Yoshimatsu Onsenkyo "Maeda Onsen"
We visited Yoshimatsu Onsenkyo "Maeda Onsen" in Tsurumaru, Yusui-cho, Aira-gun. The hot spring source was drilled and dug by the owner's grandfather in 1914. Although over 100 years have passed, the bathroom is well maintained and still keeps the original architecture.
He is the owner Kazuhiro Maeda. The majority of bathers are locals. Some of them do not build a bathroom in their house and come to Maeda Onsen everyday, so he opens the onsen everyday.
The dressing room is big, and the floor and the compartments are all made with wood. When we walk on the floor, the touch is good.
The water comes from the moor hot spring source (moor hot spring contains plant-origin substances unlike regular hot springs. In the Japanese onsen law, it is classified as Simple Thermal Spring, but the components are different). In the Yoshimatsu Onsenkyo area, there are moor hot springs in the east side of Sendai river and simple thermal hot springs in the west side of the river. The water colour looks black, however, Kazuhiro says, the colour is even lighter comparing to other moor hot springs.
The temperature at the gushing point of the spring is approx. 63°C (145.4°F), and the temperature of the water from the faucet is approx. 45°C (113°F). As Tsurumaru Onsen is located in high altitude, the air temperature becomes -10°C (14°F) to -5°C (23°F) in winter, hot bath is preferred. Kazuhiro says, before soaking in the bath, it is better to stir the water with your hand (or a paddle) to blend the hot water on top with the cooler water on bottom.
Tatsunori (the name of the man in the picture) frequently comes to Maeda Onsen since we moved to Yusui-cho after retiring his job. He says the water is good for cleaning greasy skin.
A big tree in Maeda Onsen, its age is over 100 years.
He says he can recommend every season because the water can provide different benefits depending on the season. The water can make your skin smooth in summer, and heat your body thoroughly in winter.
Name: Yoshimatsu Onsenkyo "Maeda Onsen"
Address: 1281-2, Tsurumaru, Yusui-cho, Aira-gun, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 59 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 28 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 7
Opening Hours: Daily 06:30 - 21:00 (summer), 08:00 - 20:00 (winter)
Price: JPY 200