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Best Tourist-friendly Onsen Ryokan In Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture

Alfie
Published Oct 17, 2018

Kagoshima is a delightful prefecture located at the bottom of the island of Kyushu. The prefecture is known for sweet potatoes, satsuma oranges, and Somen noodles. As well as delicious food, the area is also famous for its volcanic activity in the region of Ibuski. The volcanoes here not only heat up the water in the hot springs but also the sand on the beaches. You can bath in a sand onsen that Japanese people insist is something everyone should do at least once. If you want to experience quirky Japanese culture but are not sure how to go about it then check out this list of tourist-friendly onsen ryokan in Ibusuki.

1. Ibusuki Shusuien (from USD 268)

You can enjoy one of the many onsens of the region here. The hotel pumps real volcanic water into its outdoor onsen bath. The hot spring waters are said to be therapeutic to anyone who uses them. They are good for skin, hair, joints and overall health. As well as this, the ryokan has beautiful gardens that guests can stroll around and then they can retire to their authentic Japanese rooms. The rooms have woven reed tatami mats lining the floors and shoji paper screen over the windows. As well as this there are comfortable Japanese style futons to sleep upon along with all the mod cons of a western hotel such as air conditioning, fridges and television. This is the traditional layout of a ryokan with a few modern necessities thrown in there.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

2. Ginsyo (from USD 176)

Ginsyo Onsen Ryokan has an open-air onsen bath and a sauna. This is the traditional way to enjoy onsen. It’s the ultimate refreshing feeling having your head and shoulders exposed to the winds as your body is warmed by the hot spring. People in Japan have done this for centuries and it is a must try if you want to have a truly Japanese experience. The ryokan rooms offer amazing views of Kinko Bay and are traditionally Japanese styled. The restaurant serves Kaiseki style dinners. These are multi-course meals that allow guest to sample lots of small dishes so that they can experience a multitude of flavors. All the food is cooked in the local style with locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

3. Koran No Yu Kinkouro (from USD 90)

Koran No Yu Kinkouro does its best to be a modern place to stay without sacrificing its Japanese essence. They give guests a choice between indoor and outdoor onsen. You can bath wherever you feel most comfortable. Bathing outside allows for spectacular views of Nishikiko Bay and the iconic Sakurajima volcano. Bathing inside protects you from the elements. The Chirin Restaurant, in partnership with Koran No Yu Kinkouro, serves guests Kaiseki meals using local ingredients. Other bonuses offered by the ryokan are private karaoke rooms, massages, and a bar.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

4. Hakusuikan (from USD 156)

This Ryokan is very special as you can experience the famous Ibuski sand onsen right here. Hakusuikan has its very own sunamushi hot sand bath. Guests are dressed in a kimono then buried in sand that has been heated by volcanic activity. It is said to purge the body of all aches and pains and is a lot more comfortable than it sounds. As well as this rare find the ryokan also has regular onsen. You can bath in hot spring water either inside or outside.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

5. Hotel Syusui-en (from USD 259)

Hotel Syusui-en doesn’t have a full sand onsen like the property above but they do have a sand foot bath that is nothing to be sniffed at. Foot onsen feels amazing on a cold day when your circulation is bad and they allow you to experience the sand onsen without having to get completely buried. There are, of course, also water onsen that guests can relax in. The ryokan gives guests the option to reserve a private dip in the onsen but there is also a bath in all the rooms. After you have enjoyed a nice bath, you can unwind in your traditional Japanese style room.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

6. Yurian (from USD 314)

Yurian Ryokan Onsen offers amazing bungalows for guests to stay in. Many come with a veranda, a pool and a private outdoor onsen. All guests have a chance to take a dip in the much larger onsen and pool but these are for everyone. Rooms are set out in a mix of western and Japanese. There are hardwood floors and western beds but sections of the room are tatami matted with Japanese furniture. You can choose which part of the room you choose to spend most of your time in. Rooms also come with flat-screen TVs and a coffee machine.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

7. Ibusuki Hakusuikan (from USD 247)

Ibusuki Hakusuikan Ryokan onsen is a traditional ryokan that is very attached to the local culture. If you want to experience any local culture, like eating noodles that are cooked in running water or visiting the Ibuski sand baths, just let the staff know and they are more than happy to point you in the right direction. Here, you can rest in an outdoor onsen that looks like it has leaped out of a painting. The blue waters come straight from the volcanically heated springs in the local area. The sitting area and rocks that decorate the onsen are all traditional features that would have been seen at onsen when the very first Japanese people started enjoying them. It really makes you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. The ryokan has traditional rooms as well. You can sleep on comfortable futons on well-maintained tatami mats.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

8. Family Ryokan Kawakyu (from USD 54)

This is a slower paced and more homely ryokan than the rest. Family Ryokan Kawakyu offers guests with a truly Japanese experience where you get a chance to interact with other guests and the Japanese staff in a more personal way. There are a shared lounge and eating area where you can make new friends. There are Japanese-style rooms with views of Nitanda River. Green tea is served freely and there are restaurants all around the property. There is an onsen that is available for guests to use but there are many onsen houses if you want to venture outside and try different types of baths. Family Ryokan Kawakyu is just the basics but with a kind face and a taste of authentic Japanese culture, and sometimes that’s all you need.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

9. Ibusuki Bay Hills Hotel & Spa (from USD 134)

Large, spacious onsens are waiting for you at Ibusuki Bay Hills Hotel and Spa. All natural with a variety of different types of water and temperatures, you’re sure to find one that you enjoy. There are both indoor and outdoor onsens that are open to all but can be booked out for private bathing. Rooms are furnished in a western style so you can curl up in a big European bed. The hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the famous Ibusuki sand onsens. If you fancy a bigger day out then head over to Lake Ikeda. This beautiful lake is less than an hour away and is home to the Japanese version of the Loch Ness monster. Isshie is said to live in the picturesque lake. Why not see if you can go find him?

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

10. Ibusuki Phoenix Hotel (from USD 96)

This is a beachside hotel that does not disappoint. At the Phoenix Hotel, you can enjoy not only traditional water onsen but a sand onsen as well. Staff will dress you in a special yukata and then bury you in the volcanic black sand. It is like you are cocooned in warmth as only your head sticks out above the sand. You’ll never get bored at this hotel. Guests can rent out the larger onsen for a private bath along with Karaoke and games rooms, bicycles or cars. There is also a 16-hole golf course.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in ibusuki and also compare the prices with airbnbs in ibusuki

The volcanic land of sand onsens

Ibusuki has so much to offer, not just delicious foods but also unforgettable sand onsen experiences and authentic Japanese culture. Every ryokan on the list has its strengths but it is up to you to decide which is the best fit for you.

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I am a writer from the North East of England trying to find his way in the world.  I used to be a teacher in England but in 2016 I moved out to Japan in order to get a different perspective on...Read more

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