Hot springs, flowing noodles, seaside and Satsuma Fuji
Located on the southern part of the Satsuma Peninsula, Ibusuki is an eclectic mix of seaside resort and hot spring paradise, with spectacular views of Mt. Kaimon —known as Satsuma Fuji for its resemblance to Japan's most iconic mountain, Mt. Fuji.
- Detoxing at Ibusuki Sunamushi Onsen
- Hike to the top of Mt. Kaimon for an amazing view
- Enjoy blooming flowers and stunning coastal views at Flower Park Kagoshima
How to Get There
Ibusuki is easily accessible from Kagoshima-Chuo Station by train.
You can take a 50-minute limited express or an 80-minute local train. The Ibusuki no Tamatebako limited express theme train is particularly recommended for a unique travel experience.
Buried in the sand
Ibusuki is famous for its hot sand baths by the seaside. It is a unique spa where you can lie in a sand pit and be buried up to your neck in sand that is heated by hot springs. There are plenty of regular onsen as well, and the rotenburo outdoor bath at Healthy Land Tamatebako onsen provides amazing views of Mt Kaimon . At Unagi Onsen, on the shore of Unagi-ike Pond, you can experience a traditional hot spring bath that has been around since the Edo period (1603-1867).
Conquering the peak
Conquering the peak If you're looking for an active experience, consider climbing to the top of Mt. Kaimon. On a clear day, the views of Yakushima and Osumi Peninsula are spectacular. The dormant volcano is 924 meters high and has a beautiful, conical shape. The hike follows a gentle spiral path and can be completed in about 2.5 to 3 hours one way.
If you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, picture-perfect views of the volcano can also be seen at Japan's southernmost station, JR Nishi Oyama Station. There is a yellow postbox nearby that is said to bring happiness. Make a wish for happiness and be sure to drop off your potcards to send home here.
Botanical beauty by the sea
You can find pleasant views of the coastline and some 2,400 species of tropical and subtropical plants and flowers at Flower Park Kagoshima . Explore the vast park which covers around 36.5 hectares and discover a huge variety of plant life as you bask in the natural beauty of the place.
Further inland is Lake Ikeda, the largest crater lake in Kyushu. The lake is inhabited by large eels, some of which can grow up to two meters in length. This lake is said to be the home of a monster called Issie, though as with its Scottish cousin Nessie, its existence has yet to be verified. The canola blossoms along the lakeshore are particularly pretty in spring.
Tradition and culture
Stop by the Satsuma Denshokan museum to find out all about the local history of Kagoshima, with a focus on the highly intricately decorated Satsuma ware pottery. This style of pottery made a lasting impression in Europe at the end of the 19th century, and it is easy to see why when looking at the stunning pieces on display in the museum.
Catch them if you can
No visit to Ibusuki would be complete without eating the local specialty, somen nagashi. At Tosenkyo Somen Nagashi , noodles in a circular container in the middle of your table are spun around by flowing water. Catching the noodles with your chopsticks is a challenge, but the reward is delicious. Lefties can choose to reverse the flow of the water to make the noodles easier to grab hold of.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.