Yunomine Onsen   湯の峰温泉

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Sacred waters

Here, the tradition of hot springs is as old as the pilgrimage routes of the surrounding area. Kumano pilgrims have been relaxing in the hot springs of Yunomine for centuries.

The old mountain village of Yunomine hosts one of the oldest spas in the area, nestled in the mountains near the shrine Kumano Hongu Taisha and Kawayu.

Numerous local inns take advantage of these volcanic waters, while shops offer recipes of mushi jigoku ryori ("steamed hell cuisine"), usually eggs or other foods steamed in the naturally boiling pools.

The crown jewel of Yunomine: Tsuboyu, a century-old cottage (dating back from the twelfth century) is probably one of the oldest baths in Japan. The Kumano Pilgrims practiced purification rituals in this exceptional onsen, now public and listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

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