Sycamore is one of the most well-known hot springs for Japanese living in the United States.
This resort has enough charm to make the Japanese dream of hot springs in their homeland.
Be careful when booking stay
A three-hour drive from L.A. to the northwest along the Pacific coast.
San Luis Obispo, where California wine is produced, is a beautiful area with sprawling vineyards.
Sycamore Mineral Springs in this town is a luxury hotel with its own private spring that was discovered during oil drilling.
Walk-ins are available, but I personally don't think they are necessary to go out of your way to try them.
The private outdoor tubs for walk-ins were located in the forest and have a nice atmosphere; but the smell of chlorine disinfection was too strong.
This is because in many states in the U.S., hot tubs that are used by an unspecified number of people are treated like swimming pools and must be disinfected by laws.
On the other hand, overnight guests can enjoy the signature water in the private outdoor tubs attached to their rooms.
However, there is a thing that you should never make a mistake when making that reservation.
The odor unique to hot springs is not liked by the average American guests, so that the higher-grade rooms are watered down and lose their mineral characteristics.
Only the three older buildings, named Adventure, Harmony, and Mythical, have free-flowing water.
This time I stayed at Mythical.
The terrace at the back of the bedroom bordered the slope of the hill, and this is where the tub was located.
The ready-made jacuzzi had not an ounce of elegance, but the hot water coming out of the outlet was real.
It emitted a sulfur smell with a hint of burning, reminding me of an authentic Japanese hot spring.
To prevent noise, you can only use the tub between 7 am and 11pm.
If I was going to stay in a room with such private tub, I wanted to enjoy the water without hesitation.
Although the water of 117 degrees F looked a little yellowish at first, it became beautifully clouded white by the component change when it was left overnight.
It was cold as it was, but by adding a little fresh hot water, I was able to enjoy the impeccable name of the hot spring in the morning.
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.
Type: Lodging, Walk-in
Rule: Room with thermal water, Private pool
Chlorination: Yes (outdoor pools), No (other)
Water temp: Up to 117 degrees F