It has been said that Ogoto Hot Springs were opened about 1,200 years ago by Dengyo Daishi Saicho. According to "The tale of Hogen and Heiji", the head of Minamoto clan was slashed while taking the bath. There is also another story.
Once upon a time, there lived a snake that had eight heads in a valley named “Hebigatani” and the valley that the snake lived had a pond called “Nenbutsuike”. The villagers believed that the pond cures diseases, and threw coins in it while chanting nenbutsu.
It has been said that this source of the hot spring has become Ogoto Hot Springs. A very small amount of water (a source of the hot spring) still flows from the “Mitsukiryujin” in Otsu city. The hot spring in which a guest soaks now is drawn from one of the three sources found through drilling by Otsu city.
- The place-name Ogoto (雄琴) was named after the Chinese character '雄' (o) of Imaonosukune (今雄宿禰), an aristocrat who owned a shoen (manor in medieval Japan) around that area in the Heian period, and the Chinese character '琴' (koto) (a long Japanese zither with thirteen strings), because the sound of koto was often heard around the mansion of Imaonosukune.
Moreover, another story goes that there lived a man playing the koto (usually it was played by a woman).
- After Yumotokan's first owner Sueyoshi Haritani got a villa with hot spring from a Kyoto's old pottery shop owner, he opened Yumotokan in 1,929 (about 80 years ago). Yumotokan is the oldest existing ryokan among those built at the time. Sueyoshi had an enterprise sprit as he motorized a small fish boat, developed a health food using sprouted rice, and invented an automatic gas machine that halves its consumption, and so on. He also designed a tubular boiler to get a heat from wood waste (Hikko) that was disposed by a timber mill nearby.
Yumotokan was started with six guest rooms back then. After reconstructions and additions, it has changed to become what it is today. We strive to maintain sustainable Ogoto Hot Spring resources and continue to focus on the “guest-satisfaction-comes-first” principle. We look forward to many opportunities to serve you during your future travels.
The third owner of Yumotokan