Kagoshima: Kirishima Onsen Area
The popular hot spring town of Kirishima Onsen sits around 60 minutes to the north-west of Kagoshima City and can be reached using train services running from Kagoshima Station. Made-up of multiple ‘onsen’ (hot springs), Kirishima boasts an interesting array of facilities including high-end accommodation, making it an ideal base from where to explore Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park. As is the case when booking accommodation at any hot spring guesthouse in Japan, be careful to check the amenities included in your room as it will vary from completely Western-amenities and bedding to traditional Japanese rooms with on-floor ‘futon’ bedding and shared bathrooms.
Anyone choosing to stay in Kirishima Onsen should prioritise exploring nearby Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park – an expansive area including more than twenty volcanoes and some of Kyushu’s best hiking trails. The frequent volcanic activity of the area is caused by the movement of a sinking tectonic plate, creating a diverse cluster of large to small volcanoes and calderas. One of Japan’s most striking landscapes, the park is best-experienced along its many hiking trail of which he 12km ‘Kirishima Ridge Trail’ is a highlight.
The Kirishima Mountains include multiple active volcanoes and your personal safety should be your first priority. The Japan Meteorological Agency provides real-time advice and warnings for the entire country. Prior to visiting Kirishima, we recommend checking the JMA website.