We visited Óta Kósen in Óta, Ijyuin-cho, Hioki. The building was built in 1950s. We opened the door to go into the reception.
We bought a ticket at the reception, and moved forward to the onsen lodge.
The dressing room is well maintained and clean. However, there is no locker here. You have to keep your valuables by yourself.
Óta Kósen has over 130 years of history, wounded soldiers relieved their bodies here in the time of Satsuma Rebellion. They say the water treats skin diseases, and surface wounds. And the owners say that one of their frequent bathers is a doctor. The small bath contains warm water and the big bath contains hot water. We felt that the water warmed us up so much even after a couple of minutes of soaking.
As this is kósen (cool spring) water, the water is heated up artificially for bathing. We have to use the water carefully because the amount is limited (and it costs to heat up the water).
The bather Kazuhiro is the small brother of the owner. Some years ago, a needle like fibre once pierced his skin, it really hurt, and he went to the hospital, but a doctor could not remove it. He then came here to soak his arm in the water. After an hour of soaking, he could remove the fibre. He was really surprised with the power of the kósen water. Since then, he has been highly evaluating it.
They are the owners, Kiyomi (right) and her daughter Saori (left). Óta Kósen once stopped their business due to the damage of Miyanojyo earthquake in 1997. However, Kiyomi's husband restored the lodge and facilities, and since then the family is running the business here. Many frequent bathers come here not just for enjoying the bath but also for seeing the family. We understood the reason when we met them.
This is a small shrine, it is dedicated to the nature (god) that provides us the excellent water.
Name: Óta Kósen
Address: 1268, Óta, Ijyuin-cho, Hioki, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 28 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 43 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 14
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 20:00
Closing Days: Monday, Thursday
Price: JPY 390