Yakushima Island - Yudomari Onsen / Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen
We took the ferry called "HIBISCUS" from the Taniyama port in Kagoshima to go to Yakushima Island. The ferry leaves 6pm, stops at the Tanegashima port, and finally arrives at the Miyanoura port in Yakushima Island at 7am in the next morning. If you go to Yakushima by ship, "HIBISCUS" is the cheapest, however, it takes a long time. If you get to Yakushima in a shorter time, you can take other options. "FERRY YAKUSHIMA 2" or "TOPPY & ROCKET".
We visited "Yudomari Onsen" in Yudomari, Yakushima, Kumage. It takes 1 hour by car from the Miyanoura port to get to Yudomari Onsen. As we heard from the mayor of the Yudomari ward Mr. Kamewari, no one knows for sure the precise beginning of this hot spring, however, in the Meiji era, locals took a bath here as we do now.
Put JPY 100 into the yellow box. It is optional but recommended to preserve this onsen. Then, move forward to the bath.
We got to the bath, it is really close to the blue ocean! The bath is surrounded by bamboo blinds to hide from the eyes.
As there is no dressing room, you need to take off your clothes here. Please note that you cannot soak in the bath with your underwear or swimsuit on. The mayor Kamewari says "Make sure to rinse off your body before soaking in the bath." Also, make sure to follow the etiquette if you want to take a bath here, because this onsen has been shared with locals from a long time ago.
The bath contains warm simple thermal water, thus you can have a long soak even in a hot summer day. The season recommended by Mr. Kamewari is June, because you can see fireflies flying while soaking in the bath. He says the sight is really fantastic, and bathing at night under the twinkling stars is also amazing.
Officially, the right side (in this picture) of the bath is for men, and the other side is for women. However, as you can see, they are just separated by a low bamboo wall. So, the bath is actually regarded as a mixed bath.
This is the hot spring source. Although it is close to the sea, the water is not salty.
TAKEZO (the name of the man in the bath) spent the vacations in his private villa in Yakushima Island. It was a hot sunny day, but he seemed so relaxed in the bath seeing the beautiful blue ocean.
Move forward from the main bath to get to the sub bath which is located really close to the sea. You can touch spray of the wave in the bath. It should be a priceless experience for all the onsen lovers!
There also is "Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen" on the way to the Yakushima airport from Yudomari Onsen. This onsen is located in the ocean as indicated in the name (Kaichu 海中 literally means "in the ocean"), thus you can take this onsen only in the low tide time (about one hour in a day).
Put JPY 100 into the green box to enter the bath. As the same as Yudomari Onsen, there is no dressing room and only a mixed bath in Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen. Of course, you need to follow the manners.
As far as we have experienced, this is the wildest onsen location. If you like to go wild, why don't you try this bath?
Name: Yudomari Onsen / Hirauchi Kaichu Onsen
Address: 1714-28 Yudomari, Yakushima, Kumage, Kagoshima
Access: 53 min from the Yakushima Miyanoura port. 38 min from the Yakushima airport
Parking Lot: 10
Opening Hours: 24/7
Price: JPY 100