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Fukuoka’s Finest: A Guide to the City’s Exceptional Hot Spring Havens

Kyushu is known for its famous hot spring areas such as Yufuin, which draw numerous visitors from within Japan and abroad. Yet, the Japanese often partake in hot springs more casually as a part of their daily routines. This piece will highlight some of the notable hot spring facilities located in Fukuoka City.

The integration of hot springs into Japanese life has historical roots dating back approximately 6,000 years, as archaeological sites have shown. Ancient texts, including the “Nihon Shoki,” document instances of emperors journeying for the purpose of visiting hot springs. In those times, natural hot springs were especially valued due to the difficulty of heating water by fire.

Hot springs were traditionally sought for therapeutic reasons, leading to the development of inns for extended stays near these sites. Initially, these accommodations were basic, with guests arranging their own meals. Over time, this evolved into the comprehensive service found in modern ryokans, including elaborate dining options. As transportation improved, day-use bathing facilities became accessible throughout the country.

When utilizing hot springs, there are important etiquette rules to observe: avoid bathing after consuming alcohol or engaging in strenuous exercise, and ensure a period of rest before entering the springs. Extended or frequent bathing in a single day can lead to health risks such as dizziness or fainting. Additionally, cleanliness is paramount, with pre-bath washing expected and towels to be kept out of the water. It’s also worth noting that some facilities have restrictions regarding tattoos, though smaller ones may be covered up; it is advisable to verify the regulations of each establishment beforehand.

Kyukamura Shikanoshima, 休暇村志賀島

Specifically, along the Nakagawa River within Fukuoka City, there’s an area where natural hot springs are available. The area, known as “Hakata Onsen,” boasts several facilities, including:

Ganso Motoyu
From the exterior, Ganso Motoyu may resemble a regular household, and its bathing area is compact, quickly reaching capacity. However, it is recognized as the originating site of Hakata Onsen. Discovered in 1966 when a prospective well-driller struck hot spring water, this site is characterized by its significantly high temperatures, averaging around 49 degrees Celsius. The facility offers a direct flow of this hot spring water into its baths, providing an authentic and intensely warm bathing experience.

Ganso Motoyu, 元祖元湯

Ganso Motoyu
3-6-18 Yokote, Minami-ku, Fukuoka
• 13:00~18:00
• Close: Thu.

Ganso Motoyu, 元祖元湯

Ganso Motoyu, 元祖元湯

Fuji no En
The site of Fuji no En was once a rice paddy, where an area was noted for the unusually rapid growth of rice. Curiosity led to excavation, which resulted in the discovery of a hot spring. Since its establishment as a hot spring inn in 1972, it too has been offering baths filled directly with hot spring water at around 45 degrees Celsius. The facility includes accommodation and a golf practice area, catering to a variety of guests – those looking for a day trip experience, overnight stays, or even a relaxing soak after a round of golf.

Fuji no En, 富士の苑

Fuji no En
3-19-7 Miyake, Minami-ku, Fukuoka
• 10:00~22:00 (registration ends at 21:30)
• Close: Tue. (however, hot spring baths are open from 16:00~22:00)

Fuji no En, 富士の苑

Fuji no En, 富士の苑

For a leisurely time near the sea

Enjoying hot springs while gazing at the sea and sky offers a unique sense of luxury.

Kyukamura Shikanoshima, 休暇村志賀島

A recommended spot is “Kyuka-Mura Shikanoshima,” an accommodation and leisure facility located on Shikanoshima Island, floating in Hakata Bay. The open-air baths face the sea, offering panoramic views of the expansive blue waters, the sunset beyond the horizon, and a star-filled sky at night. Another draw is the delicious cuisine featuring fresh seafood from the nearby waters.

Kyukamura Shikanoshima, 休暇村志賀島

Kyuka-Mura Shikanoshima
1803-1 Katsuma, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka
• 11:00~15:00 (registration ends at 14:00)
• Close: 3rd Tue. of the month (available from 15:00 for guests staying overnight)

Hot Spring Near the Port

“Minato Onsen Namiha no Yu” is conveniently accessible via public transportation from the heart of Fukuoka. Located within the Bayside Place Hakata complex near Hakata Pier, this facility’s allure lies in its diverse range of bathing options. In addition to a large communal bath and open-air baths, it offers a stone sauna (available from 10:00 to 22:30, with last admission at 21:30) and a tent sauna. For a complete experience, try the foot reflexology and body scrub services.

Minato Onsen Namiha no Yu
Bayside Place Hakata 13-1 Chikkohonmachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• 10:00~23:00 (registration ends at 22:15)
• Open all year round (facilities are closed for inspection several times a year)

Hot Springs in Urban Hotels

Lately, there has been an increase in urban hotels featuring large communal baths and natural hot springs. If the hotel you’re staying at has a large bath, it’s highly recommended to make use of it. The convenience of being able to return directly to your room after bathing allows for an effortless hot spring experience.

Yaoji Hakata Hotel
This hotel was a pioneer among Fukuoka city hotels with its own hot springs. Prior to its construction in 1998, there was a deliberate plan to drill for a hot spring. After about six months of exploration and drilling, a natural hot spring with a generous flow was discovered, making headlines as an urban hot spring delight. Even those not staying at the hotel can enjoy the facilities through day-use access to the baths.

Yaoji Hotel Onsen, 八百治ホテルの温泉

Yaoji Hakata Hotel
4-9-2 Hakata-ekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• 6:30~9:30 (registration ends at 9:00), 12:00~24:00 (registration ends at 23:30)

Fukuoka City
Published: Dec 11, 2023 / Last Updated: Dec 11, 2023

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