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Hi, I will be visiting Kyushu for the first time in April. My family and I will be staying in Kumamoto for a few days and would like to do an overnight stay in one of the Kurokawa onsen.
We like to try an outdoor bath, but sleep in three different rooms ( son and daughter cannot sleep together as one of them snores). Can you please recommend at least one or two Kurokawa spa Ryokan?
Sorry to be so late in seeing your comment and replying,have you managed (did you manage) to find a suitable place to stay? My aim on this blog is to write about the various outdoor baths,so I am not entirely familiar with the rooms available at all of the various ryokan. Most of the traditional ryokan offer large rooms for families and groups rather than single occupants,but somewhere like Yusai or San-Ai Kogen (which are both hotels rather than traditional ryokan) may have rooms for single occupancy. Any other time I would recommend Wakaba Ryokan as they speak some English and are always willing to try to help.
You could also try contacting the Kurokawa Onsen Ryokan Association,they have a `Contact Us` form on the English section of their website and have some English-speaking staff. Just click on the `Official Website` link at the top of this page.
there seems to be many conflicting information online regarding the policy on tattoos in Kurokawa onsen…
As I am planning my trip through Japan and I would like to stay in Kurokawa in a ryokan too. I cannot patch up the tattoos (because fairly large one on back and arm). I also know it often depends on visiting hours, if there are guests at that time, change of policy, private baths are usually no issue, …..
I also read some ryokan there don’t even allow guests with tattoos in public spaces.
Could you give me more info about that? What ryokan to book and which baths to visit or to avoid..
ps I talk some basic Japanese so when doing the bath tour, I can ask if they are allowed or not, just to avoid any embarrassment or difficult situations anyway but I can not book a (pricey) ryokan and then not being allowed to bathe anywhere or even be refused when I show up.
Sorry,I didn’t notice your comment until recently.
The policy at Kurokawa Onsen does seem to be the same as elsewhere in Japan,and large tattoos are not allowed in the public bathing areas.
Your options would be to book a room with a private bath at your Ryokan of choice ( slightly more expensive) or book a slot in one of the private ‘family baths’ that are available for a fee at some Ryokan ( usually ¥1000 for 50 mins).
Small ‘fashion’ tattooes are not a problem at the public outdoor baths or Ryokan in Kurokawa.
One Ryokan,Wakaba,does in fact allow guests with large tattooed to use the public baths. ( I have this information from the manager himself!)
I’ll go to Kurokawa during New year. Will there be snow during those time of year?
Quite possibly there will be snow at this time of year!
Kurokawa is not covered in snow all winter,but it does snow several times between December and March. Some roads may be slippy if you travel early in the morning or at night,but the main roads should be cleared and gritted.
Be prepared for the chance that there might be snow,check with your Ryokan or rental car office before you set off too!
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