Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen
We visited “Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen” in Mukaijima, Ōkawa, Fukuoka. Ōkawa City is famous for the furniture business, and Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen is operated by a furniture factory, the current chairman drilled a hot spring and started Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen in 2007.
Yukari (left) and Yasunori (right) welcomed us at the reception. Yukari was so cooperative during our interview, she took some poses for our photo shooting. Thanks!
This is the dressing room. It’s big and there are lockers to keep your valuables safe.
This is the bathroom. You can see Chikugo River Lift Bridge from the window. The water contains a rich amount of sodium ions and thus it is salty. Frequent bathers say bathing at this onsen can warm up the body thoroughly and make the skin so smooth.
Clear hot spring water is always flowing out of the faucet (360 liters per minute). Although the bathtub is big, the water is not recycled in Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen. This is unusual. Also, showers use the hot spring water.
There is an open-air bath as well from which you can also see Chikugo River and its Lift Bridge. Especially in August, a firework festival is held in Chikugo River and you can enjoy it from the bath. If you have a chance, please visit this onsen in that period, that would be an unforgettable experience.
Hiroaki (left) and Chinami (right) are frequent bathers living nearby. This was the first time they met, but they talked to each other like old friends. Chinami said he lives chatting, and actually he was chatting with Hiroaki or us all the time during our photo shooting.
He is the manager Yoshiaki, he said Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen serves delicious foods as well as excellent bath. He has prompted this onsen by selling a restaurant and bath bundle ticket and discounting the entrance fee on an annual anniversary. These days, 400 to 500 visitors come daily on average, and more than 1000 visitors come on a peak day.
Finally, this is the night view of Chikugo River Lift Bridge from which the name “Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen” (Shokaikyo 昇開橋 means Lift Bridge) derives. This bridge was built in 1935 as a part of national railway Saga line, and is registered as an Japanese Important Cultural Property. Saga line was discontinued in 1987 and the bridge is not used as a railway now, but it is used as a boardwalk and loved by the locals and tourists. It is lighted up at night, so if you visit Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen, we highly recommend you to visit there at night to enjoy the beautiful view from the bath.
Name: Okawa Shokaikyo Onsen
Address: 2526-1 Mukaijima, Ōkawa, Fukuoka
Access (Car): 1 hour 8 min from the centre of Fukuoka City. 1 hour 4 min from the Fukuoka airport
Parking Lot: 200
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 23:00
Closing Days: Every second Tuesday
Price: JPY 600