We used Kurokawa Onsen (the village where the hotel is located) as a base to explore Aso-san and Kuju-san, having driven from Beppu.
Our stay at Okunoyu was very pleasant indeed - idyllic even. The hotel really makes the most of its location in a wooded valley next to a small river. There are onsen (hot spring baths) dotted all along the hotel's grounds along the river, including public and private onsen. There are few things more relaxing than lolling around starkers in a naturally heated pool with the sounds and sights of the wood and river surrounding you.
Our room was a combined Western (meaning Western style beds) and Japanese (meaning a Japanese style dining/living area) affair and was beautifully appointed and comfortable. It included a private onsen on the balcony, although this was rather small (and volcanically hot) so did not distract us from the other onsen at the hotel. Bizarrely the room did not include an indoor shower or bath (you can't wash in the onsen) - as with so many pecularities of life in Japan I just shrugged my shoulders and accepted it as part of their way of doing things.
The food at Okunoyu was about the best I have had in Japan. The beef in particular was beyond compare. For those in need of a top up (and there won't be many of you) there is a seemingly infinite supply of hard boiled eggs straight from the ground in the car park!
Kurokawa itself is a small village consisting almost entirely of hot spring resorts. It feels like somewhere tucked away that you just happened to have discovered, although of course rather more planning went into the stay than that!
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- Also Known As:
- Kurokawa Onsen Okunoyu Japan/Kumamoto Prefecture - Minamioguni-Machi