October Event: 2015 Kurokawa Onsen Festival, October 3rd

It`s that time of year again, this year`s Kurokawa Onsen Festival will be taking place on Saturday,October 3rd near the Visitor Center  and in the surrounding streets. If you are staying in Kurokawa that night it should be quite lively downtown and well worth a look. I`m intrigued by the `bottom sumo` and may well give it a try this year…

Events start from around 3pm and end later than usual this year at 11pm,with fireworks. If you are driving,be prepared for some road closures or diversions downtown,especially during the evening parade.

Here is a schedule of the day`s events:

15:00 Food stalls open

16:00 Lucky draw for children (and a rumour that a certain big black bear with rosy red cheeks may be in the area!)

16:30 Games for children

17:30 Live music (brass band)

18:10 Parade in Samurai costume starts

18:40 Events for adults,arm-wrestling (men) and bottom sumo (women)

19:30 Live music

20:20 Parade in Samurai costume arrives

21:20 Yamanami Taiko drums

21:50 Mochi-rice ball tossing

22:00 Prize draw

22:50 Fireworks







Onsen-hop # 11 Yamabiko Ryokan

Very easy to spot the entrance to Yamabiko Ryokan (やまびこ旅館) if you are coming from Oguni by road,it`s the second on the left after the tunnel ,a little further along the road from Kurokawaso (Onsen-hop #1).  Enter through the main gate ,reception is on the left then follow a walkway off the lobby  to reach the outdoor baths.

Yamabiko Ryokan main gate

Yamabiko Ryokan main gate


As it was lunchtime there were very few onsen-hoppers even though Yamabiko Ryokan boasts the largest mixed bath in Kurokawa. The baths are swapped over every day,but unfortunately today the smaller bath was designated as the women`s bath and the larger one as the men`s/mixed one. Everything was very neat and tidy,environment-friendly body wash is also provided.


Entrance to women`s outdoor bath

Entrance to women`s outdoor bath

Neat and tidy washing area

Neat and tidy washing area














The waters were a beautiful shade of milky blue,and quite refreshing on this humid afternoon owing to the hydrogen carbonate spring waters (which can also soothe burns and help heal scars,says my guide).




Lots of nooks and crannies to explore,a (free) foot bath,boiled onsen eggs, gift shop,lounge for relaxing,koi carp in the pond, and a huge black Newfoundland on guard at the entrance. The bridge over the river provides access to the main Ryokan accommodation,and things probably get quite busy around here once it gets to check-in time!









In summary…easy access

Would I visit again? Yes,to try the larger bath…

Staff: Polite and busy!


Yukata Photo Contest in Kurokawa! Still time to enter!!

How cool do you look in a Yukata?

If you are staying in Kurokawa Onsen,or renting a Yukata from the `Bechin-kan`, before the end of September you can still enter the Yukata Photo Contest!

It`s easy to enter,just send your photo in an e-mail by the Sept.30th closing date to:


and indicate if you are entering the `FAMILY`  `COUPLE` or `FRIEND`category.

Prizes in each category include accommodation coupons and 5000yen shopping vouchers!

Japanese leaflet follows…