Funaoka Onsen is a gorgeously decorated bathhouse with a retro atmosphere
Funaoka Onsen is a bathhouse in Kyoto’s Nishijin District that has very much retained its retro-modern look from the Taisho and Showa periods, and the decorations of it are so beautiful they are designated as a Cultural Property of Japan. The bathhouse was originally founded as an annex to a ryokan with a fancy restaurant, and at this time the main clientele of it were the artisans of the Nishijin District who came to the place to have some fancy food and a bath. After WWII, Funaoka Onsen concentrated on the bath side of its business, and after many extensions and renovations, the bathhouse is, to this day, frequented by public bath fans.
The roof of the stately first building is in the Japanese architectural style of karahafu, and after you go through the noren curtains inside the building you are greeted by a nostalgic atmosphere. The bathhouse has retained its historic look well, and you can see decorations and engravings everywhere. The changing rooms and bathrooms of the bathhouse use colorful Majolica style tiles, which were especially popular in Japan during the Taisho and Showa periods, and you can also see some great examples of Japanese fretwork. All this with the Japanese garden you can see from the walkway, and the many kinds of baths they have, including the open-air rotenburo baths, all make you feel like you were staying at a fancy hot springs resort, not just having a bath at a public bath. This place is not only great for those who like public baths, but also for those who like art.