Hagenoyu Onsen "Horei no yu"
We visited Hagenoyu Onsen “Horei no yu” in Nishizato, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto. The facilities were originally built for a factory making plastics, after a hot spring was discovered, they were reformed for a public bathhouse.
The manager Toshiyuki welcomed us with a smile at the reception. Pay the entrance fee here, then go forward to get to the open-air bath located at the back of the site. On holidays, visitors from Yamaguchi or Hiroshima as well as from prefectures in Kyushu come for bathing.
Lockers are available in the dressing room, if you have valuables, use one to keep them safe.
As soon as you get in the bathroom, you will notice the beautiful white-blue water which contains a rich amount of silicic acid (H2SiO3) and cannot be seen in the other hot springs in this area. According to Toshiyuki, the best season is winter because the water colour gets bluer and you can enjoy a beautiful contrast of white snow mountains and the blue water. He says that’s a really amazing view.
From the faucet, 300 liters of hot spring water flows out per minute. As the original temperature is about 100°C (212°F), the water goes thorough four tanks to gradually cool down without adding cold normal water. By doing this, the minerals contained in the water are not weakened. They say the water treats muscle pain and insect bites.
Tomotaka (the name of the man in the bath) regularly comes to Horei no yu. He lives in a nearby town, and frequently stops by here when he visits Oguni for his work. He says Horei no yu is his favourite in this area.
These are steamers using steam naturally rising up from the ground, a surprising amount of steam is rising up and sometimes you cannot see anything other than steam. If you take a bath in Horei no yu, you can use a steamer to cook meat, eggs, corns, or something you want to eat. When we visited here, many visitors were using the steamers and having lunch. According to Toshiyuki, many visitors stop by Horei no yu on the way of driving or after hiking, and sometimes they asked him not to advertise because they want to keep this place secret. We can understand their feelings, everyone wants to exclusively enjoy a beautiful view from an excellent bath if possible.
Name: Horei no yu
Address: 2917 Nishizato, Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 1 hour 41 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 1 hour 15 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 50
Opening Hours: Daily 8:00 - 19:00
Closing Days: None
Price: JPY 500