Hidden Hot Springs among the Mountains of Central Kyushu
Not many hot spring hideaways can top Kurokawa Onsen, a small village tucked away in a cut between the Kuju and Aso mountain ranges of central Kyushu. Nearly all of the two dozen ryokan (traditional guesthouses) here offer outdoor baths where you can relax and soak up the beautiful rural scenery, from snow in the winter to the fiery maples of fall. While the village is popular with Japanese travelers on weekends and holidays, come on a weekday and you'll have the hot springs pretty much to yourself.
By Mandy Bartok
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Manganji, Minamioguni, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture 869-2402, Japan