Jan 16, 2010

Tonosama-yu, Nigatsuden Onsen, Kagoshima Pref.

Remaining old bath for "daimyo" or lords. general soldiers were prohibited to enter this bath.

History of the Tonosama-yu(殿様湯), or the Lord bath located at Nigatsuden Onsen(二月田温泉), south of Kagoshima Prefecture, southernmost prefecture in the Kyushu Island dates back to the edo period in 1831. The 27th head of Shimazu Clan (see Wikipedia for more info on Shimazu Clan) moved their onsen bath to here at Nigatsuden, near more famous Ibusuki Onsen(指宿温泉).

Bath for men in use now. Round shape bath is for cooling hot spring.

Although it's unsoakable, you can see the part of the old bath at the backyard of the Tonosama-yu even now. Western style tiles were so precious in the edo period as Japan was under "sakoku" or locked country policy, and trading with other countries were very limited at that time.

Appearance of Tonosama-yu looks much popular now.

Unfortunately, I visited there on their holiday. I couldn't soak myself but nice ladies (probably mother and daughter that manage the place) allowed me to enter and take pictures. They even turned pump on and made me taste their sodium hot spring. It tasted slightly salty with rusty metal flavor. (*゚o゚*)

You can see name list of serial Shimazu Clan's heads from 13th century. The mark "cross in round" on top is the family symbol of the Shimazu Clan.

◆Tonosama-yu, Nigatsuden Onsen (二月田温泉殿様湯)

Type: Gender separated indoor baths, day visit only

Address: 1408-27 Nishikata Ibusuki-city, Kagoshima Pref.

Location: 31.256571,130.626055

hot spring for drinking in front of the entranceBusiness hour: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Holiday: Second and fourth Friday of every month

Admission fee: ¥270

Equipment:Nothing particular, no complementary soap and shampoo. Hot spring for drinking at the outside of the bath house.

Access:7~8 minutes walk from the Nigatsuden Station of the JR Ibusuki-makurazaki line(指宿枕崎線). If you travel with special rapid train(特快), get off at the Ibusuki Station and take a taxi as the special rapid train doesn't stop at the Nigatsuden. Or you can lent a bicycle at the Ibusuki Station like me. They offer discount for JR passengers. Ask "Raku-chari(楽チャリ)" at the Ibusuki Station.

It takes less than an hour from Kagoshima-chuo Station to Ibusuki with special rapid train. If you take a local train to Nigatsuden, it takes about an hour and 15 minutes from Kagoshima-chuo.

Link: Map of the Tonosama-yu in English (scale changeable)

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