Funaoka Onsen

Since 1923 locals and travelers alike have soaked their weary bodies in the waters of Funaoka Onsen. As one of the oldest sentō in Kyoto still in operation it still attracts many visitors. Funaoka Onsen is listed in many travel guides as one of the things you should not miss when visiting Kyoto.

According to the Lonely Planet Funaoka Onsen is the best bath house in Kyoto. It is also the most viewed sentō on the Japan Baths website.

Points of interest

When visiting Funaoka Onsen there are a few points of interest to pay attention to. The dressing rooms are decorated with wood carvings depicting scenes from the occupation of Shanghai Incident. While the topic itself is somewhat controversial, the carvings are none the less impressive.

Also, the first electric bath ever was installed in Funaoka Onsen.

The bathing area is seperated from the dressing room by a small stone bridge crossing a patio. In one of the two patios is a cyprus wooden bath tub. Due to it constantly being soaked the wood has become very fragrant. The opposite baths have a stone tub in the patio. The bathing areas are altered between the genders on a daily basis.

The baths

These are the baths at Funaoka Onsen. In the front left is the electric bath, followed by a deep hot bath. The large bath in the middle is a little cooler and has a few massage jets in the back. On the right hand side is the washing area. In the far corner is the sauna, with the cold bath right in front of the sauna door. The cold bath is fed from a lion’s head-shaped spout. The baths for the oposite gender are essentially a mirrored version of the same setup.

Hotels near Funaoka Onsen

Funaoka Onsen is buried deep in one of the inner suburbs that give Kyoto its particular atmosphere. To really experience and feel Kyoto you might consider staying in one of these accomodations near the onsen.

Sakura Komachi from ¥3.200
per person per night

Kyoto Garden Palace from ¥5.400
per person per night

Yadoya Nishijinso from ¥9.300
per person per night

Find more accommodation in Kyoto on Booking.com.

Getting to Funaoka Onsen

From Kyoto Station

By subway: take the subway Karasuma-line in the direction of Kokusai-Kaikan. Get off at Kuramaguchi Station. Exit the station via Exit 2. Outside the exit take a right along Karasuma Street. At the first traffic lights turn right onto Kuramaguchi Dori. Follow this street for about 15-20 minutes. Funaoka Onsen is on your left.

By bus: take bus 206 in the direction of Kita-Oji Bus Terminal. Get off at the Senbon-Kuramaguchi Bus Stop. From the bus stop walk back into the direction the bus came from. At the traffic lights turn left onto Kuramaguchi Dori. Funaoka Onsen is about 5 minutes down this street on your right.