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[Kumamoto ]Refresh yourself at a hot spring - Kurokawa Onsen

[Kumamoto ]Refresh yourself at a hot spring - Kurokawa Onsen


Kurokawa Onsen is a hot spring resort that you should visit at least once.
Located in the mountains of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kurokawa Onsen is an adult retreat with an atmosphere that is perfect for a secluded stay, with many of the 30 or so hot spring inns located away from the rest of the city.
Kurokawa Onsen is a hot spring resort town characterized by the variety of ways to enjoy Kurokawa Onsen, such as gourmet meals in the hot spring resort area and day-trip bathing with a yutourin (hot spring tour) bill.
This article introduces the attractions of such Kurokawa Onsen and recommended ways to spend your time.
Those who want to refresh themselves and forget the hustle and bustle of daily life, or those who want to take a trip to a hot spring, please refer to this article to plan your trip!

Author of this article

What is Kurokawa Onsen like?

Signboard in the Kurokawa hot spring resort area

"Kurokawa Onsen Ichi-Ryokan "is also famous for its concept.
Since all 30 inns and the satoyama landscape are considered as one ryokan, the entire town, including the streets and signs in the hot spring resort area, has a sense of unity, giving visitors the feeling of being in a hot spring theme park!

In fact, in the 1980s, influenced by the boom in unexplored hot springs, the organization of ryokan associations was reorganized.
"It is said that the group was divided into the Signage Group ""Environment Group ""Planning and Public Relations Group ", each of which worked to create a landscape for the entire Black River.
At that time, the signage team removed all 200 signs, which were disorganized and not unified at the time, and replaced them with unified joint signs.

It is said that the Kurokawa brand was established through various other measures.

Access (from Tokyo)

The most recommended route for access from Tokyo is the airplane -> Trans-Kyushu Bus route!
Please check the official website of each transportation agency for the latest information.
Highway bus from Shinjuku to Fukuoka Tenjin takes about 14 hours and costs about 1,100 yen.
Airplane from Haneda Airport to Fukuoka Airport takes about 2 hours and costs about 14,000 yen.
Shinkansen train from Shinagawa Station to Hakata Station takes about 5 hours and costs about 22,200 yen.

From Kumamoto Station or Kumamoto Airport, you can reach Kurokawa Onsen by car, train or bus.
The car is a Kumamoto station/Kumamoto airport -> milk road (Prefectural Road 339 Route) -> Kurokawa hot spring, and it takes about 2 hours.
By train, it takes about 3 hours from Kumamoto Station via JR Hohi Line, Yamabiko-go, local bus, and cab.
Bus: 3 hours from Kumamoto Station by Trans-Kyushu Bus

From Tokyo, you can access Kumamoto by various routes such as highway buses, airplanes, and the Shinkansen bullet train, but the most recommended route is to fly to Kumamoto Airport and then take a bus, considering the price and time required.

Choose the one that best suits your travel style!

Soup hand shape

What is a bathing bill?

Kurokawa Onsen is synonymous with "the hot water bill of admission ".
This is a magic ticket that allows you to freely visit the open-air baths owned by each inn in the Kurokawa Onsen spa resort.
Each bathing bill allows you to bathe in your favorite hot springs at three locations.
In addition, one of the three locations can be used for eating, drinking, and souvenirs.
After use, you can take the bill home as a souvenir of your trip or dedicate it to the Jizo Hall in the hot spring resort area. You can enjoy your own unique way of using the bill.

It is said that in the 1980s, in order to save two inns that were unable to build open-air baths due to site constraints, they came up with the idea of "an entrance bill "that would allow access to all open-air baths in Kurokawa. "This measure was born out of the desire "to make Kurokawa Onsen-kyo more prosperous for the entire region, rather than just one inn making a profit.

Customize it to your own taste!

When using a bill, a seal (stamp) is placed on the surface of the bill.
The seals have original designs of each ryokan, so you can make your own personalized handprints customized to your own taste while enjoying a hot spring tour!

The prize for the complete tour of the hot spring!

Visitors can enter 24 open-air baths and take the bathing bill stamped with the seals of all the inns to the ryokan association,
"The title of Kurokawa Onsen Certified Hot Spring Master "will be awarded!

