September 11, 2017
The 10 Best Hot Springs (Onsen) in Kyushu, Japan
Kyushu has many geothermal hot springs (Onsen). Each of them have different mineral consistency and characteristics. Staying overnight is most recommended but you can still enjoy onsen in a day trip if you don’t have time. Here is the list of popular onsen spots varying from mountainous area to the sea sides. Enjoy this natural hot spring!
1． Sunamushi kaikan Saraku
This is an attraction center popular with sand bathing (sunamushi) at the coast where thermal springs pop up. When the tide is low and the sand condition is good, you can enjoy sand bathing along the beach. Even when it’s high tide or raining, you can still enjoy sand bathing under the roof.
Change to a yukata provided at the reception and lie down on the sand. The attendant will put sand over your body. Wait for 10-15 min and you start to feel relaxed with geothermal heat and heaviness of sand. Your body gets warmed up deep inside and starts to sweat a lot. After getting out from sand, take a shower and head to the public spa area. You can detox your mind and body by sweating in sand bathing.
The study made by Kagoshima University’s medical faculty proved that sand bathing is effective at curing nerve pains, backaches, broken bones and cold feet. You feel your body is so warm for a while afterwards. This is especially recommended for those who usually do not sweat much.
Name: Sunamushi Kaikan Saraku
Address: 5 Chome−25-18, Yunohama, Ibusuki-shi, Kagoshima-ken
Open hours: 8:30-20:30
Map: Map to Sunamushi Kaikan Saraku
2． Ueki Onsen Hoshinoyu
Ueki onsen in Kumamoto city has 130 years of history. Both exterior and interior of the building are modern Japanese and you feel the atmosphere of a high-class ryokan. There are 12 spa areas including outdoor spas and family baths. 9 of them have outdoor baths. Each of them is named after a plant and has different characteristics. You would feel like trying each of them.
You can also use other facilities such as a restaurant and a room with brand-new massage chairs in the same building. Grab beer or shochu with finger food at the restaurant after bathing. You can enjoy a stadium of stars from the outdoor spas on a clear night.
Name: Ueki Onsen Hoshinoyu
Address: 8 Arizumi, Uekimachi, Kita-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto-ken
Open hours: 10:00-02:00
Map: Map to Ueki Onsen Hoshinoyu
3． Nagasaki Ioujima Shimakaze no yu
At this facility, you will experience geothermal water pumped out from 1180m deep. Their “Tenbo Rotenburo” (observation outdoor bath) has a fantastic view. Each of the baths for women and men has a 18m wide bathtub and a wonderful view over the sea in Nagasaki. You can refresh both mind and body at this “Tenbo Rotenburo”.
You would enjoy also other outdoor and indoor baths including family baths. You can rent a family bath only for your group with an extra charge. A family bath consists of indoor and outdoor bathtubs and has even a private sauna.
Visit also “Amimoto shokudo” in the facility. The restaurant offers you a great selection of dishes using fresh local fish from Nagasaki. Enjoy fresh fish as sashimi, donburi, tempura, or grilled as you wish.
Name: Nagasaki Iojima Shimakazenoyu
Address: 3278-3 Jisenzakiko, 1-Chome Iojimacho, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Open hours: 9:00-23:00
Map: Map to Nagasaki Iojima Shimakazenoyu
4． Hyotan Onsen
Hyotan onsen is located in Kannawa onsen area which is one of Beppu Hachiyu (8 famous spa districts in Beppu). Hyotan onsen started when the founder found a geothermal groundwater vein, trying to cure his wife suffering with rheumatism. You will find the first rocky bathtub with a shape of hyotan (a type of gourda) in the female bath area.
The facility has 8 bath tubs each for men and women, including as an outdoor bath, a hinoki bath, a bathtub for walking and a bathtub with an artificial waterfall. Freshly pumped water is continuously supplied to each bath.
Family baths are popular for private use. There are 14 family baths with different designs. You can replace bathtub water completely with fresh one when you pay. Water here is also 100% geothermal. With an extra charge, you can enjoy sand bathing. Rental time for these family baths is unlimited.
A couple or a family can rent as long as they want. If time allows, you could also try their unique dish “Jigoku mushi” (Hell’s steam). It’s a dish with vegetables, fish and eggs steamed using the geothermal heat. Oita’s specialty, chicken tempura and custard pudding steamed using the geothermal heat are also good choices.
Name: Hyotan Onsen
Address: 159-2 Kannawa, Beppu-shi, Ōita-ken
Open hours: 9:00-1:00
Closed: None (may be closed irregularly in Apr, Jul and Dec)
Map: Map to Hyotan Onsen
5． Kakashi no sato Yupoppo Kazokuyu
Yamadacho is one of the traditional nautral spa spots, located at the base of the Kirishima mountain range. “Kakashi no sato Yupoppo” is situated in this area and famous for its water with thick texture. There are 26 different types of bathtubs such as Japanese/Western style large bathtubs, a rocky bathtub, a bathtub for walking and an electric bathtub. Water in 12 family baths is replaced entirely every time it’s used.
You can book this place in advance on the day by phone. This spa water is known to work for muscle and joint pain and general fatigue after sightseeing. The shop next to the bath facility sells local fresh vegetables and food. Have a look at the shop for souvenirs.
