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Photo By: PIXTA/ kkmsm
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Kagoshima
Population
1,786,214

Kirishima Onsen

Whether you’re planning a day trip or looking to spend the night, this hot spring town will leave you rested and restored. 

By Elizabeth Sok

Located in the shadows of southern Kyushu’s mighty Kirishima Mountains, Kirishima Onsen is known throughout Japan as a premier hot spring region. Whether you’re planning a day trip or looking to spend the night, this area will leave you rested and restored with its fantastic waters and spectacular views.

Kirishima translates to the “island of mist” and much of its early history is shrouded in myth and mystery. The region is mentioned in one of Japan’s oldest historical texts, the Kojiki, and relates the origins of Japan’s first emperors who claimed deities as ancestors.

Kirishima Onsen, a large area that is home to several resort towns also has its share of legendary stories to match, including one about the famous samurai, Sakamoto Ryoma. Following an assassination attempt, Ryoma, who was a key figure in the last years of the feudal era, retreated to Kirishima Onsen with his wife to recover from his wounds. The soothing waters helped him to get back on his feet quickly and allowed him to enjoy the rest of his honeymoon, mythically called the first ever in Japan.

The Hot Springs

Kirishima Onsen

Photo by: PIXTA/ okimo There are many public baths and ryokan that open their doors for people who aren’t staying the night.

About a dozen distinct hot springs provide a variety of water types to resorts and baths in the Kirishima Onsen area. Visitors will have several options to choose from depending on their vacation plans. If you’re staying just for the day, there are many public baths and ryokan that open their doors for people who aren’t staying the night for a reasonable price. People booking a night or more have several high-quality resorts, hotels and ryokan in the area to meet their needs. The Kirishima Hotel, for instance, has a large pool with a depth of a meter and a half which allows you to enjoy the hot waters up to your shoulders while standing, a combination of male and female-only baths as well as mixed genders and four kinds of waters. Kirishima Kokusai Hotel is another large establishment that also offers several baths and pools, big and small as well as indoor and out so you can enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

Shiohitashi Spa Ryoma Park

Kirishima Onsen

Photo by: PIXTA/ 竜優雛 The samurai and his wife.

For a bit of recreation and relaxation, head over to Shiohitashi Spa Ryoma Park, a site dedicated to the story of Sakamoto Ryoma and his wife. Here, you’ll find a park that houses a humble shrine to the famous samurai, a foot bath and onsen and a small museum (Japanese only).

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

Opening hours and pricing vary depending on the establishment. 

 

How To Get There

Address

By train

Take the Hisatsu Line and get off at Kirishima Onsen station. From there, you’ll need to take local buses or taxis to get around the resort town. 

By car

 Take the Kyushu Expressway and get off at the Yokogawa IC. Follow the signs for Kirishima Onsen Town. 

Where To Stay

Kirishima Onsenkyo Kirishima Miyama Hotel
  • 3900-3 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥8,850 - ¥17,700
  • 4.32/5 (490 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Kirishima Kokusai Hotel
  • 3930-12 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥11,200 - ¥106,400
  • 4.15/5 (1,726 reviews)
  • 0.1 km
Kirishima Kanko Hotel
  • 3885 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥11,000 - ¥12,100
  • 4.31/5 (2,468 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
La Vista Kirishima Hills
  • 3812-6 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥25,200 - ¥32,900
  • 4.57/5 (1,104 reviews)
  • 0.5 km
Kirishima Seiryuso
  • 3806 Makizonocho Takachiho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima, 899-6603 Japan
  • ¥23,000 - ¥102,600
  • 0.6 km

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