9 Best Hot Spring Hotels and Inns Near Mt. Aso That Offer Peace and Relaxation
Located in Kumamoto Prefecture, Mt. Aso is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. It consists of the Aso Gogaku - five mountains that make up the core of Mt. Aso - and the outer rim of the Aso Caldera that stretches 25 kilometers from north to south, 18 kilometers from east to west, and has a circumference of 128 kilometers, offering breathtaking views of nature's might. Depending on the day's conditions, it may be possible to climb up to the crater and admire its mysterious emerald-green pool of hot water heated by the awe-inspiring power of magma. The rest of the crater basin is more serene, consisting of cultivated land where dairy farming is thriving and where tourists can be seen unwinding and playing with grazing cows. In this article, we will introduce nine onsen hotels and inns near Mt. Aso where you can rest up in relaxing hot springs in between exploring this beautiful corner of Kumamoto.
May 26 2023
Mt. Aso: One of the World's Largest Active Volcanoes
Mt. Aso, the symbol of Kumamoto Prefecture, is one of the world's largest active volcanoes. Its magnificent mountain range and sprawling grasslands have a quality to them that can easily soothe the heart. The crater is another story. When you venture near it, you can feel the intense, red-hot power of volcanic activity that can, ironically, chill you to the bone. Getting to experience this land of contrasts that has remained unchanged for millennia firsthand is sure to create memories of a lifetime. The region is readily accessible by bus, making it the perfect destination for families or solo travelers.
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Relax at These 9 Best Hot Spring Hotels and Inns Near Mt. Aso
1. KAMENOI HOTEL Aso
KAMENOI HOTEL Aso is a mere 20-minute walk or a quick 5-minute drive from JR Miyaji Station. All of its guestrooms provide an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the magnificent five Aso mountains, while the facility itself offers easy access to such attractions as Aso Shrine, located a 10-minute drive away, or Daikanbo, a popular observation area located a 30-minute drive away, making the hotel a perfect destination for travelers looking to do a lot of sightseeing.
The accommodations boast vast windows and come in Japanese-style or Western-style designs, both of which are simple yet relaxing. Moreover, a store is conveniently located on hotel premises where guests will find Kumamoto and Aso sweets and other local specialties that make great souvenirs.
The hotel’s open-air and large baths are fed by the Sensuikyo hot spring source from the volcanic Aso mountains. The hot spring waters are said to relieve stiff muscles, sensitivity to cold, and high blood pressure, and will warm you down to your very core. Visitors can enjoy a variety of baths, including Japanese-style and Western-style open-air baths, lying-down baths, and medicinal herb baths.
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Shinwaen is a charming, traditional Japanese inn located at Aso Uchinomaki Onsen, a hot spring nestled within the Aso Caldera. Ranking among the world's largest calderas, the oval-shaped depression stretches for 25 kilometers north to south and for 18 kilometers east to west, and is known for its abundance of underground streams and hot springs. The inn is a mere 10-minute taxi ride from JR Aso Station and boasts breathtaking views of the outer rim mountain range.
The spacious and tranquil Japanese-style rooms are designed to provide a peaceful retreat for the inn guests. Shinwaen grows its own vegetables and uses them to prepare exquisite seasonal dishes that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Shinwaen boasts four unique baths, including a private bath, each with its own distinct ambiance and filled with natural spring water. Immerse yourself in the open-air bath and feel the rejuvenating energy of nature on your skin. Tucked away in a secluded part of the main inn building, the hot springs offer a unique and immersive experience in the middle of an enchanting forest.
On your way to the open-air baths, you'll come across a sunken-hearth hut. The sound of burning wood, the gentle rustling of the breeze, and the chirping of insects all come together to create a serene and calming atmosphere that will help you relax and unwind among the great outdoors.
