Kirishima Onsen

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in Kirishima
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Maruo Onsen
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Kirishima Onsen () lies on the lower slopes of the Kirishima Mountains with a distant view over Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima. It is one of Japan's leading hot spring resorts with high quality, sulfuric hot spring waters and an interesting variety of outstanding bath facilities.

Kirishima Onsen covers a rather wide area and is made up of over a dozen separate hot springs. Among them, Maruo Onsen is the largest and the representative resort town of Kirishima Onsen with a high concentration of ryokan and hotels. More ryokan and hotels of various sizes are spread across the area.

Visitors to the area can enjoy the thermal waters by staying at one of the local ryokan or visiting a public bath. Furthermore, many ryokan open their bathing facilities to non-staying guests during the daytime for typically 500-1000 yen. Below is a list of some of Kirishima Onsen's best baths:

Kirishima Hotel
Daytime Hours: 11:00 to 17:00
Daytime Admission: 1000 yen
Overnight Stay: From 10,000 yen per person including 2 meals
The bath facilities of the Kirishima Hotel are among Japan's most unique. Located in a huge covered hall, they feature a spacious pool with a tall water fountain and various smaller pools around it. Somewhat kitschy but very enjoyable. A small section of the bath is reserved for women only, and the entire hall is for women only between 19:00 and 21:00.

Daytime Hours: 8:00 to 20:00
Daytime Admission: 500 yen
Overnight Stay: From 7,500 yen per person including 2 meals
Simple, slightly run down, but very atmospheric with pipes all over the place. Excellent, sulfuric waters in a mixed outdoor pool and several small, gender separated indoor pools. Small, simple, gender separated changing rooms. Reopened in July 2012 after closure due to eruption. Formerly known as Shinmoeso.

Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel
Daytime Hours: 14:00 to 22:00 (longer hours on weekends and holidays)
Daytime Admission: 850 yen
Overnight Stay: From 11,500 yen per person including 2 meals
The Iwasaki Hotel is one of Kirishima's largest hotels, and its baths are among Japan's biggest. There is a spacious indoor pool, a large outdoor pool and several smaller outdoor pools, all fed by sulfuric water and fully gender separated. The building and surrounding fence have seen better times.

Sakura Sakura
Daytime Hours: 10:00 to 20:00
Daytime Admission: 700 yen
Overnight Stay: From 8,500 yen per person including 2 meals
This remarkable public bath house with attached ryokan offers gender separated, medium sized indoor and outdoor pools. Its most unique attraction, however, is the slightly radioactive mud, transported in from a nearby hot spring source, which bathers can apply to their skin for a few minutes for skin beauty before washing it off in the pool.

Ryokojin Sanso
Daytime Hours: 12:00 to 15:00
Daytime Admission: 500 yen
Overnight Stay: From 10,000 yen per person including 2 meals
The views from the small outdoor pool are the main attraction of this ryokan's gender separated bathing facilities. There is also an indoor pool and a sauna.

Kirishima Kokusai Hotel
Daytime Hours: 11:00 to 15:00
Daytime Admission: 1000 yen
Overnight Stay: From 11,000 yen per person including 2 meals
This large ryokan complex offers two bath facilities for each gender. At one end of the ryokan are the main facilities with multiple indoor pools and a medium sized outdoor pool, while at the extreme opposite end of the hotel complex is another large, attractive outdoor pool (see photo).

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding

Get There and Around

Bus network around Kirishima:

Kirishima Onsen does not have the best public transportation network. As a result, it is best explored by rental car. Rental car outlets are available in Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and at Kagoshima Airport.

Most of the buses that serve the area are affiliated with the Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel. The most useful line connects JR Kirishima Jingu Station with the Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel (35 minutes, 520 yen, departures every 1-2 hours) via Kirishima Shrine and Maruo Onsen.

In addition, there are bus lines from JR Kirishima Onsen Station (35 minutes, 520 yen, departures every 1-3 hours) and from Kagoshima Airport (40 minutes, 710 yen, hourly departures) via Maruo Onsen to the Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel.

A fourth bus line, which is not affiliated with the hotel, connects Kirishima Shrine with JR Miyakonojo Station (70 minutes, 1320 yen, departures every 2-3 hours) in Miyazaki Prefecture.

How to get to and around Kirishima

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Page last updated: August 28, 2014