Kusu Onsen "Tsurukawa Onsen"
We visited Kusu Onsen “Tsurukawa Onsen” in Ōta Kawazoko, Kusu-machi, Kusu-gun, Ōita. The name “Tsurukawa” (鶴川 in Japanese) is the combination of “鶴” which derives from the lake name Tsurugahara (鶴ヶ原) and “川” which derives from the address name Kawazoko (川底).
The owner Toyoko welcomed us at the reception.
The dressing room is big and clean. Also, there are lockers to keep your valuables safe.
The bathroom is filled with the gentle fragrance of plants which is the characteristics of a moor spring. And the water is transparent but slightly green-coloured. You would be urged to bathe immediately.
The water is not recycled. It is sent from the hot spring source to this bath without being exposed to air at all. According to the owner, that is the key to keep the freshness and the quality.
Kiyotaka (the name of the man in the bath) comes to Tsurukawa Onsen every other day. He comes from Oita City which is not close. It takes more than 1 hour by car, but he said it doesn’t matter because he really likes Tsutukawa Onsen.
Tsurukawa Onsen was drilled by Toyoko's father-in-law. He followed the instruction given from Jizo in his dream to discover the hot spring. This is a mysterious story, but actually many hot spring founders have the similar episodes.
Toyoko runs a restaurant nearby Tsurukawa Onsen. The specialty dish is Kamonabe (a nabe with duck meat). We met a man who always eat Kamonabe when he comes to Tsurukawa Onsen.
Finally, this is the lake “Tsurugahara” which is the origin of the name “Tsurukawa.” It is a beautiful lake in the woods and you can enjoy autumn leaves in Oct to Nov. If you visit Tsurukawa Onsen, you can enjoy a hike in the Kusu mountains.
Name: Tsurukawa Onsen (Kusu Onsen)
Address: 3935-5 Ōta Kawazoko, Kusu-machi, Kusu-gun, Ōita
Access (Car): 1 hour 10 min from the centre of Oita City. 1 hour 11 min from the Oita airport
Parking Lot: 30
Weekdays: 16:00 - 21:00
Weekends/Holidays: 11:00 - 21:00
Closing Days: Tuesday (changes to the following day if falls on a weekday)
Price: JPY 300