Kurokawa Onsen (黒川温泉), literally meaning Black River Hot Spring, is a facinating mountain area densely filled with hot springs. The water has a dark hue and is known through Japan. The town itself is very traditional and old fashioned, with few concrete building and a laid-back atmosphere.
Budget travel tips
- A great place to stop off with the SUNQ Pass, possibly between Kumamoto or Mount Aso and Beppu.
- Accommodation is be super pricey, so just pop in as you travel east or west, or book very early. Arrive early, have a soak, then head off to your next destination!
- Get a wooden pass (tegata) to access 3 of the hot springs in one day (1300 yen). Get it from the information center of one of the hotels (Ryokan) in town.
Things to do
Budget Bath Houses
There are two simple, unmanned public baths in town for those on a budget. Jizoyu (200 yen) is in the center of town and Anayu (100 yen) is a little bit along the river.
Wooden Pass (tegata) Bath Houses
There are many spread out around town, so get a map at the information center. The best is Yamamizuki, with outdoor baths surrounded my mountain woods. Kiyashiki has a good variety of baths and a mixed outdoor bath. Kurokawaso has a huge outdoor bath.
Cost: All 500 yen (or visitors can use the tegata pass)
Open: All 8:30 to 21:00
How to get there
With a Japan Rail Pass, Kyushu Northern Pass or Kyushu Rail Pass
There is no train to Kurokawa Onsen, but you can take a train to Hita, then a highway bus from there to save on the bus fare (70 mins, 1850 yen).
Without a rail pass
From Fukuoka, take a direct bus to Kurokawa Onsen (2.5 hours, 3090 yen). Reserve at least the day before at the station or airport. Kurokawa Onsen is also accessible with the SUNQ Pass from Fukuoka and other towns in Kyushu.
Hostels and cheap hotels
Check prices (very early!) on Booking.com. A nice place to splash out for one night though!