Ibusuki Sand Bath: Unique Onsen Town in Kagoshima!
Natural Sand Bath Onsen in Ibusuki, Kagoshima, Kyushu
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The little Onsen town, Ibusuki (指宿) is located at the southwest tip of Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu Region. Ibusuki is known for its rich Onsen sources, and there are around 500 hot spring spots in town. There are also several popular hot spring resorts that attracts over 2 million visitors a year. Besides regular hot spring baths, Ibusuki is famous for the unique sand baths with naturally heated sand. The sand bath in Ibusuki is considered to bring great effects for bodies such as relaxing muscles, detox and better blood circulation . There are several spots in the town where you can try this unique Ibusuki’s sand bath.
The fee is 1,080 yen for sand bath and the hot spring bath use. You may need to take two towels: one small for putting under your head at sand bath and one large to dry your body after taking bath. But you can purchase or rent towels if you don’t have one. At the counter, they hand you a locker key and Yukata wear, then first, go to the changing room and put Yukata wear (wear nothing else!). Then head outside for the sand bath!
The sand bath is situated open-air on the beach, and guests can literally lie down and take sand bath with the sound of waves. The zone by the shore is open only when the tide is low and the weather is good.
The staff will guide you where to lie down, and bury your body in hot sand. You can actually bring your camera and ask staff to take pictures for you while bathing 🙂 The sand is hot and heavy, and it’s heated naturally by the steam. After a few minute, I could feel my body started sweating. Sand bath is recommended to take around 10 mins, and if you overstay, it may cause heat injury and dizziness, so make sure to get out once you start feeling too hot.
I felt very refreshing after the sand bath and my muscle was much more relaxed. Because the hot spring contains natural salt in the miracle ancient water from the deepest spring. It is said that the hot spring decreases inflammation and refreshes the skin. After getting out from the sand bath, guests must go to the public bath to wash out the sand and soak up your body with hot Onsen bath. There are a sauna room and cold water bath, too.
After taking bath, make sure to hydrate yourself. There is a free water and tea on the 2nd floor as well as vending machines with soft drinks and a shop selling local souvenirs.
If you love soaking up in Onsen, you will definitely love the new experience with the sand bath in Ibusuki Town!
There are several hotels and Ryokan (Japanese style inn) you can stay over in Ibusuki area. Ibusuki is a small and rustic town, but a great place to relax by the ocean and the surrounding area has great landscape of Kagoshima Bay and the symbolic mountain, Mount Kaimondake. It’s highly recommended for scenic driving.
Here are some accommodations in Ibusuki area
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