Hot Springs in Yakushima Hot Springs in Yakushima

Hot Springs in Yakushima


2018.07.25

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Hot Springs in Yakushima

Japan is a country situated on the Pacific “Rim of Fire” and, so, is blessed with hundreds of naturally occurring hot springs across the width and breadth of the country, from Hokkaido in the far north to Kyushu and Yakushima in the balmy south. Known as onsen in Japanese, hot springs and bathhouses are imbued in the very fabric of society and a key component of Japanese culture, and the soothing waters are said to heal ailments and relax both body and mind. Outdoor hot springs are called rotenburo and are well worth seeking and are sure to be one of the highlights of any trip.

  • Hot springs are usually associated with volcanic and geologically active areas, and, while the granite mountains of Yakushima are not volcanic in nature, the island has a number of splendid hot springs for visitors to seek out and enjoy. Not all hot springs are heated naturally, but they all have their own charms.

  • 02

    Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen

    Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen

    Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen

    One of the most unique hot springs in Yakushima is Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen. The pools here have been used by locals for hundreds of years and are located directly on the rocky seashore, and so they are only accessible for a couple of hours twice per day during low tides. There are few other places in Japan where you can soak in heated water right on the beach.

    Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen

    Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen

    Of the three pools, the smallest one is used as a footbath and the largest one can accommodate about six people, with men and women bathing together (you can use a towel to cover up). There is a box for donations (100 yen) but there are no changing rooms, so leave your clothes in a bag on the rocks and take off your shoes at the designated spot. Hirauchi is in the south of Yakushima, about a 10-minute drive from Onoaida and is signposted from the main road.

    Underwater Onsen So
    rating

    3.5

    3 Reviews
    place
    Kagoshima Kumage-gun Yakushimacho Hira Uchi 5-7
    phone
    0997472403
  • 03

    Yudomari Onsen

    Yudomari Onsen

    Yudomari Onsen

    Nearby Yudomari Onsen is another seaside hot spring, but this one is not affected by the tides, so you can visit anytime, day or night. The male and female sides of the rock pool are divided by a bamboo screen, and there are changing rooms close by. A small donation is required (100 yen), but be aware that the water here is not as hot as at other onsen, so perhaps avoid on chilly winter nights!

    湯泊温泉
    place
    鹿児島県熊毛郡屋久島町湯泊
    phone
    0997435900
    no image
  • 04

    Onoaida Onsen

    Onoaida Onsen

    Onoaida Onsen

    Onoaida is home to a couple of other onsens too. The clifftop JR Hotel Yakushima boasts wonderful sea views from its indoor and outdoor pools, and towels and soap are provided, but is only open from 3pm to 6pm for non-staying guests (entry 1400 yen). The Onoaida Onsen is a little further inland and, although basic and sometimes busy, the water is piping hot (open 7am to 9pm, priced at 200 yen).

    Onoaida Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    89 Reviews
    place
    Kagoshima Kumage-gun Yakushimacho Onoaida 1291
    phone
    0997472872
  • 05

    Kusugawa Onsen

    Kusugawa Onsen

    Kusugawa Onsen

    Further north, you can find the old-fashioned Kusugawa Onsen about 10 minutes south of Miyanoura, just off the ring road (open 9am to 8pm, priced at 300 yen), or the much newer and private Yunoko-no-yu close to Miyanoura River (open 12pm to 7pm, priced at 400 yen, and requires reservation). Next to Yakushima Airport is Jomon-no-yado Manten, an expensive but luxurious bath with relaxation room and massage chairs (open 11am to 10pm, priced at 1,600 yen).

    Kusugawa Onsen

    Kusugawa Onsen

    There are a few things to be aware of when visiting a hot spring. First, you should always wash yourself before getting into the bath (there are usually plastic wash bowls close by) and, although people tend to bathe naked, a small towel is permitted for modesty. Men and women are usually segregated but, in mixed onsens, women can cover up with a towel. Tattoos have traditionally had negative connotations in Japan and people with tattoos are sometimes refused entry to onsens, or, at least, asked to cover them up with band-aids, but, if you are discreet, then it may not be an issue.

    Kusugawa Onsen
    place
    Kagoshima Kumage-gun Yakushimacho Kusugawa 364-5
    phone
    0997421166

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