Onsen: What is Bijin no Yu?
If you like Japanese hot springs or onsen (温泉), you may have heard of Bijin no Yu (美人の湯).
As I wrote before, the word Bijin (美人), literally meaning beautiful person, refers to a beautiful woman, but what is the onsen 美人の湯?
Bijin no Yu (美人の湯)
Bijin no Yu (美人の湯), which often translates into English as Hot Spring of Beauty, doesn’t refer to one particular onsen resort/area.
But it is the generic name for hot spring baths from which you can expect a skin-beautifying effect, seen in various regions of Japan.
Hot Spring Quality
Generally known as the three best Senshitsu (泉質) or hot spring qualities for Bijin no Yu are
- 炭酸水素塩泉 (hydrogen carbonate spring) with a cleansing effect
- 硫酸塩泉 (sulfate spring) that is effective for regenerating the skin
- 硫黄泉 (sulfur spring) that helps prevent skin spots
Plus, アルカリ性単純温泉 (alkaline simple hot spring) with weak alkalinity (pH7.5 or more) can be the no.4.
Each of these spring qualities has an emulsifying action or 乳化作用, which gets rid of dead skin cells or removes dirt from pores, making the skin smooth and beautiful.
But Bijin no Yu baths with high skin-beautifying effects can make the skin dry after bathing, so it is better to moisturize with body cream or lotion.
Japan’s 3 Best Bijin no Yu
There are onsen hot springs generally known as 日本三大美人の湯 (Japan’s Three Best Bijin no Yu), which are
- 川中温泉 (Kawanaka Onsen) in Higashi-Agatsuma Town, Gunma Prefecture. A recommended hotel is かど半旅館 (Kadohan Ryokan) (Google Map)
- 龍神温泉 (Ryujin Onsen) in Tanabe City, Wakayama Pref. A recommended hotel is 上御殿 (Kamigoten) (Google Map)
- 湯の川温泉 (Yunokawa Onsen) in Izumo City, Shimane Pref. A recommended hotel is 湯宿 草菴 (Yuyado Souan) (Google Map)