Those who obtain the title will have their name posted on the Ryokan Association "Kaze no Sha "and will also receive a limited edition towel with embroidery of the logo of all Kurokawa Onsen Ryokans and a limited edition drawstring.

As a supplementary prize, a 3,000 yen accommodation subsidy coupon, which can be used at all Kurokawa Onsen inns, will be awarded!
In addition, a bath towel will be given for three complete conquests, a wall clock for five, and a chabudai (tea table) for 10, as well as original goods not for sale!

We encourage you to bathe in many hot springs!

large wooden billboard with a burned tip (used to create underdrawings)

Considering the spreading effects of the new coronavirus, we are suspending its use and sale for the time being.
Be sure to check the latest information when visiting.

Kappo handbills are said to be the new specialty of Kurokawa Onsen.
You can enjoy it with sake and snacks in a bamboo bowl in one hand!
You can choose 3 places of your choice from among the eligible inns and stores and use a set of 1 sake and snacks 3 times. Each ryokan/shop offers different sake and snacks, so look at the Kurokawa Kappo MAP (available at Kaze no Sha) to find the ryokan/shop you want to visit! There is a wide variety of sake and snacks, including locally produced sake, doburoku, shochu, and more. Non-alcoholic drinks are also available!

after taking a bath

▲Yu Lantern Event

One of the specialties of Kurokawa Onsen, yuwari.
This event is held for a limited time each year from around December to April, and has become a very popular winter event in Kurokawa Onsen.
From sunset to 10 p.m., "about 300 ball lanterns "and "cylindrical lanterns ", each about 2 meters high, are lit.

The symbol of YUAKARI, "Mari Lanterns," is made of nine bamboo strips that are finally bound together to form a single sphere. These are made by the hands of many people involved in Kurokawa Onsen every year.

This event is said to have been created as part of a solution to the problem of bamboo buying due to neglected bamboo groves, which was one of the issues.
Bamboo used at the event is recycled for use as charcoal, fertilizer, and cushioning material!

Strolling Spots

Located almost in the center of Kurokawa Onsen town, this is the place where you can get information on sightseeing in the area and pamphlets for each inn.
The facility also sells Kurokawa Onsen handbills and bathing goods, making it a great place to visit when visiting Kurokawa Onsen.

"Facility Information "
Name: Kurokawa Onsen Tourism Cooperative Information Center
Address: 6594-3 Manganji, Minami-Oguni, Aso-gun, Kumamoto 869-2402, Japan
Phone number: 0967-44-0076

Maruzu Bridge

Maru-ring bridge

The bridge where the winter festival "Yuakari "is held, "Maruzu Bridge ".
The top of the Maruzu Bridge is a spectacular spot where the lights reflect on the surface of the river, offering a fantastic view of the fantastic scene. Many tourists come from far and wide for this event.
The bridge over the Tanohara River, which runs through the center of the hot spring resort, is lined with tasteful buildings and is filled with the atmosphere of a hot spring bath. It is also famous as a standard spot for taking commemorative photos!

"Facility Information "
Name: Maru-ring Bridge
Address: 6600-1 Manganji, Minami-Oguni Town, Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture

Goto Bar

In addition to locally brewed sake, beer, and original souvenirs made from pure spring water, the store also has a convenience store section where tourists and local residents can meet face to face.
It is located almost in the middle of Kurokawa Onsen, at the corner of "Igozaka "where customers in yukata (light cotton kimono) come and go!

"Facility Information "
Name: Goto Brewery
Address: 6991-1, Manganji Kurokawa, Minami-Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto, 869-2402, Japan
Hours of operation: 8:40-22:00
Closed: 1st/2nd Wednesday

Jizo Hall (in the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) (Heian period)

Located in the center of Kurokawa Onsen "Jizo Hall ".
The headless Jizo (Jizo without head) from the anecdote of "Jizo the Substitute Jizo ", which is said to be the birthplace of Kurokawa Hot Springs, is enshrined here.
This Jizo Hall was built in the early Showa period (early 20th century), and is also the place to dedicate the bathing bill used for onsen tours.
Many "bathing bills "are hung in the precincts, making it a popular tourist attraction representing Kurokawa Onsen!

