Kirishima Onsen (霧島温泉) 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.
Tourists 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 500-1200 yen. Below is a list of some of Kirishima Onsen's best baths:
Ratings: best of the best best of Japan outstanding
Bus network around Kirishima:
Public transportation around Kirishima Onsen deteriorated terribly during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, it is best explored by rental car. Rental car outlets are available in Miyazaki, Miyakonojo, Kagoshima and at Kagoshima Airport.
The most useful bus line connects JR Kirishima Jingu Station with Maruo Onsen (30 minutes, 560 yen, departures every 1-4 hours) via Kirishima Shrine before terminating at the Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel. In addition, there are bus lines from JR Kirishima Onsen Station (25 minutes, 520 yen, departures every 2-5 hours; no service on weekends and public holidays) and from Kagoshima Airport (35 minutes, 760 yen, departures every 1-4 hours) to Maruo Onsen and further to the Kirishima Iwasaki Hotel. Another bus line connects Kirishima Shrine with JR Miyakonojo Station (70 minutes, 1260 yen, every 2-5 hours) in Miyazaki Prefecture.