Name: Kakashi no sato Yupoppo Kazokuyu
Address: 3340-2 Yamadachō Nakagirishima, Miyakonojō-shi, Miyazaki-ken
Open hours: 9:00-22:00
Closed: The second Wed of the month (Open if it falls into a public holiday and the next day is closed instead)
* The second Tue and Wed in April, The second Tue, Wed and Thu in October
Map: Map to Kakashi no sato Yupoppo Kazokuyu
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6． Minagi no mori onsen Minagi no yu
This onsen facility has a view of the Minou mountain range and Chikugo plain. Water is PH9.8 alkaline. Your skin will be very smooth after bathing. Two baths “Akizuuki no yu” and “Kosho no yu” are swapped for women and men every week. Each has outdoor and indoor bathtubs.
There are three family baths you can rent for private usage. You may want to enjoy luxurity of renting one of this large baths by yourself. You can also have dinner at the restaurant “Minagi no Chaya” which is open until 9pm. They have a set menus, noodles and also a la carte. We recommend the hot pot using the local brand chicken “Kosho dori”.
Name: Minagi no mori onsen Minagi no yu
Address: 3 Chome 1-6, Minaginomori, Asakura-shi, Fukuoka-ken
Open hours: 10:00-21:30
Map: Map to Minagi no mori onsen Minagi no yu
7． Koyu onsen Oncri
This hotel has great atmosphere of a modern Japanese style. Koyu onsen has been famous as a therapeutic spa for long time. It produces 43 tons of 38 degree spa water every day.
38 degree is a good temperature for long bathing without stressing your body. Oncri’s bath facility is called “SHIORI” meaning a bookmark in Japanese. They named the bath “SHIORI”, wishing that a visitor can make a break in their daily life at this bath, as you put a bookmark in a book.
There are 15 different bathtubs including an outdoor bathtub with a view of the mountain and a hinoki bathtub. Italian restaurant and Japanese/Western Kaiseki restaurant are located in the same building. It’s such a nice hotel. We recommend you to stay overnight!
Name: Koyu onsen Oncri
Address: 556 Koyu, Fujicho, Saga-shi, Saga-ken
Open hours: 10:00-20:00
Map: Map to Koyu onsen Oncri
8． Dake no Yu Jigokudani Onsen Yu-ka
Yu-ka offers a large outdoor bathtub in the forest and separate private baths for families. 400 L of geothermal water is produced per minute. Water is rich with meta-silicic acid. Meta-silicic acid rich water gradually becomes milky-colored by contacting the air usually. But water here is transparent as they replace with freshly pumped water every day. You can relax in a large outdoor bath as if you are in the middle of forest.
There are four types of family baths: “Kiriishi” “Iwa” “Hinoki” and “Oke”. You can fill a bathtub with fresh water by inserting coins. Available for 24hrs. A steam pot using geothermal heat is available for your usage in the facility. You can set vegetables and eggs and enjoy them after taking a bath. This place is recommended for people who love taking a bath with freshly pumped water.
Name: Dake no Yu Jigokudani Onsen Yu-ka
Address: 1800-33 Kitazato, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto-ken
Open hours: Outdoor bath and Premium Private Bath: 8:00-22:00, Private Bath: 24hrs
Closed: The third Wed of the month
* Open if it falls into a public holiday and the next day is closed instead
Map: Map to Dake no Yu Jigokudani Onsen Yu-ka
9． Tsukahara Onsen Kakouno izumi
Tsukahara onsen has a long history. It is said that this onsen was opened during the Heian period. Water is strongly acidic (PH1.4) and the content of iron ion could be highest in Japan. 60 degree water springs out at around 800m high hillside of the 1045m Garandake Mountain. Water is directly used in this spa facility and is not recycled, filtered, artificially heated or diluted.
The outdoor bath made with rocks have a great view of the mountain. There are four family private baths and a separate building made with wooden materials. We recommend people who loves taking a bath in nature. Steamed eggs in geothermal vapor for 20 hours are their specialty. 6 eggs are sold at JPY500. Do you feel like trying one?
Name: Tsukahara Onsen Kakouno izumi
Address: 1235 Tsukahara, Yufuincho, Yufu-shi, Oita-ken
Open hours: 9:00-18:00 (9:00-19:00 in Jun-Aug)
Closed: New Year’s Eve, New Year
* Closed sometimes when heavy snow
Map: Map to Tsukahara Onsen Kakouno izumi
10． Healthyland Tamatebako onsen
This facility’s outdoor spa with a spectacular view over the mountain and the sea is very popular! It has been at the top on the ranking “Good day spa and onsen facilities” in TripAdviser since 2014 for three years in a row. Once you visit, you will never forget this place. The facility has various baths such as a Western style large bath, a Japanese style large bath and family baths, but the most recommended one is the outdoor bath.
The Japanese style outdoor bath has a view of the Kaimndake Mountain and the Western style outdoor bath has a view over the sea with Mount Takeyama. You would feel as if you are floating in the sea. Check which bath is available for women and men on the date. They swap depending on even dates or odd dates.
If you are hungry, head to “Restaurant Chinetsu no Sato”. They serve dishes using local produce. The local specialty Bonito Taktaki is not-to-miss!
Name: Healthyland Tamatebako onsen
Address: 3292 Yamagawafukumoto, Ibusuki-shi, Kagoshima-ken
Open hours: 9：30～19：30
* Open if it falls into a public holiday. The next day is closed instead
Map: Map to Healthyland Tamatebako onsen
Enjoy Kyushu’s wonderful onsens!
The onsens listed above are only few of many spa spots in Kyushu. You find local Kyushu food at any spa spots. Find your favorite onsen spot. You would probably miss onsens in japan when you get home! Then come back to Kyushu! Great experience is awaiting for your return!