Best season to visit Kurokawa Onsen is now!

Sunny autumn skies,cool crisp morning air,a sea of clouds over Aso and autumn colours  everywhere…in my opinion this simply is the best time of year to visit Kurokawa Onsen and area.

Now is the perfect time to pop over to Kurukawa Onsen for a day trip with your friends. Just purchase an onsen-hopping pass,rent a Yukata for the day if you like and spend the day wandering around town taking in the atmosphere and popping into the local cafes for coffee or lunch. A week day will be quieter,and during the period after checkout at 10am and check in at 3pm,you may even be lucky enough to have the bath to yourselves!

Feeling more energetic? Then pick up an English Hiking Map and set off on foot to see the spectacular views from Lover`s Hill (or rent an electric bicycle!). Once you return to the town center, relax in a hot spring bath and then maybe try out some of the autumn specials in the Roux cake shop or other specialities that are on offer around town.

 

Kurokawa autumn colours

 

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A short walk out of Kurokawa center…

 

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Leafy waters… (pond,not a bath!)

 

 

Yukata Rental in Kurokawa Onsen

Why not dress the part during your onsen-hopping day trip to Kurokawa Onsen?

 

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Getting ready for the yukata experience!

 

For several years now,yukatas have been available for rent from a small office (known    as`Bechinkan` べっちん館) tucked downstairs behind the Visitor Center.

 

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Stairs next to Visitor Center lead to `Bechinkan`

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Yukata Rental (right) Relaxation Room (left)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The office is open from 10 am to 4:30pm daily and for only ¥1500 you may select a colourful yukata and obi belt to wear for the rest of the day. Traditional Japanese sandals called `setta` are also part of the rental package,as well as a warm half-length jacket to pop on top in cooler weather.

 

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Entrance to the Bechinkan office and yukata rental

 

Helpful,English-speaking staff will help you put on your yukata in the comfort of the nearby `Relaxation Room` with lockers also provided for your regular clothes so you don`t have to worry about carrying them around with you all day!  Recent visitors from Singapore agreed that wearing the yukatas during their visit to Kurokawa was a wonderful experience and would recommend it to others,they also commented on the a large choice of colours and sizes. However,the rental service runs on a first come,first served basis so come early for the best choice!

Bechinkan tel no: 0967-48-8130

Opening hours: 10:00 to 16:30

 

 

 

Kurokawa Morning Picnic

A picnic breakfast in Kurokawa,what a fun idea! Yes,a real picnic,sitting on cosy blankets outdoors in the early autumn air at Shinsui Park just a short drive from the center of Kurokawa. A minibus will even pick you up from the Visitor Center and drop you off again after the picnic finishes at 9am.

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Sitting pretty at Kurokawa Morning Picnic

Planned almost to perfection,with everything provided for your early morning picnic,just bring your  healthy appetite .  Pick your spot in the park area,set out the goodies from your picnic basket ( freshly-made bread,homemade jam,flask of herb tea,thermos of warming soup, salad dressings and homemade yoghurt)…..

 

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Just some of the picnic goodies….

 

….then pop over to these welcoming ladies to pick up your glass of locally-grown salad, an onsen soft-boiled egg and select a drink……..

 

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These ladies were up before dawn preparing….

 

…..then warm up your real, locally-made sausage (made by a Meister sausage maker who lived and studied in Germany) on the barbecue grill ,grab another coffee and relax and take in the view…..

 

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Autumn morning in Shinsui Park

 

As the picnic draws to a close,you will have the chance to jump in the minibus for a short drive to take in the breathtaking views from `Lover`s Hill` while you enjoy just one more cup of coffee…..

 

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Just one more cup of coffee….

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View of the `Sleeping Buddha` from `Lover`s Hill` lookout.

PLEASE NOTE:

Currently ,the Morning Picnic is only available for guests staying at ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen and will be held on the dates  below (2017). Pick up  from the Visitor Center by minibus is approx 7:20am,the minibus will then return after the picnic finishes at 9am.

-October 21 (Sat) and 28 (Sat)

-November 6 (Mon) and 7 (Tues)

Please be sure to ask staff at your ryokan reception to book you a spot,as places are limited.

The cost and menu may vary slightly,currently it is ¥3000/adult ( your ryokan  will deduct the cost of their ryokan’s  breakfast  and recalculate your bill)

Lap blankets are provided,but please wear warm clothes as early mornings are quite chilly!

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See you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENT `Onsen Festival` October 7th and 8th, 2017

It`s that time of year again….a slight chill in the morning and evening air,the evenings drawing  in….autumn is here!  Be sure to pop along to this local festival for an entertaining evening if you are in the area on October 7th,when the Visitor Center car park becomes the focal point  for the annual `Kurokawa Onsen Thanksgiving Festival`.

Some food and drink stalls will be opening from 3pm in the afternoon,with events for children scheduled to start at 4pm. Various local bands will be playing on the stage throughout the evening,with a Kagura performance from 8:30 and Yamanami Taiko from 9:30pm. If you want to join in some silliness (past years have included bottom sumo contests!) then come to the main events area from around 7:30pm.  Throughout the evening raffle tickets will be on sale,and the main prizes are usually vouchers for an overnight stay at a  Kurokawa ryokan!  Please note that the raffle draw takes place rather late,from 10pm,and is followed by fireworks to round off proceedings at about 11pm.

If you are coming to Kurokawa by car,please follow signs to the overflow carpark a few minutes out of Kurokawa on route 442 past the Cosmos gas station,a shuttle bus will operate from the start of the festival until late.

On Sunday October 8th,a parade of children in costume and a portable shrine will start at 11:40 from a point across from the Cosmos gas station and follow a route along Kawabatadori Street to the police station. The main parade,advertised as an `Edo time slip` starts from midday and will follow the same route.

Japanese poster and simple map showing parade route  (red arrows) and extra parking (yellow P) follows…

黒川温泉感謝祭2017

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 12 : Raifu Gift Shop

If your afternoon stroll takes you on a circuit of Kurokawa Onsen (along Sakura Dori and then past the Police Station and on to Shimokawabata Dori) you may notice Raifu (来負)Gift Shop tucked away in the corner on the bend,although at first glance it could easily be mistaken for a private house.

 

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Raifu Gift Shop tucked in a corner…

 

Looking for something different to Kumamon or the usual mass-produced souvenirs? Raifu offers a variety of handmade items,ranging from unusual pottery bits and bobs (including jewellery) to dried flower craft , recycled kimono material and much more….

 

Pottery corner

Pottery corner

 

Inside Raifu Gift Shop

Inside Raifu Gift Shop

 

Call in for a browse around and you may find that unique little something you have been searching for!

SUMMARY

Open: 9:00 to 18:00 most days

Credit cards accepted