Kyushu is the subtropical southernmost island to make up Japan’s main islands. Its onsen provide a different experience to its northern cousins, and shouldn’t be left off your itinerary if you’re exploring the many ways to hot spring through Japan.
For example, Beppu is the undisputed hot spring capital of Japan, producing more hot spring water than anywhere else. As such, the city boasts an impressive array of onsen. For those interested in the varied ecologies of the onsen, Beppu’s attraction include various ‘hells,’ which are themed hot springs (often coloured) not suitable for bathing.
Unlike its mountainous cousins, Ibusuki on the Satsuma Peninsula offers seaside onsen. Experience the healing powers of an Ibusuki sand bath, right on the southern tip of Kyushu. Or for a more traditional onsen experience, head to Kurokawa Onsen, known as one of Japan’s best hot spring resorts. This onsen boasts a picturesque traditional town centre, not to mention incredible outdoor baths.
Those seeking a dose of culture alongside their relaxation might wish to happen upon the stunning Yufuin Onsen. Close to the ecologically fascinating Beppu, Yufuin boasts attraction of the artistic kind with a number of galleries, boutiques and cafes, as well as wonderful rural onsen.