Legionella Bacteria in Hot Springs

Legionella Bacteria and Senkyoro Hot SpringsClasses

At Senkyoro, we source our hot spring water from nearby Owakudani through a partnership with a hot spring provider. The water’s natural minerals flow in undiluted from the source.
Our acidic hot spring water is rich in calcium, magnesium, sulfate, and chloride.
In addition to other natural minerals, our baths contain sulfur that dissolves into the air and gives the baths a distinct sulfuric smell.
The hot spring source has a temperature of 64°C (147°F). Instead of adding cold water, we limit the amount that is poured into the bath at any one time. However, we may add a small amount of natural mountain water depending on the season.
(Baths inside of guest rooms, excluding the private open-air hot springs, are plain water baths.)

See more details about hot spring components and safety information (PDF)

About Legionella Bacteria

In recent years, Japan is seeing a rise in infections due to Legionella bacteria in hot spring baths.
The airborne bacteria are said to spread more quickly in a hot environment between 40°C and 45°C (104°F and 113°F). They are also more prevalent in baths that circulate water or create bubbles.
When the bacteria enter the lungs, it can cause respiratory illness. However, it is said that drinking hot water containing the bacteria will not affect a healthy individual.
Senkyoro’s hot springs are highly acidic, creating a hostile environment for Legionella bacteria. On top of that, we do not recycle water. It flows directly from the original source untouched and never gets re-used in the bath.

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