September 13, 2017
The 10 Best Hot Springs (Onsen) You Must Visit in Kagoshima, Japan
Each prefecture in Kyushu has many hot springs, but Kagoshima is one of the leading prefectures. Especially Ibusuki and Kirishima, as they’re known throughout Japan. But there are plenty of other hot springs that have excellent spring quality and beautiful scenery. We’ll introduce the top 10 hot springs you’d want to visit in Kagoshima, perfect for both one-day and several-day trips! Please use this as a reference when you go visiting Kagoshima!
1. Ibusuki Onsen
Ibusuki Onsen is one of the popular hot springs in Kagoshima, and is known especially for its sand baths. The number of Ibusuki hot springs that well up throughout the city are said to be over 800, and its temperature is a high 80~90℃ degrees.
The hot springs near the beach facing the Kinko Bay flow through 5 meters underground and over a span of 5 km. And the lodging that’s recommended is the “Ibusuki Hakusuikan.” Naturally, you can stay at the lodging, but you can also just enjoy the hot spring.
Lay on the warm sand and have sand piled on top, and you’re ready to go. After a while, your body will start to warm up from your core and heavily perspire. The weight of the sand on your back is also comforting.
The sand baths in “Ibusuki Hakusuikan” are set up next to the large bath and open-air bath, so you can warm up further after the sand baths. If you’re in Ibusuki, please experience the sand baths that are very rare, globally.
Recommended lodging: Ibusuki Hakusuikan
Address: 12126-12 Higashikata, Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Ibusuki Hakusuikan
2. Myoken Onsen
Myoken Onsen is just 15 minutes away from Kagoshima Airport, but is in a place full of nature. There are several hot springs along Amori River, and Myoken Onsen is in the Shinkawa Valley Hot Springs Village. The history is very old, and is said that there was already hot springs flowing in the Heian Period.
There many types of lodging, from self-catering inns to luxurious Japanese-style inns, but Myoken Onsen’s lodgings all have their own hot springs. Each lodging can be used for one-day trips, but if you’re staying, “Wasureno Sato Gajoen.”
Reconstructed an old Japanese-style house with a thatched roof, the atmosphere makes you recall Japan’s original scenery. You can enjoy the scenery of chickens walking through the buildings that were arranged to look like one village. There are 3 hot spring sources here, and each of them is a different temperature.
The temperature of the hot springs are adjusted by mixing these three sources, and all of them use hot spring water directly from the source. You can enjoy the fresh hot springs whenever. There are only 10 rooms, so it’s very hard to reserve. If you can stay there, you can brag about it to your friends!
Recommended lodging: Wasureno Sato Gajoen
Address: 4230 Shukukubota Makizono-cho, Kirishima, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Wasureno Sato Gajoen
3. Miyanojo Onsen
It may be hidden by the famous spots in Ibusuki and Kirishima, but if you know “Miyanojo Onsen,” you can be a Kagoshima hot spring connoisseur. It actually has an old history and the opening is said to be in the Bunka Era of the Edo Period.
It’s near Sendai River and there are small hot springs around the countryside, but there is a nice lodging here too. It being the “Tetsuka Ryokan.” Each of the elaborated rooms are very stylish, like the oriental modern, Asian, and Japanese-styled ones.
The furniture and interior used in the lobby lounge, cafe, and bar give off a relaxing atmosphere, offer an enjoyable time. The hot springs are simple alkaline, so it’s very effective for beautiful skin, almost like a skin toner. It’ll be sure to smooth your skin!
Besides the large bath, there are nature-filled and 2 reserved open-air hot springs. It’s preferable to stay, but you can use it for a one-day trip too. The lunch plan, which is a set with the hot springs, is recommended for a reservation.
Recommended lodging: Tetsuka Ryokan
Address: 1482-1 Yuda Satsuma-cho, Satsuma-gun, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Tetsuka Ryokan
4. Fukiage Onsen
Fukiage Onsen flows near Fukiage-hama, one of Japan’s three large sand dunes, and is said to be found 400 years ago. Why not enjoy a luxurious hot spring that uses 100% pure water directly from the spring sources while you’re here? “Kohan-no-yado Midorisou” has a few thousand square meters of ground surrounded by nature, and is made up of 8 buildings by the lakeside.
