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Fun and Great for Day-trip visitors!How to Enjoy the Luxury inns of Oita and Kumamoto in Kyushu

Oita and Kumamoto are known as the best hot spring prefectures in Kyushu.
Beppu Onsen in Oita boasts the largest number of hot springs and largest amount of hot spring water in Japan. Yufuin Onsen in Oita is popular for going for a stroll around Yunotsubo Kaido. On the other hand, Kurokawa Onsen in Kumamoto has about 20 inns lined up on both sides of the Tanoharu River valley. There are lots of hot spring villages that are well-known across that area, Aso Onsen in Kumamoto, for instance, which gushes from the foot of Mt. Aso. In this article, we will select inns that people dream of staying at! We will introduce inns with guest rooms that have open-air baths and luxury inns that have gained stars from famous rating guidebooks. We will also introduce some activities at these inns that can be enjoyed by visitors who do not stay overnight!
※All information and prices listed are accurate as of February 2021.
 

(1)Sanso Murata(Oita)
(2)AMANE RESORT SEIKAI(Oita)
(3)Ishiyama Rikyu Gosoku no Kutsu(Kumamoto)
(4)Hotel Ryugu(Kumamoto)

 

One of the Three Top Ryokan in Yufuin
(1)Sanso Murata

Yufuin Onsen is the second largest hot spring in Japan in terms of the number of hot springs and the amount of hot spring water. Located overlooking the famous peak "Yufudake", it is a popular summer resort. It is said that both fresh water and hot springs flow in, and the water temperature remains high year-round, and in the early morning in winter, the fantastic sight of steam rising from the surface of the lake can be seen. There are many things to enjoy while visiting the hot springs, such as the shopping at the souvenir shop and going along Yunotsubo Kaido, which is lined with restaurants.

"Sanso Murata" is a hidden away inn nestled in a quiet mountain overlooking the Yufuin Basin. All guest rooms are separated (in buildings situated away from the main inn building). These building is a relocation of old folk houses from all across the county, and they feature modern interior designs. The dishes are all excellent, made using abundant seasonal flavours from Oita such as Seki mackerel and Seki horse mackerel! 
It is said that the inn staff use only carefully selected ingredients that they themselves have tried. There is a bath in each room, giving you a sense of privacy! To access the inn, go from Hakata Station to Yufuin Station in about 2 hours and 10 minutes via the JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori. You can rest assured as there is a free pick-up service to take you to the inn from JR Yufuin Station and Yufuin Station Bus Centre.

 

How to have fun as a day-trip visitor

・There is a specialist shop "Zo-setsu" that sells mainly the works from artists who are work in Oita. Original seasonings such as yuzu pepper and grain mustard are also popular souvenirs. 
・ "B-speak" is a popular Swiss roll baked with only flour, sugar, eggs, and fresh cream. They also sell other baked snacks. 
・ "Artegio" is a facility that collects arts that are related to music. There is even a reading room with a collection of art-related books, so you can have a relaxing break.

 

Free hot spring bath even for day-trip visitors if they dine-in! 
(2) AMANE RESORT SEIKAI


Beppu Onsen in Oita Prefecture boasts the largest number of springs and the largest amount of hot spring water in Japan. Highlights include the "Hell Tour" where hot mud and fumes gush from deep underground and the source of the natural springs showing its various natural wonders, and the "Yukemuri Observatory" where Yukemuri in Beppu / Kannawa Onsen and the magnificent Mt. Tsurumi can be seen.
 
"AMANE RESORT SEIKAI" is a popular inn where the magnificent Beppu Bay can be seen ahead with the lush green mountains in the background. It is famous for its guest rooms with ocean views and open-air baths. Additionally, Beppu Bay can be seen from the terrace of the observation bath "Shoyo no Yu" on the 8th floor, which is only available for guests.

 

Meals can be selected from three unique restaurants, and all dishes served are excellent, made using seasonal ingredients. It takes about 5 minutes by taxi to access the resort from Beppu International Tourism Port. Or, change to the city line bus from JR Beppu Station, get off at "Yasuragi-mae" bus stop, and walk for about 2 minutes.


How to have fun as a day-trip visitor


・The 1st floor large communal bath "Shiosai no Yu" is so close to the sea that it is commonly called "0 meters above sea level", so when you take a bath, it feels like you are floating in the sea. If you are a dine-in guest, you can use the bath for free. 
・The restaurant "Japanese Cuisine Gen", is where seafood cuisine can be enjoyed in a private room. "Seafood Eitarou" has a fish tank inside the restaurant and offers natural seafood. Third restaurant in the facility is the "Bistro Van Nuovo" where casual French cuisine can be enjoyed, made using ingredients from the Oita prefecture. Restaurant customers can all get a free ticket to use the baths! 

