Hitoyoshi Onsen "Shirasaghi no yu"
We visited Hitoyoshi Onsen “Shirasaghi no yu” in Shimobayashimachi, Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto. This onsen is operated by the owner of the restaurant/inn Shirasaghiso.
Turn left at Shirasaghiso to get to Shirasaghi no yu.
You can find a vending machine on your right, purchase a ticket and insert it into the white box on the left side in this picture to enter to the bathroom.
The bathroom is quite simple, there are no lockers. Hence, you need to keep your valuables by yourself.
There is a wide bathtub in the bathroom. When you ease into the bath, you will be surprised with its depth. It is almost the same as the depth of a swimming pool, maybe about 1 meter. You cannot sit in this bath. According to the owner Yoichi, he originally planned to make the bath much deeper, however, he noticed it will cause an issue for cleaning and settled to the current depth. The women’s bathroom has the same design.
The water is 45°C (113°F), and the type is sodium bicarbonate saline spring. If the water is hot, carbon dioxide is generally lost from the water, however, in Shirasaghi no yu, the water still contains carbon dioxide and generates small soda bubbles on your body while soaking. The temperature used to be about 42°C (107.6°F), but it increased after 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes. Yoichi once considered to add cold water to adjust the temperature, however, he finally decided not to add it to keep the pure hot spring quality.
Yoshifumi (the name of the man in the bath) comes from Nagoya to enjoy several hot springs in Kumamoto. He is very familiar with hot springs in Japan, and he says Kumamoto is a favourite place to visit. He likes to have a soak with the push-up style as shown in the picture above. He says “This is the best position for enjoying onsen!”
The owner Yoichi is tall and sophisticated. During our interview, he was so friendly. He says “In May, you can see fireflies flying from the bathtub. And it is really beautiful.” We want to see that sight.
Finally, Shirasaghiso is famous for the river fish cuisine, such as eels and carps. A large number of carps are swimming in the pond. It’s overwhelming!
Name: Shirasaghi no yu
Address: 2647-2 Shimobayashimachi, Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto
Access (Car): 1 hour 21 min from the centre of Kumamoto city. 1 hour 14 min from the Kumamoto airport
Parking Lot: 20
Opening Hours: 08:00 - 22:30
Closing Days: New Year’s Holidays
Price: JPY 200