Onsen, or hot springs, are often thought of as being located in remote areas, but there are places right here in Fukuoka City where you can enjoy natural hot springs. One of these is the Hakata Onsen district located along the Naka River. Situated in a quiet residential area, Ganso Motoyu looks like an ordinary private residence at first glance. Its name, which roughly translates as “the original hot spring,” derives from the fact that 49-degree-Celsius water gushed out of the ground when the owners had a well dug here in 1966. The bath is large enough to accommodate three people, and the piping hot spring water flows directly into the tub without being cooled.
Fujinoen is another hot spring located in the Hakata Onsen district. The area was originally a rice paddy, but when the owners noticed that rice grew faster in one corner of the paddy, they dug up the area and hot spring water came gushing out. Since opening as an onsen inn in 1972, Fujinoen has been a favorite destination for local hot spring fans. Both day-trip bathing and overnight stays are available, and since there is a golf driving range on the premises, you can also enjoy a soak after practicing golf.
If you prefer your onsen with an ocean view, then you will want to visit Kyukamura Shikanoshima. Sitting in the open-air bath facing the Genkai Sea, you can enjoy a view of the blue ocean stretching out before you, the sunset over the sea, or the star-filled sky, depending on what time you go. Meanwhile, Bayside Place Hakata, a commercial complex on Hakata Wharf, is home to Namiha no Yu. As opposed to onsen in outlying areas, here you can enjoy a uniquely urban bathing experience, complete with views of Fukuoka’s nightscape. In addition to the natural hot spring, Namiha no Yu has a hot stone sauna and a facial spa.
An increasing number of hotels in the city also have natural hot springs. One of the pioneers of this trend is Yaoji Hakata Hotel near Hakata Station. In 1998, prior to the construction of the hotel, the developer planned to drill for hot spring water, and after about six months of drilling, they struck a hot spring reservoir with abundant hot water. Day-trip bathing is also available, so you do not need to book a night in the hotel. Since this, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of hotels in Fukuoka City equipped with natural hot spring baths.