Ibusuki Onsen: Warm up your body and soul with a steam sand bath and onsen with a gorgeous view
Ibusuki Onsen used to be called “Yuhosuki,” represented by Chinese letters that mean an accommodation with abundant hot water. During the Edo period (1603-1868), this onsen attracted great historical figures, including the local lords of the Shimazu Family and Saigo Takamori, one of the great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. This place is also famous for its very rare steam sand bath.
Ibusuki Onsen has mostly chloride spring water directly fed from the source without dilution. Chloride spring water is said to improve blood circulation in skin as well as keeping your body warm. You will be overwhelmed and impressed by the experience of taking a bath while looking down at Mount Kaimon-dake, aka “the Fuji of Satsuma,” from the large open-air bath and enjoying the view of Kinkowan Bay.
In Ibusuki City, there are also many public bath facilities and foot bath facilities, allowing you to enjoy the onsen more casually.
Ibusuki is probably most famous for its steam sand bath, where you wear yukata, a cotton robe, lie down in the sand bath and have the sand warmed to about 50 degrees Celsius by ground heat. Have the sand poured over to warm your body. The steam sand bath is said to be effective for improving blood circulation, excretion of waste products, and physical refreshment, attracting people to visit it for their health for more than 300 years. The natural steam sand bath of Ibusuki is the only one in Japan and considered to be very rare worldwide.
Ibusuki Onsen is famous not only for its onsen but also for many spiritual “power spots” due to its geographic characteristic of abundant natural energy. Considered to be the origin of the folklore of “Ryugu,” an undersea palace, Ryugu-jinja Shrine with a beautiful bright red main building is popular among people, especially those who wish for a good marriage. Chiringashima is an island that has a long sandbar connecting it with the land. The sandbar disappears at high tide but always comes back at low tide to connect the island with the land, the island is also called the “island of a marriage tie,” attracting many visitors.
After enjoying two types of onsen, water and sand, remember to try the various local specialties of Kagoshima Prefecture, including Kagoshima Black Pork, sweets made with fava beans, of which production in Kagoshima is the biggest in Japan, and imo shochu (a distilled spirit beverage made from sweet potato), especially Kurokirishima.
Haneda Airport -> 100 min by air -> Kagoshima Airport -> 100 min by airport shuttle bus -> Ibusuki Sta.
Ibusuki City Kanko Kyokai (Tourism Association)
*The information herein is as of April 2021.