Ibusuki Onsen "Muranoyu Onsen"
We visited Ibusuki Onsen "Muranoyu Onsen" in Omure, Ibusuki city. While Ibusuki is famous for natural sand baths (bathers are buried in naturally heated sand), there are also some not-to-be-missed hot springs.
At the reception, Ribbon-chan (the name of the cat) welcomed us in a lovely way.
There are nine boxes in the dressing room. That's all. The room is very simple, however, it does not matter as it perfectly fits the good-old atmosphere of Muranoyu Onsen. When we looked up, we found a portrait of Nariakira Shimazu (a Japanese feudal lord of Kagoshima in the Edo period).
Muranoyu Onsen is definitely one of the best legacy onsens in Kagoshima. Old facilities are well preserved. The water colour changes depending on the natural conditions, it can be black or milky white. The hot spring source was found in the middle of rice field 152 years ago, thus Muranoyu Onsen has over 100 years of history. The owner says Takamori Saigo also visited here in 1874.
Muranoyu Onsen has four hot spring sources, and each source has its own water. The qualities and benefits are different. One is located at the bottom of the bathtub, the owner mixes water from other three sources with it to adjust the water temperature. From the dressing room, the bath at the near side contains hot water and one at the far side contains warm water.
Takeshi (the name of the man in the picture) comes to Muranoyu Onsen almost every day. He was born in 1929 and is 87 years old now. He was a navy soldier during the war, he told us a lot of interesting stories about his experience. When enjoying a bath time, he loves to lie down on the floor. As the floor temperature is comfortable, he says a couple of hours could pass in the blink of an eye after start bathing (lying).
He is the owner Kenro, and is the third owner starting from his grandfather who got the ownership of Muranoyu Onsen. His ancestor is related to the Shimazu family, that is the reason why the portrait of Nariakira Shimazu is hanged. He loves onsens with good-old atmosphere and personally goes to other legacy onsens. We guess he works hard to keep the legacies in Muranoyu Onsen. Maintaining legacies can not be a easy job.
Finally, this is one of the hot spring sources in Muranoyu Onsen. The owner says this is not in use currently, however, a lot of water still flows out. We wish they open an open-air bath here.
Name: Ibusuki Onsen "Muranoyu Onsen"
Address: 3-16-2, Omure, Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 1 hour 7 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 1 hour 23 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 13
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 - 22:00
Price: JPY 300