`WELCOME KYUSHU` ONSEN CONTEST 2016. Please vote for Kurokawa Onsen!

There must be a fair amount of friendly rivalry between the onsens in neighbouring prefectures of Kyushu! Last year,two onsens in Oita prefecture pipped Kurokawa Onsen to the post,forcing it into third place in this contest run by Kyushu Tourism. Currently,Kurokawa Onsen (Kumamoto Pref.) is in second place with 239 votes,a bit behind Yufuin Onsen (Oita Pref.) with 278….voting runs until January 15th ,2017 so there is still time to cast your vote and send the link to friends or relatives who have also visited Kurokawa Onsen. (Foreign tourists in Japan or overseas may vote,the contest prize is a pair of vouchers towards a one-night stay in an as-yet-undisclosed inn in Kyushu). Just click through on the heart mark of your chosen onsen (KUROKAWA ONSEN of course!) and that takes you to a second page to VOTE and enter your details if you would like to be entered in the prize draw.

PLUS,there is lots of useful information on the site on Kyushu Onsen,in English,Japanese and Chinese .Please go to the Welcome Kyushu website 

to cast your vote for Kurokawa Onsen!


Thank you!





UPCOMING EVENT: Morning Hike Sunday,November 6th 2016

Good morning!

Unfortunately a wet and cloudy one,but we expect better weather on Sunday,November 6th this year for our biannual hiking event.

This time,we are planning a course of approximately one and a half hours,uphill but not a difficult walk. Lunch,a bottle of water and free entrance to one outdoor bath is included in the price. At 1pm,after lunch,you are then free to return to downtown Kurokawa (on foot).

Date: Sunday,November 6th 2016

Time: 10am for a 10:30am start

Place: Meet at Parking area 1 (across from Nishimura Inn,5 mins walk from Visitor Center)

Fee: 1500 yen per adult, 1000yen  per child (children free if lunch is not required)

A packed lunch,water and entrance to one outdoor bath is included in the price

* Please contact the organisers at `Bechinkan` (an office located downstairs behind the Visitor Center) if you would like to reserve a place,as numbers may be limited.  Tel: 0967-48-813o

Japanese flyer follows


UPCOMING EVENT `Onsen Thanksgiving Festival` October 1st and 2nd,2016

If you happen to be in the area don`t miss this fun, local event in Kurokawa Onsen!

This year,the  Kurokawa Onsen Kanshasai or `Onsen Thanksgiving Festival` will take place as usual over the weekend of October 1st and 2nd. Starting from 3pm on october 1st there will be a variety of food stalls,games,displays and events ,mostly located  in the car park of the Visitor Center. There will be lottery tickets on sale,and the draw (prizes last year included Kurokawa Onsen accommodation coupons) will take place at 10pm on the main stage,followed by fireworks.

I just missed the `bottom sumo` last year,or rather,they decided at the last moment to make the men do `bottom sumo` and the women do arm wrestling……These events are scheduled for 7:30pm,but do arrive early if you want to join in as they often change the schedule of events at the last moment

On Sunday October 2nd there will be a colourful parade advertsised as an `Edo period time slip` starting from the San-ai Rest House around 10:30am,proceeding down into the streets of central Kurokawa and then back. Please be prepared for traffic congestion,with some streets (mainly Shimokawabata and Kamikawabata dori) closed to traffic between 11:30am and 1:30pm.  During the weekend of the festival there will be extra parking available just further along route 442 (keep going past the Gas Station,through the tunnel and it will be signposted on the right) with a shuttle bus provided.


Japanese poster and simple map showing parade route on October 2nd and extra parking area (in yellow)




30 years of `Nyuto tegata` Onsen passes in Kurokawa Onsen!

To celebrate 30 years of their `nyuto tegata` onsen-hopping passes,Kurokawa Onsen have brought out a special commemorative edition!

The cost is the usual  1300yen for a normal-sized one,which allows one guest to visit three different outdoor hotspring baths within a period of 6 months (be sure to pick up an English map with details of the various baths when you purchase your onsen-hopping pass!) OR,if you are visiting with a group of up to ten friends,why not buy a giant pass ,30 bathing opportunities for only 12,000yen?

They look like this,and can be purchased at the Visitor Center or at the reception desk at any of the 25  inns belonging to the Ryokan Association.



Commemorative Onsen-hopping passes,regular and giant size!


The stickers on the back of these commemorative passes are bright orange,and there is a special prize campaign running until March 2017.  When you visit a bath using your onsen-hopping pass the receptionist removes one of the stickers,and if this reveals a prize symbol you could win a  1000yen token for spending in certain local shops There are even some top prizes of 10,000yen vouchers towards booking a stay in a Kurokawa Ryokan!



Stickers on the commemorative passes are bright orange

Happy Onsen-hopping! It`s quieter than usual here in Kurokawa Onsen at the moment so you can probably enjoy an outdoor bath all to yourself…







Fundraising for the restoration of Aso Shrine,Kumamoto

Fundraising for Aso ShrineWith permission from the Kurokawa Onsen Association I`m posting with news of my efforts to raise money for the restoration of Aso Shrine in Aso,Kumamoto. During the major earthquakes in April 2016,the imposing main gate or `romon`collapsed,as did the main worship hall and several other buildings belonging to the shrine.

Kumamon is helping me collect donations…..


However,if you would like to donate with a credit card from overseas,please check here to donate through crowdfunding .

Aso Shrine is a very popular sightseeing destination for many who  pass through this part of Kyushu,visit Aso and stay at Kurokawa Onsen,let`s all do our bit to help with the restoration of this important cultural asset,which could take over 10 years….



Let`s see this…



Returned to this…image


Thank you for your help!