Have you ever been in a “Kuroyu” Bathhouse? What? You haven’t?!
We can’t have that. That’s what this town is famous for. You can’t leave without trying it.
What’s that? What is a “Kuroyu” Bathhouse?
It’s just like the name suggests, “Kuro” is “black”, “Yu” is “Bath”. It’s a pitch black bath. It is said that the trees and seaweed that had sunk to the bottom of a body of water in ancient times would come up with the spring water that welled up from the ground. It supposedly leaves your skin feeling baby soft, so my mom would always come here. It warms up your body and helps with blood flow, so it’s supposed to help with all kinds of illnesses.
If you haven’t taken a Kuroyu bath before, you have to check it out. It’s a real old-school bath. It opened in 1937, and I’ve been going since I was a kid. They open at 10:00 am in the morning, so you could stop by before heading out to town.
It’s an old shop, but the inside is all brand new. The owner is a Bathhouse architect and takes time to reform the shop every once in awhile.
The water is so dark you can’t even see the bottom, and there is a hot water bath and a warm water bath. The blue-collar folks in this area love super hot water, which gets as hot as 50℃ (122℉) and your skin feels as though it’s been shocked. It really does feel good, believe me. The warm bath is 40℃(104℉) and it’s just not enough for folks like me. There is also a jacuzzi, an electric bath, and a cold bath in the sauna.
There is another famous part of the Kamata Onsen the banquet hall on the second floor. There is a stage for Karaoke there, and and they serve food and alcohol.
The Kamameshi Teishoku meal is delicious. The rice, which is freshly cooked in an iron pot, is so soft it just lies flat on the plate. I also recommend the Salted Yakisoba with Fish. All of the food is made by the Okami, or hostess, and the ingredients are all sourced in Japan. You can also have your own bottle of shochu in the shop. I’ve got one with my name on it too.
This is place is--how should I say it?--a kind of watering hole for the local people. You have to get naked when you go to a public bath house right? It’s more embarrassing to act all cool about it, so no one is shy about it.
You should sing a song too! The local aunties and uncles would be over the clouds! That’s just what it’s like in the blue-collar areas.
Hours of Operation: 10:00 - 01:00(Banquet Hall: 12:00-21:00)
Holidays: No Holidays (The Hall is closed on Wednesdays)
Address: 2-23-2 Honmachi, Kamatahoncho, Ota-ku