3. Shikinosato Hanamura
If you're looking for a peaceful retreat from the noises and crowds of the city, Shikinosato Hanamura is the perfect place for you. This cozy mountain lodge is located at Ota Onsen, a hidden hot spring resort nestled in the Aso mountain range around Minami-Oguni Town. It's a 90-minute drive from the Kumamoto Interchange on the Kyushu Expressway or a 60-minute drive from the Hita Interchange on the Oita Expressway. If you're in the mood for more hot springs, the popular Kurokawa Onsen is just a short drive away.
All guestrooms at Shikinosato Hanamura are detached for complete privacy and a truly luxurious stay. You can choose from Japanese-style or Japanese-Western-style rooms, both of which offer calm and soothing interiors. Some rooms even have a private open-air bath or a cave bath. You'll also be treated to stunning seasonal views of the surrounding nature from your window, which will rejuvenate your mind and body.
The Ota Onsen waters are exceedingly clear and rich in a natural moisturizing ingredient called "metasilicic acid," which promotes skin metabolism and gives you a silky-smooth complexion. The lodge's restaurant offers a unique menu featuring local Aso and Minami-Oguni delicacies, including dishes made from seasonal fish, local meat, and other fresh ingredients. The meals are also beautifully arranged and will satisfy both your eyes and your palate. After a relaxing soak in the hot springs, dinner at Shikinosato Hanamura will give you a taste of heaven on Earth.
4. Aso Villa Park Hotel & Spa Resort
Located a 15-minute walk from JR Aso Station, Aso Villa Park Hotel & Spa Resort stands against the backdrop of the majestic outer rim of the Aso Caldera, which is best enjoyed from Route 57. The towering hotel building has a charming European resort atmosphere as it rises above the lush green grassland around it.
Guests can choose from Western-style, Japanese-style, or Japanese-Western-style rooms, each with expansive windows offering serene, unobstructed views of the countryside and the surrounding mountains.
The resort boasts a variety of hot spring baths, including open-air baths, private baths, and baths with scenic views. The third-floor hot spring bath in particular offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Aso's Mt. Neko and Mt. Taka. For those wanting to remain indoors, there is the hotel’s spa resort that will transport you to the tropics as you enjoy 16 different hot water recreational activities. The spa is especially recommended for families.
Yumeoi-so is situated in the heart of Aso Uchinomaki, a bustling area with a shopping district and restaurants. It’s also easily accessible as it only takes 50 minutes by car from the Kumamoto Interchange and a 15-minute drive from Aso Station to reach it, making Yumeoi-so the perfect destination for families or groups of friends.
The hotel offers five types of guestrooms catering to every type of traveler and budget, including rooms with open-air baths, modern Japanese-style rooms, and traditional Japanese-style rooms. The hotel also offers unique private baths and a sumptuous buffet featuring Japanese marbled beef and seafood shipped directly from Amakusa.
The hot spring baths are filled with water from the Aso Uchinomaki underground source. With ten free private baths, each offering something different, guests can indulge in a variety of onsen experiences. There are also three paid baths on the premises, which are also worth a try, particularly the "Tenku no Yu" (Hot Spring in the Sky) offering panoramic views of the five peaks of Aso and a starry sky above for those who like to bathe at night.
For an even more private and peaceful hot spring experience, we recommend booking a room with an open-air bath. These accommodations also feature elegant stone-paved gardens that create a serene and tranquil atmosphere that’s perfect for resting and relaxing.
Hanashoan is a hidden gem located in the Shirakawa Onsen hot spring town of Manganji-Shirakawa, Minamioguni Town, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, rivers, and rice fields, this nine-room inn offers stunning modern Japanese-style ambience that combines traditional elegance with contemporary comfort.
The guestrooms are designed in a refined Japanese-Western style featuring beautiful wooden accents that create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in a peaceful retreat that feels like a home away from home. The living and dining rooms provide beautiful views of the perfectly-arranged courtyard garden that will soothe your soul.
Hanashoan boasts an open-air bath with a uniquely Japanese atmosphere that blends seamlessly with the seasonal scenery. Soak in the hot spring waters that are rich in sulfur and contain 372.8 mg of metasilicic acid per kilogram, an element renowned for its skin-beautifying properties. Some rooms even offer an indoor hot spring bath, perfect for a leisurely soak after a long day.
