Myoken Onsen "Kiraku Onsen"
We visited Myoken Onsen "Kiraku Onsen" in Hayatochō Kareigawa, Kirishima. Kiraku Onsen opened in 1970 by the current owner's father. The name comes from a Japanese word "気楽 (kiraku)" which means "take it easy."
The owner Toshihiro welcomed us at the reception. We thought his fashion was quite smart considering his age. And we soon understood why, the men's fashion magazine "LEON" was on the table in the lobby.
The dressing room is simple, there are open compartments.
The water contains a large amount of iron, so just a short soak can warm your body up thoroughly. Also, you can find stains of deposited minerals on the edge of the bathtub. The owner says they are the evidence of the excellent hot spring water. Actually, when we soaked in the bath, we experienced how fresh the water is. He also says many onsen lovers come to Kiraku Onsen from all over Japan.
As the plenty of water always flows out from the hot spring source and the water temperature is high, cold groundwater is mixed to adjust the temperature. In the past, so many guests visited Kiraku Onsen for the therapeutic bathing and they could not be accommodated. Even now, many visitors say "rheumatism is eased." or "cold intolerance is eased."
He is a frequent bather Masami who comes to Kiraku Onsen everyday. His skin is really smooth considering his age 83.
There also is an open-air bath. It is very big, maybe more than 20 people can soak in it at the same time. The bathtub is cleaned and the water is refilled everyday. Some frequent visitors come by Kiraku Onsen while waiting for a flight in the Kagoshima airport.
The owner Toshihiro loves bike, especially Harley‐Davidson. This is the 100th year anniversary model, definitely his favourite. He said, some years ago, a foreign visitor asked him to have the visitor get on the bike, and he drove this Harley with the visitor on the back seat. Of course, we envied. lol
Finally, Toshihiro showed us a hot spring source. Kiraku Onsen has four sources and all of them are very hot (approx. 56°C (132.8°F)), we touched the water and, yes, it was really hot. You'd better not to touch...
Name: Myoken Onsen "Kiraku Onsen"
Address: 4385 Hayatochō Kareigawa, Kirishima, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 46 min from the centre of Kagoshima city. 15 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: 30
Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 - 19:00
Price: JPY 500