Hirayama Onsen "Yamato Ryokan"
We visited Hirayama Onsen “Yamato Ryokan” in Hirayama, Yamaga, Kumamoto, which opened in 1991. Originally, the previous owner (current owner’s father) drilled a hot spring to enjoy his life after the retirement just for himself. However, it was getting popular among locals, then he started a ryokan business.
The reception is in the restaurant Warabi, which serves tōfu cuisines, operated by the same owner. The tōfu served here is made by using the onsen water, which gives a smooth texture, and is especially favored by women.
In the reception, Miho warmly welcomed us.
This is the dressing room for the open-air bath. The roof is nicely aged. It was made by the previous owner when it was built.
You can use a box to store your clothes. As the room can be monitored from the bathroom, you wouldn’t need to care about the security. Also, lockers are available in the lodge if you want.
The open-air bath is big, seems more than 10 people can take a bath at the same time. In spring, you can enjoy the song of bush warblers in the bath. Also, Miho says bathing under the full moon is fantastic. The pH value is 9.6, hence the water has a smooth touch.
Shinji (the man in the picture) recently started to go around hot springs nearby, and this was the second location. On this day, he came to Yamato Ryokan with his wife and daughter.
In Yamato Ryokan, you can also use a bath in the lodge. The water is soft and has a subtle sulphur fragrance.
There is a lounge next to the bathroom in the lodge. After bathing, you can relax here.
There is a small shrine in the garden, which is build on the location of the hot spring source. This is dedicated to Yakushi (the Buddha of Healing and medicine), in many onsen you can see the same type of small shrines as the hot springs has been used for the medical care in Japan.
Name: Yamato Ryokan
Address: 209 Hirayama, Yamaga, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 58 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 54 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 50
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 19:00
Closing Days: Wednesday
Price: JPY 420