Shibi Onsen "Kami no yu"
We visited Shibi Onsen "Kami no yu" (神の湯 in Japanese, which literally means "Spring of god") in Satsuma town. As the water source is located under the Shibi Shrine, this onsen might purify you and give you a fortune. This onsen opened more than 600 years ago, and the design of the current building imitates the shrine.
At the reception, Ms. Kazuyo welcomed us. She told us stories of Shibi Onsen. Local people love dried persimmons (called Hoshigaki) produced in this area.
The dressing room is clean and equipped with lockers, you can keep your valuables safe while bathing.
The water contains sulphur, and is little bit hot. As the same water is used for showers, you can enjoy the water as much as you like. In the old age, only the monks working for the Shibi Shrine could enjoy this onsen. According to the regular bathers, the water treats rheumatism, surface wounds, and diabetes.
The water is not recycled and is always overflowing. On some days, the water colour becomes cloudy, if you see that, you are lucky. Locals say "God is bathing on such day, and gives you a fortune." The water quality is highly reputed.
He is a regular bather Hideo, and has been coming to this onsen every Saturday for five years. He is in love with this water.
The manager Yoko is grown up in Shibi. She inherited the manager role from her mother.
A reception staff member Kazuyo taught us another onsen near here. The name is "Kansha no yu." So we moved there. Although the signboard says "食堂" (restaurant), there is an onsen in this house.
There are two tiny baths in the house. The water is clear. This is a really secret location only the locals know.
Finally, this is the Shibi Shrine. The water comes from under this shrine. If you visit Shibi Onsen, we recommend you to visit the shrine as well.
Name: Shibi Onsen "Kami no yu"
Address: 2165, Shibi, Satsuma-cho, Satsuma-gun, Kagoshima
Access: 1 hour 15 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 50 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 50
Opening Hours: Daily 05:00 - 21:30
Price: JPY 200