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The Town’s Tourist Base That Continues to Develop Additional Facilities: “Kimita Onsen Mori no Izumi”

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The Town’s Tourist Base That Continues to Develop Additional Facilities: “Kimita Onsen Mori no Izumi”

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Kimita-Onsen Mori no Izumi

Address: 311-3 Izumiyoshida, Kimitacho, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0405
Call: 0824-53-7021

 

Surrounded by mountains, “Kimita-Onsen Mori no Izumi” attracts a lot of people with its pretty scenery and silky onsen (Japanese hot spring). They improved their service as well as renovated the building to make it blend with nature after listening to the wishes of customers. As a lot of related facilities open around the onsen, it’s attracting attention as a good tourist spot.

Kimita-Onsen Mori no Izumi is popular among women for its alkaline hot spring called “the beautiful women’s bath” which strips dead skin away and makes your skin soft. Kimitacho already had a reputation as a place with good quality hot spring water. There even used to be a hot spring hotel. In 1988 and 1989 they were given a grant for the promotion of local development, Kimita-Onsen Mori no Izum was opened as a center of tourism in 1997. Their original aim was 300 customers a day, but the great seasonal view and the high quality of the hot spring water became so popular that on one occasion they brought in 1500 customers in a single day. “A lot of the townspeople helped out working as part timers and temporary employees. There was one time a customer came to have a cup of coffee and he ended up washing the cup himself.” The manager, Masuhara Midori, said looking back at that time. She was born in Funocho and moved to the next town over, Kimitacho, when she got married. She was asked to help and started doing dishes and cooking at the onsen. Later she was put in charge of accounting because she had studied bookkeeping at school. “The job suited me because I was not good at serving customers. I was doing the accounting job for a while, but one day I was asked if I was interested in becoming a manager. It was really surprising.” She hesitated a little bit, but everyone had put a lot of effort to make it a good place for locals. She wanted even more people to enjoy the onsen too, so she ended up deciding to become a manager.

Now Masuhara has been a manager for 21 years. When we asked her what was the hardest part, she smiled and said, “There are lots of hard things, but the work is worth doing.” As a manager who has worked there for a long time, she has become like “a mother to everyone,” a person they come to for help with many things. She also said, “We hold a company trip once a year, that is a good opportunity to talk and disclose things to each other. I’d like to understand their work and life situations and strive to work with a warm heart everyday.”

A big turning point for the onsen was when they reflected on customer’s feedback and renovated the facility. “We had a lot of customers, but that was partially because there weren’t other similar facilities in the prefecture. Once the public bath boom started, people were able to enjoy bathing in many special atmospheres. We had to differentiate our onsen from others.” So they redecorated the interior using a lot of trees. The entrance became brighter and the lounge got a large window that frames the scenery almost like a picture. At the same time the staff improved their service also. They did their best to be polite and keep the facility clean. Their efforts were fully rewarded, as on the “Memory Note” that are placed in customer rooms, a lot of people wrote “The customer-service is great.” and “It’s always clean.” Being ranked first for “Best Onsen as Voted by People of Hiroshima” and “Most Visited Onsen” held by a famous trip magazine was encouraging as well.

A lot of similar facilities have opened around the onsen such as a cottage called “Shiki no Ie”(The House of Four Seasons) where people can enjoy relaxing in nature, a facility with many good experiences and communication “Kobushi no Mori Experience House”, as well as the “‘Mother and Child’ themed Haramichio Art Museum.” There are beautiful seasonal views like the fireflies and sunflower fields of summer, the colored leaves of fall and the snowfall of winter, there are a lot of options whenever you visit. “Families might find it fun to stay at a cottage and play in the river or go hiking, or go to Kobushi no Mori Experience House and enjoy crafting. All of these activities are suitable for groups of children, too. An elderly group might be more comfortable relaxing as much as possible. An art museum is very close, so they can enjoy it without going far.” Depending on the plan they provide meals using lots of locally-sourced ingredients too, such as tempura and other food platters of vegetables, grilled domestic beef with lemon as well as grilled and salted lake salmon. “Restaurant Irori” is also popular with customers who aren’t staying at the resort for its various kinds of bowls of rice with toppings, set meals and ishiyaki set (Grilling over a heated slab of stone). Customers can also buy local products and specialities in the “Fureai Space” and fresh bread at the “Mori no Bread Shop.” Masuhara also said, “Sometimes we close the bread shop, but you can buy the bread at the front, too.” When we asked Masuhara about the future, Even though they already have so many facilities, her answer was still very simple, “We’ll just keep with our customers’ wishes.” Changing according to the customer’s voice will dictate how the resort changes.

Information

スポット名 Kimita-Onsen Mori No Izumi
所在地 311-3 Izumiyoshida, Kimitacho, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0405
営業時間 10 am - 9 pm
お休み The 3rd Sunday (The 4th Sunday in August and December. When it's holiday the next day is closed)
電話番号 0824-53-7021