Although the path leading to the entrance to the centrally-located Fumoto Ryokan (ふもと旅館） leads directly off Shimokawabata-dori you could easily blink and miss it! Better to use the cake shop `Roku` as a guide,the path to Fumoto is on the opposite side of the road.
The Inn itself seemed a hive of activity,but after crossing a quaint wooden bridge over to the outdoor baths on the opposite riverbank and climbing rather a lot of stone steps it was quiet,apart from the sound of the water and one or two cheerful birds. The rocky bath was secluded and atmospheric, surrounded by dense bamboo and foliage which allowed in only a few of the low,late afternoon rays of autumn sunlight. Perfect temperature for me,so I enjoyed a rather longer than usual dip today without overheating or feeling dizzy.
Neat and simple outdoor washing area included shower, body soap,conditioner etc .Lockers ,hairdryer etc were provided in the well-heated changing room (very important as the colder weather approaches!) .
Meanwhile,Kurokawa Onsen is a blaze of autumn colour,catch it while you can!
…and nearby walking trails lead to views like these…
In summary….central location,but lots of steps up to the bath
Would I visit again? Yes,if I can manage the above
Staff: Busy,but spoke a little English