi on Senbondōri. From Kyoto station line 206 stops here and from Shijō street you can take line 46. Also read here on how to get around Kyoto by bus.