Kurokawa Onsen update and mini video Part 1!




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.



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



A short walk out of Kurokawa center…



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?



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.



Stairs next to Visitor Center lead to `Bechinkan`


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.



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.


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)…..



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……..



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…..



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…..



Just one more cup of coffee….


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


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!


See you next time!