Jasin’s oldest attraction continues to draw the crowd since 1884

Bath style: Two visitors bathing at the kaburi-yu at about 49 Celsius degree using the scoops, with one of them taking a break.

Bath style: Two visitors bathing at the kaburi-yu at about 49 Celsius degree using the scoops, with one of them taking a break.

MALACCA: Nestled in the older quarters of Jasin, many are unaware that the largest district is host to a natural hot spring that has been constantly attracting exhausted souls to unwind.

The Jasin Hot Spring at Kampung Air Panas in Bemban has been a unique attraction to its visitors because it is managed according to the Japanese onsen concept.

Onsen is a term that is often used to describe the bathing facilities around hot springs in Japan, and the concept has been in use in Japan for over 2,000 years ago during the Edo era.

Sharing a bathroom with a group of strangers may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but dipping into a nice hot spring is a different and unique experience.

The hot spring manager Awaruddin Abdul Rahman said the Japanese generally like to soak in a hot spring for cleansing and beauty purposes.

Part of the view with one of the children play pools at the Jasin Hot Spring.
A cooler pool: Part of the view with one of the children play pools at the Jasin Hot Spring.

“Many people have the misconception that hot spring is just another dipping pool.

“The truth is, hot spring bathing has to follow the proper order and correct methods, instead of just simply diving into any pool,” he said.

Awaruddin said the pools were categorised as yellow, orange and red areas with different temperatures ranging from 34-degrees to 49-degrees Celsius.

“Visitors can start their session with the ashi yu pool with water temperature of 34 degree Celsius, soaking their feet until the ankle or knee level before proceeding to the next pool with higher temperature.

“One is recommended to soak in the ashi yu pool for six sessions, with each session lasting about 10 minutes.

“This is to let the body get use to the heat which helps regulate blood circulation and avoid shock,’’ he said, adding that visitors can then proceed to other pools for soaking or bathing by scooping out the water.

Hot spring supervisor Hasbullah Karim, 45, showing the private bathing room for women.
Private area: Hot spring supervisor Hasbullah Karim, 45, showing the private bathing room for women.

Awaruddin noted that although it may look simple, but considering the time to rest before continuing the next session, it may take hours to finish the entire bath at one pool.

The hot spring was first established on May 8, 1884, as a public bathing house by a steam ship tycoon Tan Kim Tian.

An inscribed stone describing the hot springs establishment and history is still well preserved on site.

Awaruddin noted that the idea of managing the hot spring using onsen concept was mooted five years ago, after getting many suggestions from their visitors from Japan and South Korea.

“We use to have very small pools that could only take in a maximum of eight adults at one time.

“With some extensive research, the hot spring was further expanded on the current 1.2ha site, separated by two stream and the facility has been enjoyed by all throughout the years.’’

Sourcing from three natural alkaline hot spring wells, the initial hot spring water at 69 degree Celsius is collected before being channelled to different pools and added with water for the proper temperatures.

He said that the management adhered to the management guidelines laid down by the Onsen Association in Japan to avoid any unforeseen circumstances from happening.

“We check the water level, temperature and the mineral content of every pool hourly to detect contamination.

“We also cover the pools to keep off rainwater,’’ he said, adding that other than shared areas, a special and isolated bathing room was also prepared for women.

Awaruddin said that visitors were advised to drink plain water throughout their bathing to avoid heat stroke or discomfort.

“Since hot spring bathing may give different effect to people with different health conditions, we have trained personnel available at various areas around the pools,’’ he said, adding that many information signages educating visitors the proper way to enjoy hot spring bathing were also placed for the convenience of the visitors.

Two children play pools with proper temperature are also available, apart from changing rooms, prayer room and convenience store.

Jasin Hot Spring is open from 3pm to midnight on Monday, 9am to midnight from Tuesday to Thursday, and 9am to 2am on Friday and Saturday.

Admission is RM6 per adult and RM3 per child aged three to 12 years old.

A RM1 discount is given to all returning customers who could show a used ticket.