Our first lodge was Ikoi Ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen, Kumamoto. About 2-hour drive from Fukuoka.
Ikoi Ryokan, Kurokawa Onsen
Ikoi Ryokan is a pretty lodge with a dozen of onsen baths of different tastes.
The arctic cold air mass was pushing down for the last time of the season. It was getting chilly. Just the way we would like it. You don’t get this kind of chill in Okinawa.
Walking up the hill to one of private onsen baths.
All the onsen baths here are flow-through. The onsen spring source is at 68C degrees and they let the water flow through each baths and they don’t recycle water. It means the spring water is always clean and fresh.
Feels so good.
Onsen boiled eggs.
Let the dinner begin!
Kumamoto is now the top-notch rice producer. Good rice, good water, it promises good sake.
Horse meat sashimi is Kumamoto tradition.
Yamame is the same fish as Cherry Salmon, but Yamame stays in the river while Cherry Salmon goes to the ocean and gets much much bigger.
Deep-fried Yamame. I don’t know how they do it, but it was fried in a way you can eat the whole fish. The meat was fluffy and juicy, while head and bones are crispy and crunchy. A beautiful piece.
Aka Ushi Beef, Kumamoto’s brand beef, in a self-grill style called hoe grill. Farmers around here used to catch birds during their field work and grill it on their hoes. The farmer’s version of cast iron cooking, so to speak.
And the rice and miso soup with miso grilled taro. Rice just fills your mouth wish sweetness as you chew. So simple and so delicious.
The morning bath the next day.
This is the deep stand bath. 150cm deep. It’s rare in Japan and we love it so much.
Breakfast. Enjoy every pieces.
For JPY1300, you can get this ticket for go-around onsen use in Kurokawa. You have access to 3 onsen spas of your choice in Kurokawa Onsen.
There are so many onsen spas to choose from.
Started walking around the neighborhood.
And just stopped by at whatever we feel like.
This is a very popular pastry in Kurokawa.
Cream puff is their specialty.
Very rich cream inside and light crust outside.
This is another one. Kept enjoying onsen hopping.
Saw the onsen egg again.
This one is onsen steamed.
It does taste different from boiled.
YuYu likes this one better.
Continuing on to our favorite onsen lodge, Fujimoto about 10-minute drive from Kurokawa district.