There are many unique onsen spots throughout Kyushu. We've highlighted some of them including Beppu Onsen yielding the highest number of springs and water amount in the country as well as Ibusuki Onsen's sand bath, etc!
Beppu Onsen is one of the staple onsen spots in Oita Prefecture, which is also known for the highest number of hot spring locations existing and amount of spring water being yielded in the entire country. 10% of the country's onsen spots exist here, and that number totals approximately 2,580. Out of that are locations such as Hamawaki, Beppu, Kamegawa, Kannawa, Kankaiji, Horita, Shibaseki, Myoban - dabbed as Beppu Hatto, or "the eight hot springs of Beppu." They each offer unique traits: different water contents and different sceneries. Some are large-scale spas favored by family visitors; some are secluded traditional spas in the mountains; and some are open-air baths with a spectacular views as you look out from the tub. Also while you are here, enjoy onsen hopping by utilizing Beppu Hatto Onsendo - visit 88 onsen spas and collect stamps at each location.DISCOVER MORE
Travel experts select the "Top 100 Onsens of Japan" every year, and Yufuin always finds itself within the top three without an exception here for the last several years. Though it is one of the most renowned and the most popular onsen spots, Yufuin shuns away from the stereotypical, mainstream extravegant image of itself. It is far more involved in more of a tranquil, peaceful environment and area development. Stronghold Mount Yufu and ethereal Lake Kinri are symbolic features of Yufuin as well. Mount Yufu in particular provides much of the springs the city produces. There are also many tourist-friendly features here such as communal baths, day-trip spas, cafés, craft studios, museums, and parks with trails.DISCOVER MORE
Located in the Tanohara River Gorge is Kurokawa Onsen, a renowned little onsen town consisted of nothing but traditional Japanese architecture. There is a plenty of ryokans here. The town is completely intergrated into the surrounding nature, and its tranquility and authenticity have brought so much attention that it's ranked No.1 in the nation for the 23rd "Top 100 Onsens of Japan" for atmosphere category. Just about all the ryokans here come with an open-air bath. Onsen tegata, or onsen pass, gets you in three of these locations and is a popular choice among visitors. Many roam around town in yukata trying to decide which onsen spot to hop in next, and some even come back time after time so that they would conquer all of them. It's without a doubt one of the most coveted onsen regions in the country.DISCOVER MORE
Ureshino Onsen is a staple onsen spot in Saga, even mentioned in a historical writing called Hizen Fudoki. It is also said to be the nation's one of the top three hot springs for rejuvenating and beautifying your skin. Sodium in the water creates more of a thickness to it, and it should make your skin silky smooth while feeling like you just shed a pound or two after bathing. The region flourished during the Edo period as it was a post station with many inns along the major passage Nagasaki Kaido. There are about 40 of those along the Ureshino River still operating and offering each of their unique spa experiences to visitors today. Using Yuyu Tickets is recommended in Ureshino - the ticket allows you to onsen hop at 24 different establishments for a quick bath. The local cuisine utilizing the spring water for food consumption also is a vibrant culture as well - Yureshino Onsen tofu is definitely something you would not want to miss while you are here.DISCOVER MORE
The kanji spelling for Unzen in old language used to read "onsen" - the region of Unzen has such a long history of onsen culture. The area advanced during the period between Edo and Meiji as a resort for expats from the west. Also known to be the place of Japanese Roman Catholic martyrdom during that time, Unzen hosts the first designated national park in the country as well as the 30 locations of Unzen Jigoku, or "Unzen Hell." The majority of the hot springs here contain sulfur and strong acid with colors varing from clear, milky, gray/ashy shades to anything inbetween. Another attractive feature in the region is the variety of beautiful scenery throughout four seasons: flowers of rhododendron kiusianum in spring, greenery in summer, foliage in spring, and art-like harm rime in the winter.
Kirishima - the land of legend and mythology where sun goddess's grandson descended. Kirishima Onsen region tucked deep in the midst of deistic Takachiho mountains is made up of eight hot springs of various sizes. The region has flourished as the "back room of Kagoshima" for many years, offering different varieties of ways for enjoying hot springs and unique beautiful sceneries. Hayashida Onsen gives an aerial view of Sakurajima; Maruo Onsen provides a bustling, traditional onsen-town feel with many visitors; while, Einoo Onsen had served as a hiding spot for the ruling Shimazu clan. There is a plenty of nature and leisure attractions here that many hikers and climbers come out to the area in the summer. Also found here are Kirishima Jingu where newly-wed Sakamoto Ryoma and his bride paid a visit during their honeymoon, Shiohitahionsen Ryoma Park where he has spent an extended period of time, as well as many walking trails and fun spots to drive by and stop by.
After Oita, Kagoshima Prefecture takes the second place in the most hot springs existing in the country. Located in the southeast of the Satsuma Peninsula, Ibusuki is home to some 800 hot springs. The city feels very tropic, while many inns here offer free-flowing onsen tubs - thanks to the abundance of hot springs it produces. There are communal baths including "Tonosamayu" where the Satsuma-domain ruling Shimazu clan had frequented, as well as various hotels and ryokans offering elaborate open-air baths, spectacular scenic baths, and many more. Something you can't leave out when talking about Ibusuki Onsen is the sand bath. Lie down on the sandy beach and cover up in the sand by the shore. The heat from the sand and the hot water beneath should get you sweating. It's a great way to refresh yourself.