Autumn 2018 update…

Once again it’s my favourite season here in Kyushu,not too hot and not too cold…with mostly clear skies and colorful autumn leaves all around. Kurokawa is no exception,autumn colours providing a beautiful backdrop to any onsen hopping you may choose to indulge in this season. Onsen-hopping passes are still a bargain at ¥1300 a go ,allowing you to try three different  public outdoor baths in Kurokawa within a 6-month period.

 

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River view near Yumerindo

 

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View of entrance to Noshiyu

 

Sadly the main  event of the year in Kurokawa,a Thanksgiving festival in early October was cancelled due to the approach of a large typhoon. Since we are well into autumn now,a recommended activity for this time of year is to try one of the three hiking routes in and around Kurokawa,all starting from near the Visitor Center. Maps in English should be available from the Visitor Center,which has recently had a facelift!  Still a rather small space….but do pop in and see if Aoi is there at the information desk,she speaks excellent English and is willing to chat and offer advice.

 

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Entrance to recently refurbished Visitor Center

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Welcoming smiles from Aoi at the Information Desk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within Visitor Center opening hours you may also use this recently installed Money Exchange machine for changing your home currency into Japanese yen .*please note this is not an ATM ,you still need to visit a bank in the neighbouring town of Oguni,or the Family Mart in Minami Oguni for those!

 

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Money Exchange inside the Visitor Center

 

Finally,in this update a reminder to look out for the bamboo illuminations in Kurokawa from the end of December….quite a breathtaking sight along the river after on a winter’s evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kurokawa Onsen Visitor Center and `Bechinkan`; New Year Taiko Drums 2017

A quick round up of events  as 2016 nears an end….

Between now and the end of March 2017 enjoy an  evening stroll in the center of Kurokawa and you can view the beautiful warm light given off by hand-carved bamboo lanterns erected along the river.

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Bamboo lanterns

If you enjoy listening to Japanese drums,then make sure to visit Kurokawa on one of the first three Sundays in January. There will be a performance by Yamanami Taiko group at NOON on January 1st,8th and 15th in the square in front of `Bechinkan` (just go down the stairs behind the Visitor Center)

 

VISITOR CENTER `Kazenoya`

When you visit Kurokawa Onsen,make sure to pop in the Visitor Center if you need any help or advice,the staff speak a little English and are very helpful. In the Visitor Center ( open daily from 9am to 6pm) you can:

-Buy Onsen-hopping passes and get English Onsen-hopping maps

-Get various maps and guides in English,such as the Hiking Map or maps/guides of the Minami Oguni area

-Book a room at a ryokan (if vacancies are available)

-Rent an audio guide (English available)

-Ask about local transport

-Buy a small present,drinks etc in the shop

-Leave luggage in coin lockers nearby

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Entrance to the Visitor Center `Kazenoya`.

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Inside the Visitor Center/shop

 

`BECHINKAN`

Take the steps down from the Visitor Center and you will also find the `Bechinkan` which offers:

-Various Maps and guides

-Yukata robe rental

-Electric bicycle rental (except in winter months)

-English-speaking staff

-A large tatami `Relaxation Lounge` where you can enter free of charge to take a rest and cool down in summer (or warm up in winter) . Take off your shoes of course and please do not smoke or disturb others using the lounge. This is also where visitors wishing to rent a yukata can get changed.

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Entrance to the `Relaxation Lounge` open 10am to 5pm daily.

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Entrance to `Bechinkan`

 

Enjoy the winter holidays,and be sure to come and visit Kurokawa Onsen to warm up in the hot spring waters.

One of the best onsen experiences I have ever had in Kurokawa was bathing one evening in an outdoor bath while snowflakes landed and melted on my face…..it was worth the 5km/hour drive home in the snow,which had settled considerably while we were bathing. Be prepared if you do visit in winter,snow tires or chains will be necessary if it snows on some of the steep and windy roads leading to the inns located on the outskirts of the Kurokawa Onsen area.

Best Wishes everyone for the New Year 2017!

 

 

Summer Event: Onsen Table Tennis,July 13th 2014

Sounds like a fun afternoon tomorrow (Sunday 13th July) in Kurokawa with a rather unusual table tennis tournament.
Stop by from midday and perhaps you`ll have a chance to have a go,but the twist is,there are no bats,instead you use a slipper,washing bowl,fan,onsen-hopping token or pot lid?!?!?!?

For the actual tournament  (prizes awarded)I believe there may be a small charge to join. Teams are expected from various onsens in Kyushu and even Yamaguchi.

It will take place in the area behind the Visitor Center in Kurokawa Onsen from midday onwards.

 

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This gives you an idea,doesn`t look easy with those Onsen-hopping tokens!