It was built in 1932 and is a member inn of Japan Association of Secluded Hot Spring Inns. The Japanese-style guest rooms have a big window and you can view the beautiful scenery of nature. Its prideful hot spring is a colorless transparent simple sulfur.
It has a reputation of smoothening the skin, and has been called the hot water of beauty since old times. You can enjoy the 100% hot spring water in the large public baths, open-air baths, and family baths. Especially, the large bath is called “black mineral deposits opaque hot spring,” and is rare throughout Japan.
Both the scenery of sunlight shining through the foliage and nightlights glowing softly bring about a nice atmosphere. There are only 8 rooms and reservation are hard to get, but they offer one-day trips, so visit when you’re touring Fukiage-hama.
Recommended lodging: Kohan-no-yado Midorisou
Address: 910, Yunoura, Fukiage-cho, Hioki city, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Kohan-no-yado Midorisou
5. Shibi Onsen
It’s one of the oldest hot springs in Kagoshima and though the opening year is unknown, the earliest record is that of 1384. The simple sulfur hot spring flows below the worship hall of Shibi Shrine and is called the “hot water of God.” The hot water wells up about 200 liters per minute and is 55℃.
At first, it was only used by the monks of the shrine, and it was the end of the Edo Period when the general public made a bath and started to use it. You can enjoy the water at the public bath managed by Shibi-ku and the various hotels.
Among them, “Hatago Shibisou” is popular for its two natural hot spring indoor bath and the open-air bath where you can hear the river. The water is PH9.4 alkaline and has a slimy feel to it, but this is said to be good for the skin. When you’re in Kagoshima, please visit this historical bath.
Recommended lodging: Hatago Shibisou
Address: 2168 Shibi Satsuma-cho, Satsuma-gun, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Hatago Shibisou
6. Kirishima Natural Hot Mud Onsen
Along with Ibusuki, Kirishima is a famous hot spring area in Kagoshima. Kirishima has several small and large hot springs, and you can enjoy the 100% natural water, footbaths, and drinkable fountains. Here, we’ll introduce a unique way of enjoying the hot spring.
The “Sakura Sakura Onsen” in Kirishima is famous for its mud bath. It’s 2 km away from the inn, the temperature 58℃, and the natural source is Ebino Highlands with an elevation of 850 m. The impurities are filtered out of the mud and used as a mud bath at the “Sakura Sakura Onsen.”
The mud is natural spring minerals and can be picked by hand, which is very rare. The natural mud has various minerals like sulfur, and is used as a pack for the face, body, and hair if you leave it on for 10 minutes. After you rinse it off, your skin will be a very surprising smoothness.
Besides the beautiful skin effect, it prompts perspiration, so it’s expected to work for stiff shoulders and weight reduction. It’s welcoming for the women. There is a large indoor and open-air bath for both sexes, and can also be used for one-day trips. Hot springs with a mud bath are very rare, so please experience it while you’re in Kirishima.
Recommended lodging: Sakura Sakura Onsen
Address: 2324-7 Kirishima Taguchi, Kirishima, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Sakura Sakura Onsen
7. Unagi Onsen
It’s in Ibusuki, but since Ibusuki Onsen is so famous, Unagi Onsen is hidden in the shadows. Unagi Lake is a volcanic lake formed by a magma phreatic explosion 5700 years ago, and near it, hot water vapors emits everywhere.
It’s to the point where every house in Unagi district has a cooking stove that uses the natural water vapors. It’s an unusual sulfur in Ibusuki and because of its high-quality minerals, it’s been used as a bath house since old times.
To enjoy this, it’s recommended to go to Unagi Onsen managed by the district. Its atmosphere is that of an old bathhouse with a spring source behind the building, and thick steam rises. The natural water is 88℃ and very hot, so water is added to adjust the temperature.
