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The Official Kyushu Travel Guide

Ibusuki Onsen

指宿砂むし温泉

This hot spring town at the southern tip of Kagoshima is famous for its sunamushi, or sand bathing. Volcanic hot springs line the coast of Ibusuki, warming the sands to 50-55 degrees Celsius.

There are several resorts along the coastline where you can experience sand bathing, which also have regular hot springs to soak in afterwards. To experience a sand bath, you wear a light cotton yukata, and lie a shallow depression in the beach. An attendant will protect your face with a towel and shovel the warm sand over you until you’re buried up to your neck in the black sand, with only your head exposed to the air. After ten minutes or so, you emerge, warm and relaxed. You can take a shower at the beach or explore the nearby hot springs.

Visitors can also hike around nearby Lake Ikeda and Kaimondake, an active volcano that resembles Mt. Fuji. Chiran Samurai District, a town with well-preserved samurai houses, with gardens which are open to the public, is a 50 minute drive from Ibusuki.

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