Slip into volcanic hot springs deep in Kyushu’s mountains
Kirishima Onsen, nestled in the foothills of Kyushu’s Kirishima mountain range, is one of japan‘s most famous hot spring resorts. With over a dozen hot springs feeding the area, it offers a superb experience for those looking to relax and rejuvenate in natural thermal waters. The sleepy onsen towns of Maruo and Myoken are the most famous in the area and can be easily reached from Kagoshima and its airport.
To get to Kirishima Onsen, you can choose to take a bus or train, but renting a car will provide maximum flexibility for exploring this rather spread-out area. Buses depart regularly from Kagoshima Airport and Kagoshima City, offering convenient transportation options. If you prefer to travel by train, you can take a train from Kagoshima Chuo Station with a change at Hayato Station. The journey takes approximately 80 minutes.
Kirishima Onsen holds historical significance as it was the destination of choice for samurai Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife on their honeymoon in 1866. It is believed to be Japan’s first honeymoon destination. Ryoma, who had survived an assassination attempt, credited the healing waters of Kirishima for his quick recovery. This adds to the charm and allure of the hot spring resort.
The natural healing and relaxation offered by Kirishima Onsen are unparalleled. The area boasts a variety of public bathhouses that are available for day use, making them perfect for a healing soak before continuing your journey. Some of the local inns also allow non-guests to use their facilities. The baths themselves offer diverse experiences, with some being naturally fizzy, others containing floating sulfur, and some even featuring volcanic mud. Spending a few hours at an onsen will leave your skin silky smooth and your joints rested after a day of hiking in the surrounding mountains.
For the ultimate onsen experience, consider staying overnight at one of the traditional ryokan inns that dot the area. These inns offer comfortable accommodations and typically include a hearty dinner and breakfast. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and traditional Japanese hospitality while enjoying the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs.
In addition to the hot springs, Kirishima Onsen offers other attractions that are worth exploring. The Kirishima Onsen Market, located near Maruo Onsen, is a bustling hub where you can find shops selling local goods and snacks cooked over a volcanic steam outlet. Don’t miss the chance to try the eggs, sweetcorn, and mochi rice cakes cooked using this unique method. Nearby, you’ll also find Maruo Falls, a picturesque spot that is popular among photographers. Make sure to stop by on your way to the revered Kirishima Shrine, a sacred site that holds deep cultural and historical significance.
The scenery surrounding Kirishima Onsen is breathtaking. With views of Kagoshima Bay and the island of Sakurajima from certain parts of the resort, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas that are sure to leave a lasting impression. The lush green mountains and the soothing sounds of nature create a serene and peaceful ambiance that is perfect for unwinding and reconnecting with yourself.
It is important to note that the information provided here may be subject to change due to COVID-19. It is advisable to check for any updates or travel restrictions before planning your visit to Kirishima Onsen.
In conclusion, Kirishima Onsen offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The combination of volcanic hot springs, picturesque scenery, and traditional Japanese hospitality make it a must-visit destination in Kyushu. Whether you choose to spend a day soaking in the healing waters or opt for an overnight stay at a ryokan inn, Kirishima Onsen promises to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Don’t miss the opportunity to slip into the volcanic hot springs deep in Kyushu’s mountains and immerse yourself in the therapeutic benefits of this natural wonder.
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