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Teeming with delicious local cuisines and beautiful views, the top hot springs in Kyushu will surely delight your senses. © K.P.V.B


Great Food, Breathtaking Sights: Travel with Your Senses to Kyushu’s Top Hot-Spring Destinations

If you think about enjoying a relaxing trip to Japan, visiting hot springs or onsen to soothe your tired body is sure to come to mind. For an experience that will delight your senses, head over to Kyushu at the southern end of the country. 

Famous hot spring villages are dotted around the region. There’s the Ibusuki Onsen, where you can immerse yourself in warm sand instead of hot spring water. Saga’s Ureshino Onsen is another well-known hot spring town in Kyushu as its water is said to have properties that make one’s skin beautiful. Finally, there’s Kurokawa Onsen, perfect for groups who want to go hot-spring hopping.

Ahead, learn more about these spots as well as the enriching experiences they offer.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island.


(1)Ibusuki Onsen(Kagoshima)

Bury yourself in sand from the neck down at Ibusuki Onsen, one of the most popular hot springs in Kyushu.


At Ibusuki Onsen in Kagoshima, there is a unique and historic sand bath onsen enjoyed by visitors for the last 300 years. Just about 20 minutes on foot from the JR Ibusuki Station is the Sand Bath Hall called Saraku. There, you can lie down on the rippling sandy beach and have warm sand of about 50°C-55 °C poured on you from the neck down. 

The heat and the weight of the sand might make the experience seem daunting at first, but the sound of rolling waves and the sight of the blue sea will calm your mind. 

If you stay in the sand for around 10 minutes, you begin to sweat, expelling toxins and inflammatory- and pain-causing substances from the body. Not to mention, as the warm sand promotes blood circulation, sufficient oxygen and nutrition will be supplied to your body, leaving you more refreshed. The more your body warms up, the more you become totally relaxed!

The hot spring facility provides you with a yukata (light cotton kimono) to wear while buried in the sand bath, and a shower room for washing off the sand when you get out. These conveniences make it easy to visit this popular Kyushu onsen without bringing extra luggage. 

Things to enjoy in the hot spring village


Indulge in local dishes made with Ibusuki Onsen’s warm waters. © K.P.V.B


・ We recommend trying the Ontamaran-Don, which is a bowl of Kagoshima's specialty black pork and vegetables topped with an egg boiled in the hot spring source of the sand bath.


For a refreshing meal after your sand bath, indulge in somen noodles chilled with spring water. © K.P.V.B


・ There are restaurants where you can enjoy somen noodles chilled with spring water that has been certified as one of the 100 Clearest Water Sources of Heisei (1989-2019). There is no doubt that you will be satisfied when you and your child give it a go!


Don’t miss the chance to hike the famous Satsuma Fuji while you’re at Ibusuki Onsen. © K.P.V.B



・ Since the sand bath is located by the coast, you can sightsee as you take a dip. Heal your daily fatigue while gazing at the magnificent view before you. 
・Kaimondake Volcano, which stands at 924 meters, is a spot you should visit in the area. Also known as Satsuma Fuji, it is a popular destination for travelers mountaineering with kids because the slope is relatively gentle and there are no difficult areas to hike up. There, you can find a natural park where you can set up camp and have a barbecue as you take a break.


2)Ureshino Onsen(Saga)

Ureshino Onsen’s waters are said to have rejuvenating properties for the skin.


Situated in Ureshino Town, Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture, Ureshino Onsen is one of the three major hot springs in Japan said to make one’s skin smooth and beautiful. What differentiates this hot spring in Kyushu from many others is its high sodium content. 

As a sodium bicarbonate spring, it produces water with a slimy consistency. It emulsifies and washes away sebum and secretions from the body, leaving your skin feeling smooth and fresh after bathing. 

There are many day ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and bathing facilities around Ureshino Onsen that offer day trip packages. However, to enjoy the hot springs to the max, be sure to purchase the 12-sheet special ticket called Yuyu Ticket that can be used at 16 different bathing facilities.


Things to enjoy in the hot spring village


Yudofu (left) and Ureshinocha tea (right) are specialties of the Saga Prefecture.


・At Ureshino, you should definitely taste the local specialty called hot spring yudofu. This tofu dish is made from Saga soybeans boiled in hot water from Ureshino Onsen. 

While boiling, the surface of the tofu begins to melt, making the soup cloudy, with a smooth melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is easy to eat, even for children. Not to mention, the cloudy soup made of hot spring water is so rich, so be sure to enjoy it with tofu. Finish your meal with healthy parfaits and desserts made with tofu in the nearby cafes.

・Ureshino is also famous as the production center of the historical Ureshinocha tea. With a strong aroma, the tea’s flavor is slowly extracted as it steeps. This way, you can enjoy a slightly unique flavor each time you take a sip. There are also baked sweets made with Ureshinocha, that make for a perfect souvenir, so buy some before you leave!



Stop by Forest and Squirrel Amusement Park Märchen Village on your family day trip.


・Ureshino is not only for hot springs. It’s also for families looking for fun kid-friendly activities. Visit the Forest and Squirrel Amusement Park Märchen Village, which features rides like ferris wheels and steam trains. It also has zoos and athletic facilities that your young ones will surely enjoy! 

If you want to take a break, the park has several rest areas with nursing rooms, so you and your kids can visit with peace of mind. 


(3)Kurokawa Onsen(Kumamoto)

Enjoy the unique beauty of the four seasons at Kurokawa Onsen.


Situated in the north of Mt. Aso, Kurokawa Onsen is one of the famous hot spring villages in Kumamoto. Surrounded by mountains, the village houses around 30 hot spring inns. 

Aside from its hot springs, the place is famous for its spectacular seasonal views. You can bask in lush greenery, vibrant autumn colors, or even a sea of clouds depending on when you visit!


The winter illumination in this Kyushu onsen village is a scene straight out of a fairy tale.

Things to enjoy in the hot spring village





・When you visit Aso, Akaushi beef is a must-try! This is beef from a Japanese brown cow raised and fattened in the Kumamoto Prefecture for over 12 months. It has a lot of lean meat and a moderate amount of fat, which lend a tender texture. Be sure to try it charcoal-grilled or on an Aso Akaushi beef bowl. 
・ Apart from that, this Kyushu hot spring town offers a wide variety of local dishes that will delight your taste buds! As you stroll around admiring the scenery, how about indulging yourself and your kids with Kurokawa’s soft serve ice cream?


Traveling to Kurokawa Onsen isn’t complete without admiring the mountainous landscape.


・ At Kurokawa Onsen, don’t miss the superb scenery of Mt. Aso! There are lots of open-air baths where a relaxing soak can be had while admiring the breathtaking view of Aso, so be sure to enjoy going around the different hot springs!


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



About Kyushu Travel Passes and Superb Views of the sea




Ibusuki Sand Bath

Ureshino Hotspring



Kurokawa Hotspring



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