Kurokawa Onsen

Any trip in Japan would not be complete without a day well-spent at an onsen. For our penultimate day in Kyushu, we booked a room at Sanga Ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen area. Getting here involves changing buses, so renting a car is highly recommended. A car is cheaper than the transportation fee for a party of 3 and above.

From Kumamoto, we took a little detour to Mount Aso. It should take us about 1.5 hours to get to the Mount Aso, but the road was blocked. There was some damage on the road and landslides caused by the earthquake in April. We saw abandoned houses on the foot of the mountain. It reminded me of a scene my husband and I saw during our donation drive in a village nearby Mount Kelud. There were ashes everywhere, but the villagers were still living in their houses. Their cows and plants have died, but they refused to give up their home. Maybe it has something to do with their attachment to their birthplace, but most probably because they have no money to move elsewhere. Having a very incompetent government makes us tough. We had a terrorist attack in January. Gun shootings and dead bodies in the middle of the street. AND we had people taking selfies in the scene. Indonesians are very resilient that way. Anyway, I’m now lost in my own thoughts. I should get back to my Aso writing.

So we didn’t get to see Aso, all we managed was to take photos of the surrounding area of Mount Aso.

And actually, it was a really good thing that we gave up on seeing Aso and decided to quickly get to our ryokan. Because an hour or two later, Mount Aso erupted. We didn’t even know about this until Mother-in-law called us up to ask if we were OK. Lucky us!!!

Another one of a half hour drive from that picturesque spot above, and voila, we finally made it to Sanga Ryokan! And it is way better than I thought it would be.

Sanga is nestled in a forest next to the river. Far away from the sort-of-busy Kurokawa Onsen town. Almost all of the ryokans are located downtown next to each other. I’m glad the one we picked is further apart.

And the highlight of Sanga, their beautiful rotenburo.

And your typical ryokan food! Serving Kyushu specific food items.

Compared to other ryokans in Honshu, I think Kyushu is quite reasonably priced. For 20,000 yen per person, you get to stay in Sanga, and your breakfast and dinner are already included in the price. We are only here for a night, but I think two nights would be a better choice. Ryokan has a strict 3pm check-in and 10am check-out policy, which means for the amount of money you are paying, you only get to enjoy your accommodation for 19 hours. No early check-ins or late check-outs allowed either.

Would I return? Yes! Planning to take my family here on our next holiday. Yay Kyushu!


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