SPECIAL DISCOUNTS on booking.com for 2016 July/Aug/Sept Kyushu bookings!!




Just a quick heads up on this great offer that is starting July 19th ,2016!

SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR overseas visitors making bookings for hotel stays in KYUSHU on booking.com are available  from July 19th to September 30th,2016 (period of stay must also be between these two dates)

Just go to the booking.com site and follow the usual steps for making a reservation,the  discount (if applicable) will be calculated and automatically deducted from the total that you will pay at the property/properties.

For a stay in KUMAMOTO or OITA prefectures this discount could be between ¥4,000 and ¥20,000

For a stay elsewhere in KYUSHU the discount could be between ¥3,000 and ¥15,000


PLEASE NOTE that this is a limited offer,available until the  allocated funds for discounts run out,so make sure to BOOK EARLY ON  during the campaign. Also,although the campaign starts very soon I haven`t been able to find any information in English,these details were supplied by an Innkeeper in Kurokawa Onsen who had received details of the campaign in Japanese only!

Further `hot` news from my Innkeeper friend  is that Expedia are also starting a similar discount campaign from July 22nd,2016. So please check out their site also when you make a booking from overseas for a stay in Kyushu between now and the end of September 2016!



30 years of `Nyuto tegata` Onsen passes in Kurokawa Onsen!

To celebrate 30 years of their `nyuto tegata` onsen-hopping passes,Kurokawa Onsen have brought out a special commemorative edition!

The cost is the usual  1300yen for a normal-sized one,which allows one guest to visit three different outdoor hotspring baths within a period of 6 months (be sure to pick up an English map with details of the various baths when you purchase your onsen-hopping pass!) OR,if you are visiting with a group of up to ten friends,why not buy a giant pass ,30 bathing opportunities for only 12,000yen?

They look like this,and can be purchased at the Visitor Center or at the reception desk at any of the 25  inns belonging to the Ryokan Association.



Commemorative Onsen-hopping passes,regular and giant size!


The stickers on the back of these commemorative passes are bright orange,and there is a special prize campaign running until March 2017.  When you visit a bath using your onsen-hopping pass the receptionist removes one of the stickers,and if this reveals a prize symbol you could win a  1000yen token for spending in certain local shops There are even some top prizes of 10,000yen vouchers towards booking a stay in a Kurokawa Ryokan!



Stickers on the commemorative passes are bright orange

Happy Onsen-hopping! It`s quieter than usual here in Kurokawa Onsen at the moment so you can probably enjoy an outdoor bath all to yourself…







Update #5 on Kurokawa Onsen

The center of Kurokawa Onsen is a little quieter than normal,with inns,baths,shops and restaurants open and waiting for your visit!  Temperatures for May are perhaps a little higher than usual,but the streets are green and shady….and there are plenty of shops selling ice cream and cool drinks.

Perfect photo opportunities too along the river….





Buses are running between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Kurokawa close to a normal schedule,with a slight detour near Tsuetate which doesn`t add any extra time to the journey.

A bus from Kumamoto to Kurokawa (then on to Yufuin and Beppu) is running once a day. From 5/16 the bus also stops at Aso Station and Uchinomaki. The bus  leaves from in front of Kumamoto Station,stop 3, at 12:15 and arrives in Kurokawa at 14:55.

The bus from Kurokawa back to Kumamoto leaves at 10:35  (return includes a stop at Cuddly Dominion too at 11:35) and arrives back at Kumamoto Station at 13:11

Please do CHECK the schedules before your journey as this is a temporary schedule in effect from May 16,2016.

Kumamoto Kotsu Center  tel: 096-325-0100

Kurokawa Onsen Visitor Center  tel: 0967-44-0076



By road,access is possible from Kumamoto if you take the scenic `Milk Road` from Ozu (Route 45) , then on to Minami Oguni (Kurokawa) on Route 212.

From Fukuoka ,Hita and the North if you exit at Hita IC you will need to follow the diversion on the so-called `Farmroad` OR  exit at Kokonoe IC and take route 210 then 387.   (This is due to a landslide on route 212 between Oyama and Matsubara dam).



All in business as usual apart from San-Ai Kogen hotel which will reopen in August 2016.

Kurokawaso is scheduled to reopen in the autumn .

Nanjoen Ryokan (just across from the Visitor Center) is currently closed,but according to the website the outdoor baths are open as normal for visitors.


Thank you,and we look forward to seeing you soon in Kurokawa Onsen!












Fundraising for the restoration of Aso Shrine,Kumamoto

Fundraising for Aso ShrineWith permission from the Kurokawa Onsen Association I`m posting with news of my efforts to raise money for the restoration of Aso Shrine in Aso,Kumamoto. During the major earthquakes in April 2016,the imposing main gate or `romon`collapsed,as did the main worship hall and several other buildings belonging to the shrine.

Kumamon is helping me collect donations…..


However,if you would like to donate with a credit card from overseas,please check here to donate through crowdfunding .

Aso Shrine is a very popular sightseeing destination for many who  pass through this part of Kyushu,visit Aso and stay at Kurokawa Onsen,let`s all do our bit to help with the restoration of this important cultural asset,which could take over 10 years….



Let`s see this…



Returned to this…image


Thank you for your help!


Update #4 on Kurokawa Onsen after the Kumamoto Earthquakes (bus from Kumamoto to Beppu now running!)

Its`s a beautiful morning,sunny and breezy here in this part of Kyushu after a wet and blustery day yesterday.




Getting ready to welcome visitors for Golden Week


So….all in all a perfect day for a stroll around Kurokawa Onsen , a dip and a bite to eat. I`m happy to report that my favourite cake shop in Kurokawa is also open again now!  Visitors are returning to Kurokawa Onsen to enjoy `Golden Week`.


Fresh green foliage…



Fresh choux cream buns…


















This brief update is just to let you know that almost all Ryokan  and baths are in operation now,with the exception of:

Kurokawa So,Kounoyu,Nanjoen (reopening date not yet decided,but baths are already open at Kounoyu)

San -Ai Kogen Hotel (reopening 8/1)

Also,the baths at Yusai and Misato cannot be used at the moment



From 5/1 there is ONE bus a day from Kumamoto to Beppu via Kurokawa and Yufuin and ONE in the opposite direction. Please check on the Kyushu Odan Bus website for exact details,or call the Kurokawa Visitor Center (81 0967-44-0819) or the Kyusanko Bus Center (81 096-325-0100) as this information is likely to change.

According to the Japanese schedule,from 5/1:


Kumamoto Station (Stop 3) 12:15

Kumamoto Airport 13:00

Kurokawa 14:38

Yufuin Station 16:23

Beppu Station 17:14



Beppu Station 8:09

Yufuin Station 9:00

Kurokawa  10:45

Kumamoto Airport 12:15

Kumamoto Station  13:05


Enjoy the rest of Golden Week and please don`t hesitate to visit Kurokawa Onsen now ,or  in the near (or even more distant)  future!