The chef at Hanashoan carefully selects the freshest seasonal ingredients and uses them abundantly in kaiseki multi-course meals. The dishes are a true culinary delight, featuring local ingredients like mizutaki boiled chicken, horse sashimi, and premium beef that will tantalize your taste buds.
7. Fumoto Ryokan
Fumoto Ryokan is a charming retreat located along the tranquil Tanohara River, far from the noise and commotion of daily life. This inn, situated in the heart of Kurokawa Onsen, offers a wide variety of baths, including 11 different types of private baths, a large public bath, and an open-air bath, making it a perfect choice for hot spring enthusiasts.
The 14 guestrooms are elegantly decorated in harmony with the natural surroundings. The modern Japanese interior and traditional architectural style blend seamlessly to create a tranquil ambience, allowing guests to escape into a world of total relaxation. Guestrooms with open-air baths are also available.
Fumoto Ryokan offers 11 types of private baths, including "Tachiyu," a standing bath with a maximum depth of 150 cm, and "Ishi Kurinuki," a charming bathtub made from hollowed-out stone. The free-flowing hot spring water is 100% natural and helps heal shallow cuts, peripheral circulatory disorders, sensitivity to cold, depression, and dry skin.
The meals served at the inn are simple yet delicious, featuring fresh ingredients from Kumamoto and a focus on natural flavors. The proprietress personally selects the finest items for the menu, focusing on both vegetables and meat equally.
Spagreenness is located on a plateau overlooking the Aso mountains, a mere 10-minute taxi ride from the Kurokawa Onsen bus stop. At this facility, you can take in the breathtaking view of Mt. Aso and experience the majesty of nature spreading all around you.
At Spagreenness, guests rent out entire buildings, making it perfect for long-term stays or for a few consecutive nights. The rooms are equipped with amenities such as microwave ovens and TVs, ensuring a comfortable stay.
Each detached room provides a splendid view and comes with a free-flowing open-air or semi-open-air bath, which guests can use at their leisure. The baths are fed from a sulfate spring with clear, soft water, allowing you to relax and unwind amidst serene wilderness.
For dinner, you can choose between a full-course Italian or Japanese kaiseki multi-course meal, both of which feature a variety of dishes that make use of local seasonal ingredients. Elevate your dining experience by taking in the scenic beauty of your surroundings as you eat.
9. Kyukamura Minami-Aso
Located in Aso-Kuju National Park, approximately a 60-minute drive from the Kumamoto Interchange, Kyukamura Minami-Aso is nestled in the southern foot of Mt. Aso, offering a stunning panoramic view of the five Aso peaks and the local grassy plateau.
Guestrooms are classified into two types, one on the Mt. Aso side and the other on the outer rim side, each featuring magnificent views from inside a simple and peaceful space. The hotel also offers special themed rooms like the "Kumamon Room" featuring Kumamon, the lovable Kumamoto Prefecture mascot, as well as a kids' corner with free playground equipment rental, making the hotel a hit with families.
The hotel uses Minami-Aso's signature hot water from the Shikimi no Yu spring, also known as the "hot water of beauty," in its open-air bath. Soak in the beautifying hot spring while admiring the picturesque view of the five peaks of Aso under a starry sky at night.
You can savor a variety of locally sourced seasonal delicacies from Kumamoto's mountains and sea at the hotel buffet. The spread features plenty of specialty dishes such as dengaku skewers, an Aso delicacy, or salt-grilled Japanese salmon, dagojiru soup, spicy lotus root, and other exquisite dishes.
Rest, Relaxation, and Hot Spring Baths in the Shadow of Japan’s Largest Active Volcano
We hope that this guide has helped you find the perfect hotel or inn with hot spring baths near Mt. Aso where you can immerse yourself in the region's unique natural beauty. Come indulge in a luxurious hot spring experience and unwind from the stresses of everyday life while gazing at the majesty of an active volcano. Visit the Mt. Aso area today for a refreshing escape into a world of rest and relaxation.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.