Kurinodake Onsen "Nansyukan"
We visited Kurinodake Onsen "Nansyukan" in Koba, Yūsui-chō, Aira-gun. This area was originally developed in the middle of the Edo era (1700s) for mining alum. In the Meiji era (late 1800s), as cheap alum could be imported from foreign countries, and the mining business were discontinued, people in this area changed their business to inns for therapeutic bathing using existed buildings and hot spring sources. That was the beginning of Kurinodake Onsen.
The owner Shusaku and his dog Leo welcomed us at the reception. He also has four cats. Nansyukan opened in 1906, and Shusaku is the 4th owner in the history.
Nansyukan has three baths. Steam bath, Sakurayu, and Takenoyu. If you want to take all the three baths, the owner says, it is better to take the steam bath in the second place. If you take that bath first, the steam bath may exhaust you physically and you may not be able to take the other baths.
We started to take Sakurayu first. The dressing room is simple but well maintained and clean.
Sakurayu contains weak acidic sulphur spring water, and is subtle cloudy-white coloured.
In 1876, Takamori Saigo came here for the therapeutic bathing. At that time, he was looking for a sulphur hot spring to heal his elephantiasis and stayed here for the treatment. The owner says the recommended seasons are May in which you can enjoy beautiful green leaves, and September to October in which you can enjoy red autumn leaves. Many climbers comes Nansyukan after the climbing to refresh their exhausted bodies.
Yoshitsugu (the name of the man in the picture) came from Izumi city with his wife. He likes to visit hot springs in weekends, and this was the second time for him to come to Nanyukan. We thought he looks like Takamori Saigo (how do you think?).
This is the steam bath. There are two sauna rooms with different temperature, one is high and the other is low. We got into the room, and we started sweating so heavily after a couple of minutes elapsed. After we got out from the room, we took a shower with cold groundwater, that was amazingly refreshing!
This is Takenoyu which is a mud bath. The water type is sulphur spring as the same as Sakurayu. The mud is soft and not so thickened. This bath can make your skin smooth.
Nansyukan is also famous for the steamed chicken. This is how it is cooked. It is steamed with the natural hot spring water. By cooking in this way, chickens can contain a lot of umami. Please note that, if you want to eat a steamed chicken, you need to make a reservation in advance.
Finally, this is the view of the natural steam near Nansyukan. It is striking. If you visit Nansyukan, you should visit here as well.
Name: Kurinodake Onsen "Nansyukan"
Address: 6357 Koba, Yūsui-chō, Aira-gun, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 1 hour 2 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 34 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 30
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 20:00
Closing Days: Not specified
Price: JPY 300 for one bath, JPY 550 for two baths, JPY 700 for all three baths