God, rice, land, and ONSEN – KADA NO YU at IINAN Town

An opaque ONSEN located 1 hour drive away from 出雲大社 (IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine)

 

Driving south for 1 hour from 出雲大社 (IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine), there is an ONSEN named “加田の湯 (KADA NO YU)” which has rare golden opaque ONSEN in 飯南町 (IINAN Town), SHIMANE Prefecture.

 

KADA NO YU is a facility for 日帰り温泉 (One day ONSEN visit) and its building is heartwarming wooden house surrounded by peaceful rice fields. A lot of local people gather here and seems like this is something like a relax spot of the town.

 

Golden opaque ONSEN

 

 

The spring quality of this KADA NO YU is sodium / calcium / hydrogen carbonate / chloride spring. Its pH score is pH6.6. Although the ONSEN here is heated as the water temperature at the source is 14.3°C, its temperature is set around 38 – 40°C, which is not too hot so that you can bathe in it long and expect higher relaxation effect.

 

Since it contains carbonic acid and iron, you can feel the bubbles when you bathe in. Similar to the soda water going flat when it gets impact, carbonate spring also goes flat as time passes and people keep giving impact when bathing in. Therefore, when you bathe in carbonate spring, it’s advisable to bathe in very slowly and gently and get out very slowly and gently as well. (even most Japanese people don’t know this though)

 

The bathtub of this KADA NO YU is big enough for 7 to 8 people, and made of rock. Sitting at the edge of the bathtub, let my body absorb the golden opaque ONSEN very slowly. When you bathe in carbonated spring, your body absorbs the carbon dioxide from your skin, and then once it comes into your body, your body becomes to need to absorb fresh oxygen, and this itself makes your blood circulation better. It makes your blood vessels wider and improves your metabolism. Sodium and chloride spring stick to your skin and function as a veil, thus it gives you heat keeping effect as well. Once you bathe in this KADA NO YU, you can keep your body warm.

 

My fatigue has been healed little by little gradually. Why can I feel this good just by letting myself be in ONSEN? While I was thinking like this, a lot of local people was coming inside the bathtub, and I happened to start chatting with them, and then as a result I stayed inside ONSEN a little too long.

 

飯南町 (IINAN Town) where has this ONSEN.

 

飯南町 (IINAN Town) is located 1 hour drive away from 出雲大社 (IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine), and this town is known for the place where produces 大しめ縄 (O’SHIMENAWA / Large sacred Shinto rope of rice straw).

 

 

O’SHIMENAWA placed at the 神楽殿 (KAGURA DEN / KAGURA Hall) of IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine is 13.5 meters long and 4.5 tons weight, and it is one of the largest O’SHIMENAWA in Japan. It has been produced in this IINAN Town since 1955, and it is replaced with fresh new O’SHIMENAWA every 6 years. This IINAN Town is located at 500 meter highland and the temperature difference between day and night is big, and that’s why the rice fields here give us amazing rice, and at the same time, rice straw grows very strong. This strong rice straw is perfect for O’SHIMENAWA. That great O’SHIMENAWA is made of this rice straw growing here.

 

Here, you can join the tour and experience producing O’SHIMENAWA at 大しめなわ創作館 (O’SHIMENAWA SOSAKUKAN). I also joined this tour. I started from cutting rice straws and then 10 people including me cooperated with each other to try to produce it. What a big rope this is!! I sweated a lot and that’s why I headed to KADA NO YU right after this.

 

Right, rice straw which is strong but soft is the best for O’SHIMENAWA. I bathed in golden opaque ONSEN of KADA NO YU, thinking like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In IINAN Town, there is a mountain named 琴引山 (KOTOBIKI SAN / KOTOBIKI Mountain) where the sacred 琴 (KOTO / Japanese zither with 13 strings) is dedicated. This KOTO is the sacred treasure of 大国主神 (O’KUNINUSHI NO MIKOTO) whom IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine worships. This O’KUNINUSHI NO MIKOTO is one of the Shinto Gods and said to be the son of スサノオ (SUSANO NO MIKOTO), a younger brother of 天照大神 (AMATERASU O’MIKAMI) who is said to be the first ancestor of Japanese imperial family.

 

In Japan, October used to be called “神無月 (KANNA ZUKI)”, and this Chinese character means “The month without god”. This is because all the gods across Japan are believed to gather at IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine in that month. Actually in IZUMO district, October used to be called “神在月 (KAMI ARI TSUKI)” which Chinese character means “The month with god”. According to Japanese myths, all the gods across Japan descend to this KOTOBIKI Mountain and head for IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine in October. Here, IINAN Town can be thought as a sacred town where all the gods in Japan land once a year.

 

The rice straw grown in this sacred town is so strong and soft, and this town has been producing O’SHIMENAWA for IZUMO TAISHA Grand Shrine. Are these coincidence or destiny? God, rice, and land. These are correlated with each other very closely.

 

Why don’t you experience producing O’SHIMENAWA and visiting KADA NO YU to wash off your sweat?

 

Official website of 大しめなわ創作館 (O’SHIMENAWA SOSAKUKAN): https://ohshimenawa.com/

 

Related article about 伊勢神宮 (ISE JINGU Grand Shrine) where worships 天照大神 (AMATERASU O’MIKAMI) and the origin of Japan: THE ORIGIN OF JAPAN – ISE JINGU (ISE GRAND SHRINE), MIE PREFECTURE

 

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