An audacious claim in the title? Maybe. But one bathe in this onsen and you will agree. With a rustic exterior, mineral deposits all around the bath house and bathtub, it’s sure to raise interest in the onsen lovers out there, as well as the onsen fans of Kagoshima. Myoken Onsen’s Shusuiyu is definitely one fine example of a fresh onsen straight from the source.
An onsen inn to remember!
Shusuiyu, Myokenonsen is located in a hotspring town called Shinkawa-Keikoku Onsenkyo, set in Kagoshima’s Kirishima city. The nature out here changes with the four seasons and is blessed with the beautiful Amorigawa River. There are 11 onsen inns along this riverside and the most popular time to go is in the autumn when the leaves change.
Myokenonsen is well known as a high end onsen resort area from locals as well as from other prefectures today, but it has a long history of being a spa resort and there are smaller basic inns here as well.
Shusuiyu is one of those older well known simpler spas.
Visitor baths are only 200 JPY!
At Shusuiyu there is a shiatsu treatment facility as well as guest rooms, and the bath house. Also, you can find a community space for the guests to socialize as well as a croquet field. It has been operating since 1981 as an onsen inn at Myoken onsen. Guest stay rates start from a ridiculously cheap 2500 JPY per night per person yet because of its rustic charm and awesome hot spring water there are many repeat visitors.
Here you can even bathe as a visitor and that only costs 200 JPY! Many frequently use this as a daily onsen and in the evening it is flooded by the locals.
Visitors pay by depositing money into the bamboo pay box and enter.
It is a perfect system for such a relaxed onsen inn.
This is truly fresh flowing hot spring water!
The appeal of Shusuiyu is the unbalance between the amount of hot spring water that flows to their relatively small tub. The tub is only big enough for 2 to 3 people but the hot spring water that flows in is copious to say the least. This misbalance in tub size to water flow is what draws many onsen lovers here. I remember the first time I visited here being surprised at how much water was flowing in.
The naturally springing carbonated hot spring water consisting of sodium, calcium, and magnesium flows into the tub at an amazing rate and equal amounts of water overflow the tub. The bath room floor is basically always flooded. This is a true free flowing hot spring and is as fresh as can be.
The water is bubbly and while clear turns milky only around your body.
What really is happening is that the carbonation in the water is attaching to your skin and forming bubbles and looks milky.
Even in a onsen rich prefecture like Kagoshima such carbonated hot spring water is rare.
This is one onsen to visit when touring around Kirishima and other tourist spots in Kirishima.
The onsen fall bath is just as free flowing with hot spring water
At Shusuiyu there is the concrete indoor bath as well as a plastic slate wall bath. This bath has the water flowing in from a high position and is called “Utaseyu” and is separated into two tubs. This bath is also ridiculously free flowing with hot spring water.
FYI the bath on the left in the image is a cold spring water bath. *this is used to coold down after getting warmed up in the hot water. This fresh spring water is drinkable as well. It is a bit soft and a bit sweet tasting, and really good. You can understand easily how Shusuiyu got its name for its excellent water and onsen.
The hot spring water is pure and unadulterated in any way.
Enjoy the naturally flowing hot water in its purest form. There is no accoutrement here. The only goal is to take a bath in the best hot spring water possible. But this in itself is luxurious.
For people like me who only are concerned with the best possible bath this is a perfect place.
*Onsen sommelier trivia For those who aren’t able to fully bathe in the cold water bath, just stick your feet in. Switching between cold and hot water like this opens up the lesser vessels and creates better blood flow. This allows your body to remove lactic acid build up and re-energizes you.
It’s understandable to want to keep this bath to yourself!
The attractiveness of Shusuiyu is the hot spring water and the low prices, also the owner who is also a good pressure point masseuse, who is always wearing a smile and is very kind to everyone. A shiatsu massage here costs 3000 JPY for 40 minutes, and is a perfect way to knead out those knots. If there are any parts of your body that are in pain talk to the owner and he will focus on easing that pain.
In the past I had introduced this place on a TV show about onsen and I have been told “why did you do that?” or “I wanted to keep this place a secret” by many folks. It just goes to show how good this onsen really is.
It truly is one of the best onsens I have ever visited and I recommend it to anyone who is visiting Kirishima!
[Name] Shusuiyu [Address] 4389-1 Karegawa, Hayatocho, Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture [Tel] 0995-77-2512 [Onsen Type] sodium bicarbonate [Good for] abrasions, burns, dermatitis [Visitor fee] 200 JPY [Stay] 2500 JPY (basic stay)
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