Kagoshima Prefecture has abundant natural volcanic hot springs which offer visitors a great break from traveling and sightseeing around the area. Wherever you go, it is relatively easy to find a high-standard onsen. I have tried many of them during my frequent trips to Kagoshima. I have to confess that I am a true enthusiast of onsen, and this is the reason I am so keen on exploring the richness of hot springs, especially Midoriso.
As much as I like many of the onsen in Kagoshima, Midoriso outshines the others. I still remember my first experience there and the tranquil atmosphere so characteristic to the place. It makes me go back there each time I visit Kagoshima.
Midoriso Onsen is located on the shore of the lake in Hioki, a small city that is blessed with beautiful nature. The stunning environment and natural waters provide a relaxing ambience to the open-air baths.
The old timber entrance, surrounded on both sides by a beautifully designed garden full of subtle yet stunning plants and flowers, takes you back to the samurai times. A clean, rustic interior highlighted by a wooden and stone décor introduces traditional craftsmanship underlined in high-quality details.
The Midoriso baths are outside the entrance, just a short walk through the lake’s shore. There, you can admire nature, listening to the rustle of the forest and the chirping of the birds. Instantly, you realize how serene and quiet this place is.
Visitors can choose a public or private bath. Both have all the necessary facilities and, more importantly, a stunning view. The water is clear, albeit a bit black due to the content of the hot springs. It is naturally hot, warming your body quickly and making it feel refreshed and regenerated.
The public and private baths at Midoriso give visitors not only a chance to relax but also a breathtaking panorama that changes according to the seasons. If one wishes to stay longer and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this hot spring, there are many Japanese-style guest rooms to rent. In addition, Midoriso offers a wide variety of local dishes you can taste in its authentic restaurant. However, I have to say it is quite pricey.
The best season to visit Midoriso is undoubtedly autumn. At this time, the landscape shines with the intense red color of maple trees so often seen in Japan. I can guarantee your mind will be blown and you will come back for more in the future.
Useful information and links
Midoriso Onsen is approximately 90 minutes by car from Kagoshima Airport. Another option is to catch a bus from the airport toward Kagoshima Central Station (around one hour) and then catch another bus towards Kaseda city. The bus stop where you need to get off is Izaku or Higashi Honcho – both a few minutes’ walk from Midoriso.
Be sure to take a bath towel as the onsen will not provide one. The price depends on which bath you use. Private baths cost 1,500 yen per hour, while the public bath is 500 yen with no time limit.
みどり荘 910 Fukiagecho Yunoura, Hioki city, Kagoshima Prefecture 899-3303
[map]みどり荘 910 Fukiagecho Yunoura, Hioki city, Kagoshima Prefecture 899-3303[/map]