Everyone knows how much our family loves going to Japan. Even the boys know that. So when I told the boys that we were going to an onsen, they were like, “Are we going to Japan???”
Sorry to burst your bubble kids, but nope. I was referring to Yunomori Onsen – right here in Singapore. But before you go thinking that the boys would be disappointed by the news that we weren’t going to Japan, they were actually freaking happy. They were like, “YAY, ONSEN!! No need to take airplane?? Really??? YAY!!” Okay, so maybe taking airplanes was not one of their favourite activity.
Onsens are best enjoyed when the weather is cold. And it’s kind of freaking hot in Singapore during the day. So the boys were mad excited that I was bringing them out at night, past their bedtime, for a soak in an onsen. They were like, “We’re going to be Bengpire!” (If you instantly know what I’m talking about, you watch too much TV.)
So in all our excitement, we dashed down to Yunomori Onsen, the boys chucked their shoes into the lockers and ran in. But came out without stepping into the onsen. Like WHAT?! Yeah.. I wish I knew the following 5 things before we visited:
#1 Don’t worry, kids are allowed
I often have readers asking me whether kids are allowed to go to onsens in Japan, and whether there is a minimum age for children to go to onsens. In Japan, there are no age restrictions and I have often seen babies in the onsen. Similarly, at Yunomori Onsen, children are welcome. But personally, I only brought my boys to the onsens after they were toilet-trained. You can imagine what may go wrong if there weren’t – it’s not pretty.
#2 They need to pay
Children age 15 & younger need to pay $28+ to use the onsen. Children above 15 are considered adults and would need to pay $38+. If you find paying for children very ‘boh hua’ (not worth it), you can take advantage of their ‘happy hour’ 1-for-1 promotion this holidays which I will share more about at the end of the post.
#3 They cannot enter the onsen for the opposite gender
This is where I was caught slightly off-guard. In Japan, I often see young boys in the female onsen with their moms. My boys have also followed me into the female onsens in Japan before. So without thinking, I brought the two boys to Yunomori Onsen on my own.
And we found ourselves in kind of a stalemate situation.
The boys were too young to go into the male onsen on their own. I couldn’t go into the female onsen without them following me. So in the end none of us got to use the onsen.
You do not wish to go all the way there to find yourself stuck in that situation. So if you are planning to bring a child, please ensure that there is at least one adult of the same gender coming along. Note that children under 10 years old must be under adult supervision at all times.
#4 Kids yukata are available
The boys were pretty thrilled to have yukata provided for them. They always enjoyed putting on yukata when we stayed in Japanese ryokans. There were even different designs of yukata for guests to choose from. When we were there, the staff had some trouble locating the kids male yukata, so the boys ended up wearing female ones.. Lol! Okay, if I didn’t say, you wouldn’t have noticed… ermmm… RIGHT?
#5 The staff were good with kids
I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the front desk staff were with my boys. More often than not, staff at facilities that are generally not targeted at children aren’t too sure what to do with children and leave it to the parents to settle them. But the staff at Yunomori Onsen were quick to dig out children’s yukata and helped to dress the boys in their yukatas. And I got to say, they did that knot pretty well. Because the boys’ yukata stayed on for almost an hour, despite them running down the corridor and climbing up the high stool wearing the yukata. When I do my boys’ yukata in Japan, their yukatas would have dropped off before we could even leave the room. Hah!
To celebrate this festive season, we are bringing back our 1-for-1 onsen promotion! From 28 Nov to 28 December 2016. Valid from Monday to Wednesday, 7pm to 11pm. Terms & Conditions: • This promotion does not apply to public holiday. • This promotion only applies with regular entrance fee. (Adult over 65 years and children under 15 years discounts are not included.) • This promotion cannot be combined with other promotions. www.yunomorionsen.com/2015/sg FB : yunomorisingapore 好評につき、湯の森温泉から皆様へ感謝を込めて、1 for 1 プロモーションを開催いたします。 年の瀬に、湯の森温泉でくつろいでみませんか？ 期間：2016年11月28日～12月28日まで 月曜～水曜 (祝祭日は除く) 午後7時～午後11時まで
If your kids want to be ‘Bengpires’, this school holidays is the perfect chance to do so! From now till 28 Dec 2016, there is a 1-for-1 promotion on entries to Yunomori Onsen if you visit on Mondays to Wednesdays, between 7pm to 11pm!
But here’s the catch: The promotion is not valid for children price. (Nooo…..) However, if you pay for adult admission ($38+), your child can be the ‘plus 1’ to enter free. Geddit? So let’s say our family of 2 adults and 2 children visit, usually we would have to pay for 2 adults ($38+) and 2 children ($28+). But under this promotion, we only need to pay for 2 adults and our 2 children can enter free.
So if you have been wanting to try Yunomori Onsen, don’t wait. Seize this promotional period to do so at a fraction of the usual price!
Limited-time only Yuzu bath!
Besides the 1-for-1 promotion, this holidays, Yunomori Onsen has brought in seasonal yuzu bath – which will be available only till 31 December 2016!
Take a dip in our Yuzu Bath! Soaking in yuzu bath is practised by the Japanese on the winter solstice day since the early 18th century. They strongly believe that yuzu onsen can help to ward off winter colds and the common flu. From now till 31 December 2016. Available for a limited time only! www.yunomorionsen.com/2015/sg FB : yunomorisingapore 日本では、古来より冬至の季節にゆず湯に入る習慣があります。ゆず湯に入ると風邪を引きにくくなるといわれています。 期間：2016年12月31日まで
I always love trying out ‘flavoured’ baths in Japan. We have been to ryokans where I found fruits floating around their onsen. We have also been to Yunessun in Hakone (read about it here) where we tried everything from red wine bath to coffee bath to miso bath. The concept of bringing in such seasonal ‘flavoured’ baths brought back many good memories of my Japan trips!
Miso Soup bath in Yunessun
And just like when we visit ryokans with onsens in Japan, the best onsen experience is always coupled with Japanese dining.
Yunomori Onsen has a cafe within its premises, where you can purchase food and drinks to go with your onsen experience. Their concept reminded me a lot of the onsen at New Chitose Airport. Basically when you enter, you receive a wrist-tag and while you are inside the onsen, you can have your meals at the in-house cafe, or go for spa treatments etc. and everything is charged to your wrist-tag. And when you are finally ready to leave (there is no time limit), they will check your wrist-tag and you will pay for everything at the end of the visit.
During this seasonal yuzu bath period, the cafe has a special yuzu-themed food menu to match. You can try their yuzu udon ($9.80+), yuzu soda ($5+), yuzu smoothie ($5.50+) or yuzu sorbet ($4.50+).
Again, poor planning on my part as we took the whole Bengpire experience too literally. (Yes, I’m blaming Bengpire for this.) We thought Yunomori opened late because we watched the Bengpires going there at night, so we arrived slightly after 9pm. And discovered that though the onsen opened late, the cafe’s kitchen had closed by then!
So yeah, we left Yunomori Onsen without soaking in the onsen and without eating anything. We did drink some Hokkaido milk though.
And because of that, the boys have been bugging me every other day to bring them to Yunomori Onsen again. Better plan another trip while the 1-for-1 promotion is still on! This is going to be one unorthodox school holiday activity for them.
Yunomori Onsen Pricing
Information on Yunomori Onsen:
Address: Kallang Wave Mall #02-17/18, 1 Stadium Place, Singapore 397628
Getting There: Stadium MRT (CC6)
Opening Hours: 1000 – 2300 Daily
Tel: 6386 4126
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Read more about visiting Singapore with kids on our Singapore travel guides page!