Konokayu 木の香湯, also known as Kugino Onsen 久木野温泉 was located in the southern Aso village. Quick 5min walk from where I stayed Little Asia guesthouse (previous post). It was such a great stop for the evening after hikes or a long day of walking around.
This was not a mixed bath (men & women bath naked together; konyu 混湯 Konyoyu). There will be a separate post on the infamous mix bath Sukayu 酸ヶ湯, ‘1000 people’ bath; which I went via hitch hiking. Another story another time.
Obviously, I won’t have a ton of photos of this place otherwise this would be a nude post. Cameras and phones are not allowed for obvious reasons. However, on my 3rd visit to this place, I was VERY lucky. It was just me. Here is a little peek.
I know, these photos are not the best. But hey, this was best that I could do when I was naked.
This was an outdoor bath (rotemburo 露天風呂)!! Could watch the night sky while soaking up the hot spring. Never wanted to leave. It was just so relaxing!!!
It cost almost nothing! It was only JPY400 (less than GBP3 / USD4) per person. A total steal.
After the relaxing bath, it was time to try a few local drinks. There were 5 vending machines to choose from @@.
At the end, I chose the local Aso village full cream milk. It was from a farm 45min drive from the onsen. It was INCREDIBLY rich. LOVE. My hubby in the mean time chose to get sugar coma from various drinks. He loved Japanese vending machines.
I love glass bottle milk. They just feels that much more wholesome?
There’s an official title for ‘top onsen go-er’, called Meijin / Sanin. It is a real title by the way.It takes a lot to become the prestigious Onsen Meijin / Sanin. Read about this one Dutch blogger and his adventures to earn this crazy title from the Oita prefecture (neighbour prefecture). There are various ‘clubs’ and they differ in degrees of difficulties – regional versus all of Japan. I will of course eventually write about my stamp collections too. **sooooo many ideas for posts and so little time.
Bring your own towel. Highly recommend using the Japanese face towel for the full experience. *they also sell them at the counter
Do not bring any valuables with you.
You will be refused entry if you have any tattoo.
They do not speak any English.
Only easily accessible if you stay nearby. There is a bus coming from Choyo train station. Or just walk up here 25 min mild uphill. I see that locals were intrepid travellers when it came to onsens. They seek them out no matter how hidden… There’s a membership for the onsen club? They had this ‘passport’ to collect all the onsen stamps all over Japan. In my humble opinion, it is not SOOOO fantastic that you should make a trip just for this. Though, I did meet some locals who drove for 3 hours to get here. They were really committed to the cause.
How to get here?
久木野温泉 木の香湯 Konokayu Kugino Onsen
Open: 10h00 – 22h00 (close at 21h30 during winter months) **call them before visiting to cross check opening times
Closed on every 1st Wednesday of each month & public holidays
Cost: JPY400 per adult
Not within walking distance from any JR station
Local train station Choyo 長陽 was a solid 25min walk. This was on a hill; uphill walk.
Closest long distance transport was bus stop Konokayu entrance 木の香湯入口 – 20min walk. The bus was JPY680 and gets to Aso/Kumamoto airport & JR station. From the bus station to the guesthouse was a downhill walk.
**the cover photo with clear blue sky was from the local tourism site; my photo was when it was pouring lol
Where I stayed for this trip? Little Asia Guesthouse
Next door to: Pain Daigo – Minamiaso, Japan
Nearby tourism: Mount Okamado – hike to Kusasenri
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