Onsen Hopping in Kurokawa Onsen

Kurokawa Onsen Hopping: My Pick of Hot Spring Bath

posted in: Kyushu Japan | 0

Last updated on April 27th, 2024

Read on how we enjoyed and fully used on the Nyuto Tegata with onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen. Our best pick on hot spring bath included.

One of the must-do things in Kurokawa onsen is soaking into the natural hot spring water. There are various authentic onsen available to try on when getting around in Kurokawa onsen. It can be head-ache to choose from up to 24 ryokan list. Thankfully the decision is made slightly easier with the Kurokawa Onsen Hopping Pass.

Kurokawa Onsen Hopping

Firstly, we purchased our Wooden Onsen Pass (¥1,300) at the tourist information center. The Kurokawa Onsen Hopping Pass (Nyuto Tegata, 入湯手形) can access up to three different onsen of your choice. It is valid within six months but you can easily finish it within one or two days.

Before the trip, we already browse through all the ryokan listed and has a brief idea on what we want to try on. Our best pick for onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen are Yamamizuki, Yama no Yado Shinmeikan and Okunoyu. We also spend one night in Ryokan Ikoi and fully utilized the private bath during our stay.

Below is the list of baths that we tried out during our visit to Kurokawa onsen.

  • Yamamizuki with onsen pass
  • Yama no Yado Shinmeikan with onsen pass
  • Okunoyu with onsen pass
  • Ryokan Ikoi (Staying one night)

Kurokawan Onsen Hopping#1: Yamamizuki


Our first vote goes for Yamamizuki (山水木日式旅館). This is also the best pick that we had made during our onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen. It is popular among the visitors and probably the most beautiful open-air bath in Kurokawa onsen.

Yamamizuki located away from town with about 10 minutes drive or 20 minutes walk required. Free shuttle service available for guest even without staying in Yamamizuki. From Tsukemonoya Pickles Shop, we took the shuttle van to Yamamizuki.

Daytime Access to Yamamizuki Bath

There are a total of two outdoor baths (1 for men and 1 for women), two indoor baths ( 1 for men and 1 for women) with gender-separated. Additional one private bath for hotel guests or additional ¥2,000 for non-hotel guests for 50 minutes usage.

Difference entrance to Bathing Area

The whole hotel area is full of serenity and tranquil atmosphere. Follow the well-marked sign, we proceed to the bathing area to enjoy our first soak in Kurokawa onsen.

Yamamizuki Hot Spring Bath

For daytime access with onsen hopping to Yamamizuki, guests can try on their outdoor and indoor bath. We love our time soaking into hot spring, surrounded by natural settling. The open-air bath area is located beside the wood along the riverside. One of the best moments for my visit to Kyushu.

While Yamamizuki worth to have another post to introduce on their hot spring facilities, transportation arrangement. Please continue on our onsen hopping experience in Yamamizuki.

Daytime Admission: 600 yen (1 stamp on Onsen Hopping Pass)
Operating Hours: From 8:30 to 17:30

Kurokawan Onsen Hopping#2: Yama no Yado Shinmeikan

Yamanoyado Shinmeikan

Next, we back to the town area and continue on our onsen hopping. The Yama no Yado Shinmeikan (山の宿 新明館) is our second choice on our list. It is the most iconic building in Kurokawa onsen and famous for its cave bath.

Wooden structure located alongside the river and reachable by a picturesque footbridge. Many people were taking photo of this traditional ancient design building.

Onsen Hopping in Shinmeikan

For daytime access with onsen hopping pass, visitors can be using the one woman only cave bath, one mix gender cave bath, and one mix gender outdoor bath.

We had another stamped on Nyuto Tegata for access to Yama no Yado Shinmeikan. The reception explained that the entrance of the bathing area could be reached by following the side path alongside the building.

Mix Gender Cave Bath in Shinmeikan

Read from people reviews on mix gender baths, you will need to pass through the walking path with people wandering along the street on the other riverbank (correct me if I’m wrong). I had a quick peep at the entrance of mix bath and does not dare to try on it.

