Wow. I never thought the day would come when a deluxe super sento/ onsen / hotel would be built here, at the sight of what used to be a very old and historical hotel. Actually, the hotel that was here before was one of the first hotels ever built in Hakone, now completely gutted and renovated, sort of hurt me to see it gone now. There're a lot of memories here, some memories still linger from people long gone. Now, this modern 21st century building stands here.
The way the story goes is something like this:
Tensei-en opened on property that was the home of the Inaba clan as a hot spring inn some 60 years ago. In it's gardens are Tamadare no Taki and Hien no taki waterfalls. Tamadare Shrine, founded in the Edo period and the only "branch"shrine of the Hakone shrine, is located at the end of the slope located deep in the gardens, between the two waterfalls. It is a place that was loved and visited by many cultural figures,including the poet Yosano Akiko and Ogiwara Seisenui. The inn was named Tensei-en by Ogiwara. The inn underwent full renovation and reopened in December 2009, with the gardens and waterfalls modified and improved as well. The
Property is also a habitat for ground squirrels and Japanese flying squirrels too.
Some years ago I used to frequent this location with a good buddy of mine. We'd sit up right next to the water fall drinking sake and chatting it up with the locals. Now, what used to exist, exist no more. Those old memories are buried underneath the foundations of this new 21st century deluxe resort style onsen.
Ashi-gara-shimo District in Hakone is famous for having a lot of resort hotels and eateries. On a good day you can see a flowing river, some birds, the smell of sweet beans in the air. There's an awesome udon shop nearby here too.
This deluxe onsen sento is replete with a variety of therapeutic hot springs you can soak in all day long. The water is calcium based, so it's clear and smells a bit sweet. The number is 0460-83-8500. From the Hakone Yumoto Station by bus it only take 5 minutes, and on foot is 20 minutes. I recommend walking because it's a very comfortable walk.
Per person cost, last I checked, was 2400 yen per person. You may want to call again to double check. One nice thing about the opening up of this sento is that it alleviates a lot of the overflow weekend traffic Tenzan used to get. Now people have somewhere else they can go to experience the same quality of water and in a newer facility.
I was one of the original first onsen dippers in Hakone area blogging about these experiences almost half a decade ago. Since then traffic has increased at a lot of these onsen(s) dramatically....If you go please remember to observe the rules and customs. Last time I was there I saw two homosexuals French kissing out in the open in broad daylight. That's not cool. Not even men and women do that here out of respect for others. I'm not homophobic but have some goddam consideration for the kids that are in the water.
My own personal video
Onsen water is not potable, so though it's good for the skin you shouldn't drink it. It's good to just bring your own bottle of water.
Another personal vid. I added no music. Just enjoy the natural sounds.
Getting there is quite easy actually. I have visited this area using just about every mode of transportation: trains, cars, buses. This time I drove my brand new Italian made 50cc Hyper 5 Adiva.
Depending on where you are living if you know how to reach route 1 it'll take you straight to Hakone. Average time to get there from Yokohama is about two and a half hours driving relatively fast. I got there in 1:40 minutes with time to spare for breakfast at Dennys. Remember, 50cc and under in Japan you cannot use highways and bypasses! Side streets only. I never felt so free while driving in my life. No traffic congestion problems on these little bikes.
All and all the experience was great. I enjoyed the drive, the onsen, the food