We visited Tsumagari Onsen in Hayatochō Matsunaga, Kirishima. It is located at the middle of rice field, and the big onsen mark (♨) caught our eye from the opposite side of the rice field. It is appealing!
Another big onsen mark is painted on the house. The reception is empty (unstaffed), you should insert JPY 200 into the box on the reception counter to use the bath.
The dressing room is simple. There are boxes on a shelf. You can see this dressing room from the bathroom, so you do not need to pay too much attention to the security. However, if you worry, you should bring your valuables with you using a small plastic pouch.
The bathroom is simple as well. The water type is sodium bicarbonate saline spring, and the temperature is a little bit high. We recommend you to repeat getting in and out of the bath some times to adapt yourself to the temperature before you have a long soak.
She is the manager Umeko, she is 80 years old but still energetic. She also is one of the bathers who are in love with Tsumagari Onsen, she says "Once I took a bath in Tsumagari Onsen a long time ago, I don't want to take another bath. As I take a bath in Tsumagari Onsen almost everyday, I feel uncomfortable if I could not take a bath."
Also, Umeko says the hot spring water is drinkable, and she chills the water to drink. We tried a cup of the water, it was actually nice.
Tsumagari Onsen opened about 40 years ago, and has been managed by a group of locals. However, the number of members are decreasing every year, and currently only three members are left including Umeko. She is very concerned about the future. During our interview, some locals got together at Tsumagari Onsen and chatted pleasantly. We deeply hope they will find a solution for this issue.
Name: Tsumagari Onsen
Address: 1143 Hayatochō Matsunaga, Kirishima, Kagoshima
Access (Car): 45 min from the centre of Kagoshima city using expressway. 14 min from the Kagoshima airport
Parking Lot: None
Opening Hours: 12:00 - 21:00 (June to August), 12:00 - 20:00 (September to May)
Closing Days: Every 1st, 15th
Price: JPY 200