Entrance To Women Only Cave Bath

We proceed to the women’s only cave bath. There are two entrances located at the left and right sides. Out of our surprise, the changing area is very very simple. There were only rack for putting the clothes on the basket, that’s it. No shampoo or soap is provided. The locker is located outside with 500 yen required.

We quickly walked into the bath area and soaked into the hot spring after cleaning on the body.

Cave bath in Suimeikan

Shinmeikan Long Cave Bath

The rocky cave bath was a quick shadow with a warm temperature. It is dark with steaming moisture inside the cave bathing area.

We are not a fan of the cave bath but it is worth to experience once when visiting here. It can be crowded if many people are soaking inside the cave bath.

Resting Area in Shinmeikan

My friend does not enjoy it and only soak for about 10 minutes. There is a resting area outside the bathing area where you can have some rest while waiting.

In short, it is worth to try on the cave bath in Yama no Yado Shinmeikan and listed in one of the onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen. It is a unique experience for a hot spring bath even in Japan.

Daytime Admission: 500 yen (1 stamp on Onsen Hopping Pass)
Operating Hours: From 8:30 to 19:00

Kurokawan Onsen Hopping#3: Okunoyu

Okunoyu Kurokawa Onsen

Next on, Okunoyu (奥の湯) for our onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen. It is also one of the popular picks for visitors and famous with its natural green surrounding.

Oku no Yu Onsen

Various of onsens bath including the private and mixed bath for guests to try on. There are a total of three private baths but unfortunately for in-house guests only. While daytime access visitors can try on their 3 mix outdoor bath, 1 mix gender indoor bath, 1 female only outdoor bath, and 1 mix gender cold water sauna bath.

Daytime Admission: 500 yen (1 stamp on Onsen Hopping Pass)
Operating Hours: From 8:00 to 23:00

Kurokawan Onsen Hopping#4: Ryokan Ikoi

Ikoi Ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen

Next on Ryokan Ikoi (いこい旅館) for onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen. We spend one night in Ryokan Ikoi. But it is worth to introduce and include Ryokan Ikoi into onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen. It is an atmospheric old inn located in the central town. The wooden three-story structure has been more than 50 years but still well maintain.

Onsen Bath in Ikoi Ryokan

There are list of onsen bath available in Ryokan Ikoi. But daytime access visitors can only try on a few of them. For female-only, there is one standing bath and outdoor beauty bath to try on. Added, there are three mix gender baths such as Taki-no (waterfall bath) and Utase-yu (Hot Spring Fall) and Boxy bath (Hako-yu).

Ryokan Ikoi Stand Bath Onsen

We personally very enjoy and like the standing bath in Ryokan Ikoi. The water level was just nice until the shoulder level and you will need to hold suspended floating bamboo poles. The temperature was so warm and I feel so comfortable soaking in the hot spring water.

Daytime Admission: 500 yen (1 stamp on Onsen Hopping Pass)
Operating Hours: From 8:30 to 21:00

Related post: Continue to read on our one night stay in Ryokan Ikoi if you want to know more about this traditional inn in Kurokawa onsen.

Overall: Best Onsen Bath in Kurokawa Onsen

Best Pick For Onsen Hopping in Kurokawa Onsen

Together with the ryokan stayed, we tried on four different hot spring baths by doing onsen hopping in Kurokawa onsen within two days. We can’t claim that we tried on most beautiful onsen in town as each bath unique in its way. But can’t deny that we love the onsen bath surrounded with traditional and natural settling.

If you are only limited time and would like to get the best pick on Kurokawa onsen hopping for your day trip, we would suggest going for Yamamizuki for its open-air natural view bath, Ryokan Ikoi for its standing bath and Suimeikan for its cave bath. In this case, you are trying all the three different hot spring baths in Kurokawa onsen.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check our Best Ryokan List: Where To Stay in Kurokawa Onsen if you are looking for the best hotel for your perfect stay in Kurokawa Onsen.

Related Kurokawa Onsen travel post:

Travel to Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Aso and other attractions in Kyushu? Read on our below travelogue below.

Northern Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kurokawa Onsen, Beppu, Yufuin, Kitakyushu, and more):

Southern Kyushu (Miyazaki, Takachiho Gorge):