 

Rooms with an Open Air Bath at a Mountain inn
(3) Ishiyama Rikyu Gosoku no Kutsu

"Ishiyama Rikyu Gosoku no Kutsu" in the Kumamoto / Amakusa area is highly praised by its location. It is an inn located on a mountain overlooking the East China Sea, and there are 15 guest rooms on a site measuring about 3 hectares.

Furthermore, the guest rooms are all separated and all rooms have an open-air bath, so you can have a relaxing time without coming across other guests. The hot spring is Shimoda Onsen, which boasts one of the largest amounts of hot spring water in the prefecture, and is filled directly from the source. For dinner, dishes made using Amakusa ingredients such as vegetables with plenty of ocean minerals, local chicken, and local fish are served. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to access the inn by bus from JR Kumamoto Station, after getting off at "Hondo Bus Centre", take a taxi to get to the facility. Or about 40 minutes by taxi from Amakusa Airport.

 

Places to stop by while at Ishiyama Rikyu Gosoku no Kutsu

・If you are sightseeing in the Amakusa area, the drive course with a superb view, "Amakusa Pearl Line", is worth a go! On the national highway that runs from Misumimachi, Uki City to Matsushima Town, Kamiamakusa City, the islands are connected by bridges named the Five Bridges of Amakusa, with a series of spectacular views! The first bridge of the Five Bridges of Amakusa, which can be said to be the gateway, is also known as Tenmonkyo, and is the tallest out of the five bridges, so you’re sure to feel thrilled at the sight! 
・Octopus is famous in Amakusa! There is a street called "Amakusa Ariake Tako Kaido", which has restaurants and guesthouses that offer famous octopus dishes lined up along the street. In summer, you can see many dried octopuses with their eight legs spread out on the sand by the coast road! 
・The promenade "Gosoku no Kutsu Literature Trail" is recommended for taking a stroll. There is even an observatory on the way! It's about a 10minutes on foot from the hotel to the nearest promenade, so be sure to take a stroll after bathing. 

 

Enjoy looking at the beautiful islands in the Ariake Sea!
(4) Hotel Ryugu

 
"Amakusa" is made up of over 120 big and small islands surrounded by the blue sea. The pride of "Amakusa Matsushima Onsen Hotel Ryugu" is its spectacular view. It is in an excellent location overlooking the beautiful islands of the Ariake Sea, so the hot springs can be enjoyed while looking out over the Amakusa Sea from the observation bath. The dishes are all excellent and are exclusively made using Amakusa seafood such as the sashimi made with seasonal local fish, and Amakusa black abalone. Relaxation activities is also substantial. There is also a ferry service from Amakusa to Unzen, a popular tourist area in Nagasaki. You can also enjoy a short trip.
To get to the inn, go from Kumamoto Station to Misumi Station, which is about 60 minutes via the JR line (The A-TRAIN, a popular express train with a spectacular view of the sea, is also on the route). From there, it takes about 15 minutes via the "Amakusa Takarajima Line" from Misumi Port to Amakusa / Matsushima Port.(※Misumi Port is a couple of minutes walk from Misumi station) 
Transportation from Matsushima Port to the inn can be arranged (advanced notice required).

 

How to have fun as a day-trip visitor


・A private bath where you can have the sea of Amakusa all to yourself. A total of 5 types of bath can be enjoyed, including the family-friendly "Go no Yu", a luxurious bath with a wooden deck and jacuzzi, and the "Roku no Yu" with a bedrock bath for 2 people. 
・There is the “Foot-bath BAR" where you can drink alcohol while soaking your feet in the foot-bath. You can even drink Kyushu's specialty Shochu (Japanese distilled spirits made from rice and potatoes).
・There are shops that sell not only Amakusa products but also special products and souvenirs from the Kumamoto prefecture.

 

Refer to the following for more information on the facilities mentioned in this article.

https://www.japan.travel/en/destinations/kyushu/oita/
https://www.japan.travel/en/destinations/kyushu/kumamoto/

 

Overflowing with delicious local cuisines & beautiful views! Top-picked hot springs in Kyushu
https://www.japan.travel/en/my/solo-japan/overflowing-delicious-local-cuisines-beautiful-views-top-picked-/
 

About Kyushu Travel passes and Festivals
https://www.japan.travel/en/my/enjoy-smart-trip-travel-passes/seeing-all-kyushu-trip-not-just-dream-3-transportation-passes-ca/

https://www.japan.travel/en/my/experiencing-traditional-events-matsuri/great-repeating-travelers-kyushu-3-impressive-festivals-kyushu/

 

Sanso Murata
http://www.sansou-murata.com/en/index.html

AMANE RESORT SEIKAI
https://www.seikai.co.jp/

Ishiyama Rikyu Gosoku no Kutsu
https://nihonmono.jp/en/area/17056/

Hotel Ryugu
https://www.ryugu.net/english/

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