Autumn 2018 update…

Once again it’s my favourite season here in Kyushu,not too hot and not too cold…with mostly clear skies and colorful autumn leaves all around. Kurokawa is no exception,autumn colours providing a beautiful backdrop to any onsen hopping you may choose to indulge in this season. Onsen-hopping passes are still a bargain at ¥1300 a go ,allowing you to try three different  public outdoor baths in Kurokawa within a 6-month period.

 

7B2BE24A-4706-4C97-87D9-C26E9AE70D17

River view near Yumerindo

 

89656588-4EDA-4432-94EB-903360BCB66F

View of entrance to Noshiyu

 

Sadly the main  event of the year in Kurokawa,a Thanksgiving festival in early October was cancelled due to the approach of a large typhoon. Since we are well into autumn now,a recommended activity for this time of year is to try one of the three hiking routes in and around Kurokawa,all starting from near the Visitor Center. Maps in English should be available from the Visitor Center,which has recently had a facelift!  Still a rather small space….but do pop in and see if Aoi is there at the information desk,she speaks excellent English and is willing to chat and offer advice.

 

FFE4CE37-70DD-42DB-BE90-0842EE26F365

Entrance to recently refurbished Visitor Center

E623CFD0-119C-451B-88EB-19EE2F4F8E56

Welcoming smiles from Aoi at the Information Desk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within Visitor Center opening hours you may also use this recently installed Money Exchange machine for changing your home currency into Japanese yen .*please note this is not an ATM ,you still need to visit a bank in the neighbouring town of Oguni,or the Family Mart in Minami Oguni for those!

 

6B9ABC5A-D90F-4324-BFA7-19AC1EF8DB46

Money Exchange inside the Visitor Center

 

Finally,in this update a reminder to look out for the bamboo illuminations in Kurokawa from the end of December….quite a breathtaking sight along the river after on a winter’s evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainy season….free bathing day 6/26 (2018)

Onsen-hopping can still be an enjoyable pastime even during the rainy season,and not every day in June is wet and overcast! Several outdoor baths also have roofed areas,so you can take a dip without getting rained on  (Nishimura,Wakaba,Yumerindo and Yusai have a roofed section or try the cave baths at Shinmeikan or Waraku ,several inns also offer bathing at an indoor public bath and your onsen-hopping pass is also valid for these.

 

IMG_5091

 

COMING SOON!

Free bathing on June 26th,2018.

Every year in fact,in Kurokawa Onsen June 26th is designated as `free outdoor bath day`!  Day trippers to Kurokawa may use the public outdoor baths for free between 10am and 3pm,whereas if you are staying overnight as a guest at a Ryokan in Kurokawa you may use them between 8:30am and 9pm. Please  just make sure to pop into the Ryokan reception first before entering the public bathing areas.

 

NEW RESTAURANT in KUROKAWA

 

IMG_5089

 

Sakura-an (さくら庵) opened recently in Kurokawa,(moving into central premises recently operating as Fudo cafe) offering  Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba freshly-cooked on the grill,perfect for accompanying that cold glass of draught beer after your dip!

 

RELAXATION LOUNGE

Just a quick reminder that located  down the steps behind the Visitor Center there is a large air-conditioned tatami room which is available for use by visitors to Kuruokawa. It`s open between 10am and 5pm and is free. You may relax,take a nap and eat and drink here,but please be sure to be considerate to other users and leave the room in a clean and tidy condition.  Its the ideal place to cool down and recover after exploring the town on a humid afternoon…

 

 

IMG_5081

 

Kurokawa Onsen update and mini video Part 1!

 

IMG_0385

 

Spring is slowly but surely coming to Kurokawa Onsen…the mornings can be cool and crisp,yet the afternoons can heat up to over 15 or 16 ° C. Warm enough for an ice cream while you wander through town!

You’ll notice one or two areas where essential road repair and construction is going on in the center of Kurokawa if you visit at this time,and parking in the main Visitor Center car park is strictly limited as building work continues on Ryokan Nanjoen.  A little birdie tells me that some improvements will be going on at the Visitor Center itself later this year.

You can park at several other car parks in Kurokawa for free, one I often use is on the left just before the temporary traffic lights on Sakuradori. Or  continue past the Visitor Center and you’ll find several other numbered overflow  car parks  further down the road,although signs seem to be entirely in Japanese!

On a recent visit  my son made this fun and informative mini video about Kurokawa Onsen , please take a look  at Kurokawa Onsen part 1 on YouTube!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year 2018 in Kurokawa

Winter is the perfect season for spending a leisurely day in Kurokawa Onsen with your onsen-hopping pass (¥1300,good for three baths) and warming  up in an outdoor hot spring bath.

Over the New Year period,the outdoor baths are open as usual!  Most shops and cafes are also open,although you may find that many will take a day or two off in early January just after New Year.

If you are in Kurokawa on Monday Jan 1st,Sunday 14th or Sunday 21st there will be mochi rice cake-pounding and a Japanese drum performance held in the square behind the Visitor Center from 1pm (please do check at the Visitor Center in case the scheduled time for this event changes).

Bamboo illuminations along the river in the center of Kurokawa can also be viewed in the evenings from December 22nd until the end of March.

 

photo_29103822_1

Bamboo illuminations in central Kurokawa

 

Take care on the roads,especially early morning or at night if the weather is snowy . Temperatures can drop and there may be icy patches.

A Happy New Year of the Dog 2018!

 

 

 

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

 

image

A short walk out of Kurokawa center…

 

image

Leafy waters… (pond,not a bath!)