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You are in: Fukuoka: Places To Go: Hisayama no yu (Hisayama Onsen)

1822 Oaza, Hisahara, Hisayama machi, Kasuya-gun.
Open:10:00 - 22:00, last entry 21:00.
Adults 1700yen, kids 1100yen
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  Hiseyama Onsen Homepage

Hisayama no yu (Hisayama Onsen)
Type: Hot Springs | Short Trips | Japan Experience

Spacious natural hot spring with numerous indoor and outdoor pools.

Information by Nick May

I confess on the odd occasions I have been in the vicinity of a hot wine it has never occurred to me to bathe in it - but a hot wine bath (for women only) is the highlight of this very pleasant hot spring. Wine is not the only novel liquid, it also offers a "pearl bath", a lavender bath (dark purple) as well as a medicinal tub the contents of which include ginger - of which more later...

Hiseyama Onsen is a little way out of the city, but it is easily accessible by train, bus and car. The onsen is part of the Lakeside hotel complex set on a leafy lakeside slope. In addition to multiple pools indoors, it has a large landscaped walk-through area outside with a range of tubs and pools, both large and small.

I cannot tell you much about the wine, other than that the young lady accompanying me came out in suspiciously high spirits. But the pearl and lavender pools, huge raised wooden tubs one soaks in alone were thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing in the various other outside pools looking up through early autumn leaves to a clear blue sky was just as delightful as it sounds.

The "medicinal herbs" tub - ah well, that's another story. (Readers of a delicate disposition may wish to put the kettle on at this point.) On entering the outside area of the onsen I had been struck by the number of chaps sitting on the benches under the trees with backs ramrod straight, legs slightly parted with towel draped discreetly, head slightly raised as they gazed off into the middle distance, their thoughts clearly on higher things.

"How very Samurai!" I murmured as I slipped gently into the milky whiteness of the pearl tub. Within 10 minutes, considerably mellowed, I eyed the "medicinal herbs" tub only slightly doubtfully (was that ginger I could smell?) before sliding into its slightly astringent, purple-brown embraces.

... let us hasten over the next ten minutes without gratuitous detail. The ginger and whatever else is in there affect only one part of the body with any drama - but it is a sensitive one. Suffice to say that within 5 minutes pleasant warmth had turned to slight itch, had become something rather more intense, had turned to mild discomfort, had become really rather painful - had been followed by a very hasty retreat to gentler waters... ... which did little to help....

And so within 15 minutes of arrival this small Englishman joined his Japanese peers, back ramrod straight, legs parted in a vaguely Samurai stance, eyes focussed on something (anything!) in the middle distance, his mind clearly on - higher things.

Well. Maybe not higher...

Men should definitely plan on spending no more than 3 minutes in the "medical herbs" tub. It does give the phrase "hot rocks" a WHOLE new meaning.

That said, this is an excellent onsen of its kind, good value for money as the various pools offer a lot of novelty. You are furnished with a towel and yukata, so can pop in and out all day.

There is a restaurant on the premises, a shop and the usual hotel facilities.

By train, Hakata Station to Sasaguri, then take bus to Lakeside hotel - about 30 minutes in total. By Nishitetsu bus (about 1 hour) from in front of Ohori Park or in front of the Central post-office on Show dori in Tenjin.

(Sasaguri line)
15 min from Sasaguri st'n by bus.

from In front of Chuo Post Office, Tenjin. b'stop

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First published Mon Nov 10, 2003
    Updated Tue Sep 20, 2005

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