The First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Kurokawa Onsen, Japan

It was the last leg of our trip. It was our fifth prefecture in two weeks in Japan so we should have been exhausted at that point. In fact, we were. It was a tiring but fun two weeks of non-stop movement, filled with days of adventure that would start early in the morning to catch highway buses from one prefecture to the next. Traversing that mountain pass from Oita to Kumamoto, I should been sleeping on that bus but I couldn’t. The scenery outside was just too beautiful to miss.

It was mid-February when we found ourselves staring through the windows of that bus, taking in the scenery of snow-covered pine trees on either side of a meandering mountain road. Coming from Yufuin, we were making our way up that pass towards Kurokawa Onsen, an idyllic hot spring town tucked away in the mountains of Kumamoto. It would be the final stop of our two-week trip to Japan, and based on what I had read, it would also be the most beautiful.

I didn’t want to miss a…

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