It’s always crowded with the local people, but that’s proof of the quality. The out-of-the-way atmosphere and high-quality and fresh hot springs can’t be experience in Ibusuki Onsen!
Recommended lodging: District managed Unagi Onsen
Address: 6217 Yamagawa Narikawa, Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Map: Map to District managed Unagi Onsen
8. Satsuma no Yu
Sakurajima being Kagoshima’s symbol, wouldn’t you want to enjoy the hot springs while watching its view? “Hotel Shiroyama,” which is in Kagoshima city, stands on a high ground of 108 m, so you can see Sakurajima and the whole Kagoshima cityscape.
The hotel’s “Satsuma no Yu” is a hydrogen carbonate spring that wells up from 1000m underground and it’s temperature is about 54℃. There’s an indoor and open-air bath for both sexes. The view and beautiful skin effect have a high popularity.
The open-air bath especially has a beautiful view of Sakurajima over the Kinko Bay. There’s also a sauna that generates negative ions with the spring water vapors, and is kept at a low temperature of 42 to 44℃.
It’s also recommended for people who dislike hot saunas. There is a reserved private bath that you can enjoy with your friends and family. It’s bright, open, and you can view the courtyard while you’re in the bath. How about visiting while you’re touring in Kagoshima?
Recommended lodging: Hotel Shiroyama
Address: 41-1 Shinshoin-cho, Kagoshima, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Hotel Shiroyama
9. Yamagawa Tennen Sunamushi Onsen
Sand baths are known in Ibusuki, but it can also be experienced here too. The beach at Fushime Coast has several hot springs, and “Yamagawa Tennen Sunamushi Onsen Sayuri” is what uses these. It’s been used by the local people as natural sand baths since the old times.
It’s very easy to use! Once you’ve changed into a yukata, you move to the sand baths. Have the staff bury you in the sand, and you lay there for 10 to 15 minutes. It’ll warm you up from the core and there’s also a detoxification effect. The weight of the sand is also comforting.
After the sand bath, rid of the sand and go to the hot springs. After lot’s of perspiration while experiencing the sand baths, you’ll feel as if the bodily toxins have been cleansed. While you’re there, also visit “Yamakawa Salt Production Site”. Here, salt has been made by using the seawater ad hot springs’ heat for 20 years since 1943.
There are still salterns, spring sources, and pipes used for salt production that remain. Even now, white vapor rises in tremendous force and you can witness the blessings of the earth. Please visit when you’re touring in Kagoshima!
Recommended lodging: Sayuri
Address: 3339-3 Yamagawa Fukumoto, Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Sayuri
10. Arimura Hot Spring Source
The previous Arimura Onsen was said bathed in by Takamori Saigo. It was buried in 1914 by the Sakurajima eruption, but through long investigation and excavation, the spring source was found. Now, the 41℃ mineral rich hot spring is used without adding water or temperature.
The “Shiosai-kan” in “Sakurajima Hotel” has duplicated the Sakurajima beach, and you can enjoy the Arimura Onsen while viewing Kinko Bay. The water has a high heat retaining effect, so it’s said to not cool down too fast.
Of course the water quality is top-notch, but the view of Kinko Bay from the open-air bath is also fabulous. If the weather holds, you may be able to see Mt. Kaimondake of Satsuma Peninsula.
To get to Sakurajima, you can go by the land route from Kagoshima City, but the 24-hour Sakurajima ferry from Kagoshima airport to Sakurajima airport is more convenient. While on the ferry, you can taste the famous Yabukin Udon and enjoy the 15 minute trip.
Recommended lodging: Sakurajima Hotel
Address: 1078-64 Furusato-cho, Kagoshima, Kagoshima
Map: Map to Sakurajima Hotel
Let’s Enjoy Best Hot Springs (Onsen) in Kagoshima!
Let’s enjoy the hot springs of Kagoshima! This time we introduced the top 10 must-go hot spring sites in Kagoshima. How was the list? Did you find a spot that interested you? There probably was spots that not even people who frequented Kagoshima knew about. When you visit Kagoshima next time, why not trying a new hot spring? The most calming and finest hot springs await you.