[Phoenix-like] Koukichi No Yu, Kurokawa Onsen (Closed)

What is the superiority of Kurokawa Onsen?

Both the relaxed atmosphere and nature of the spring would be correct answers.

However, you should learn good lessons from this phoenix-like city, which changed from a ghost town just as same as many spa cities in the world, to one of the most popular hot springs in Japan.


Koukichi No Yu closed its business on May 2018.

Natural Ambience

Just look at the beautiful tub.

Open-air Bath

Here is a private tub of Koukichi No Yu, the only facility for only walk-in in the city; others are all inns (Ryokan).

You will realize the simple theme “natural ambience,” which Tetsuya Goto, called Father of Kurokawa had pursued.

No other water in Kurokawa does not have the milky white appearance and strong sulfur dioxide smell.

Water outlet

Beside the tub, there is a small stream and the sound echoes throughout the quiet mountains.

Every inn in Kurokawa has open-air baths as seen above which create natural ambience, so that they create standardized atmosphere.

Their catch phrase is “The whole town is a single inn. Streets are the corridor. Each Ryokan is a guest room.”

Natural ambience

Merits and demerits of Onsen-hopping pass

The superiority of Kurokawa Onsen is completed by Onsen-hopping pass, which they started selling in 1986.

Onsen-hopping pass

This pass is 1,300 yen and you can visit three open-air baths whichever they are; there are about 30 choices.

Currently many spa cities in Japan imitate the kind of system, but Kurokawa keeps its popularity because they maintain their simple theme, natural ambience.


Photo by hiroooooki – 黒川・湯布院温泉032 (2010) / CC BY 2.0

Today’s biggest problem for Kurokawa is too many tourists utilizing the popular pass.

In that regard, Koukichi No Yu is exempt from this pass and there are not so many visitors, so that you can easily understand the theme that Kurokawa originally has pursued.



There are hints for revitalizing run-down spa cities all over the world.

Especially Koukichi no yu maintains the relaxed atmosphere because it is exempt from Onsen-hopping pass.



Koukichi No Yu, Kurokawa Onsen (Closed), Kumamoto, Japan
Official WebsiteNO

Related hot springs

You can use Onsen-hopping pass for this open-air bath.

Ryokan Sanga

Ryokan Sanga, Kurokawa Onsen, Kumamoto, Japan

Different from Koukichi No Yu, it looks bluish and means there are various kinds of nature of springs in this area; it is the enchantment of Kurokawa too.

Hot Springs in Kyushu-Okinawa Region

Hot Springs in Japan