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.

 

IMG_1186

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

 

 

Heavy rain in Kurokawa and area July 6th,2017 and July 7th UPDATE

Good morning,

Overnight (from July 5th to 6th,2017) there has been extremely heavy rain in areas of Northern Kyushu,especially parts of  Fukuoka,Oita and Kumamoto prefectures. Please check your travel route if you are traveling to Kurokawa today as there may be some disruptions. Hotels and Ryokan are open as usual,but today onsen-hopping will not be possible after such heavy rain.

More rain is likely today,so please drive carefully or be prepared for some disruption to public transport along certain routes in northern Kyushu.

For up to date information,please call the Visitor Center on 0967-44-0076

Or contact the Ryokan where you have a reservation.

UPDATE on July 7th.

Thr rain is not quite as heavy today in the area,but unfortunately highway bus services to and  from Kurokawa have been disrupted. Currently there is no service running to and from Fukuoka,and the Kyushu Odan bus is not stopping at Kurokawa or Minami Oguni Town Hall. If you are taking the latter bus,please get off at San-Ai Resthouse and contact your Ryokan,someone will pick you up for the 5 minute drive down into Kurokawa Onsen.

Onsen-hopping is available today,but not at Yamamizuki,Shinmeikan,Yamamizuki and Hozantei as these baths are located close to the river. There are also a few small landslides along some of the narrow roads in the area and one or two diversions.

 

IMG_1052

Taken earlier this month,hydrangeas along Ajisadori ,Kurokawa.

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Bus 5/22 to 6/1 in Aso/Kurokawa/Yufuin area

A chance  to try something quite different,a 5-course meal prepared by a top chef on a double-decker bus restaurant tour that runs twice a day (on selected dates) between Aso and Yufuin between 5/22 and 6/1.

The morning trip starts at 10:00am in Aso,and calls at Kurokawa on the way to Yufuin.

The late afternoon trip starts at 16:00 in Yufuin,calls at Kurokawa and returns to Aso.

One way takes 4 hours,the cost for transport,the meal and a drink is ¥10,800 per person.

Reservations are essential and places are in high demand ,but I`m hoping there will be more chances  to join this kind of tour again in future!

Tel :  080-3951- 1283

Japanese flyer and map

 

 

IMG_0510

IMG_0511

 

 

Shopping and Eating in Kurokawa # 11: Naka Restaurant

I am sometimes asked by hungry tourists to recommend a suitable place to eat  an inexpensive lunch in Kurokawa . Ajidokoro Naka ( 味処なか) is a small Japanese restaurant centrally  located near the river on Shimokawabata dori that won’t break the bank ,and is frequented by locals and tourists alike.

 

IMG_0439

Entrance to Naka Japanese restaurant

 

Set back  slightly from the street,it’s another of those unassuming restaurants that you could almost pass by,unsure as to whether it’s actually open for business or not!

 

IMG_0441

Luckily it’s open today!

 

English menus are available for the food,but there is no drinks list in English,so pointing at a bottle on the shelf or gesturing will probably get you served with your alcoholic beverage of choice. Prices start from around  ¥650 for a bowl of udon noodles with beef ,and the owner explained that as the cost of most dishes is low ,payment is cash in only .  Seating is Japanese style on cushions inside separate booths ,or there are a few seats at the counter.

 

IMG_0444

English menu at Naka Restaurant

 

IMG_0447

Dining area ,one of several booths inside Naka restaurant.

 

This is one of the few  drinking and eating establishments open in the evening (until 9pm) in Kurokawa,as most visitors are enjoying the delights of dining and bathing at their respective Ryokan. I’m sure there would be a warm welcome at Naka to anyone taking an evening stroll around town, who finds they are in need of a ‘top up’  meal or a drink or two!

 

SUMMARY

No frills Japanese dining and drinking

Open 10:30 to 21:00 most days ( but currently closed Tuesdays and Fridays owing to shortage of staff)

English menu. Very little English spoken ,but helpful staff.