In front of the hall, there is a public bathhouse "Jizoyu ".
Legend has it that this is where the water first began to boil, and it is said to be the birthplace of Kurokawa Onsen.
It is not covered by the bath bill and the bathing fee is 200 yen for adults, but it is one of the places to visit in addition!

"Facility Information "
Name: Jizendo
Address: 6612-2, Manganji, Minami Kogoku-cho
Phone number: 0967-44-0076 (Kurokawa Onsen Tourism Ryokan Cooperative Association)

Nabeki Waterfall

Nabake Falls is located in Oguni Town, about 20 minutes by car from Kurokawa Onsen.
The waterfall is small in scale, though, with a drop of about 10 meters and a width of 20 meters,
It is a popular spot because of the mysterious appearance of the water falling widely like a curtain and illuminated like sunlight through the trees.

This waterfall is believed to have been created by a huge eruption about 90,000 years ago that created the Aso caldera,
In 2014, it was recognized as a "World Geopark "in "Aso Geopark ",
It is considered one of the most important places to feel the breath of the Aso land.

"Facility Information "
Name: Nabeketaki Waterfall
Address: Kurobuchi, Oguni-cho, Aso-gun, Kumamoto 869-2502
Phone number: 0967-46-2113
Fee: 300 yen for high school students and older, 150 yen for elementary and junior high school students, free for elementary school students and younger
Hours: 9:00~17:00 (final admission 16:30)
Regular Holiday: Beginning of the year-end (December 28 - January 3)
Parking: Available (free of charge)

Nanatsumori Tumulus Group

The Nanatsumori Ancient Tombs in Taketa City, Oita Prefecture, are located a short distance from Kurokawa Onsen, but they are not far from the Kurokawa Hot Springs,
The area is famous for its breathtaking view of approximately 200,000 higanbana flowers covering the entire area.
There are many places in Japan where terraced rice paddies and higanbana flowers can be seen, but in this Nanatsumori burial mound, a rare collaboration of an ancient burial mound and higanbana flowers exists.
In fact, this lovely view has been used as a movie location!

Another attraction is the tent at the entrance, where visitors can buy local fresh vegetables at low prices.
Also, about 2 km away from Nanatsumori Kofun is "Roadside Station Sugo ", where you can enjoy fried chicken from Marufuku Shokudo, a favorite of Oita residents, during lunch time.

Please visit us!

"Facility Information "
Name: Nanatsumori Tumulus Group
Address: Along Route 57, 370-2 Toe, Sugo, Taketa City, Oita Prefecture, 878-0013
Access: Approximately 40 minutes by car from Kurokawa Onsen
Parking: Available (approx. 20 cars)
Phone number: 0974-63-4807 (Takeda City Commerce, Industry and Tourism Division)

Seiryu Forest

It is a 5 minute drive from Kurokawa Onsen "Seiryu no Mori ".
On a site of about 80 hectares, a kunugi forest, green meadows, and beautiful valleys are parked as "Seiryu no Mori ".
This park, where visitors can enjoy forest bathing, bird watching, and autumn foliage, as well as eight themed forests, including clear streams, streams, and shiny-leaved trees,
There is also a sparrow hell and a water park where you can fully enjoy a stroll.
The autumn foliage is very beautiful from late October to late November, but the summer season is also very beautiful!

"Facility Information "
Name: Seiryu no Mori
Address: Oaza Manganji Se-no-Moto, Minami-Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto 869-2402, Japan
Phone number: 0967-42-1444 (Minami-Oguni Tourist Association)
Access: 5 minutes by car from Kurokawa Onsen
Parking: Available (free of charge, about 30 cars)


Ikoi Ryokan (Japanese inn)

Kurokawa Onsen has become famous through social networking services such as bathing bills, kappo bills, and yukari, and can be said to have had a great impact on other hot spring resorts. In this article, we have introduced many attractions of Kurokawa Onsen, a hot spring resort that you should visit at least once.
We invite you to enjoy the hot springs at Kurokawa Onsen and refresh yourself.

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