Japan’s hot springs are famous for their soothing waters, which offer not just supreme relaxation but numerous medically proven health benefits. One stand-out spot where both are on offer are the carbonated baths of Taketa, a charming hot spring destination in the lush and verdant hills of rural western Oita.
Naturally rich in carbon dioxide gas—a rare phenomenon in the world—these bubbly baths have been renowned since ancient times for beautifying skin, and for good reason too. In recent years, doctors have documented the baths’ ability to open up blood vessels and stimulate blood flow, not only raising the body’s metabolism to detoxify the skin but lowering blood pressure, controlling blood-sugar levels, and reducing fatigue to boot.
The springs of Taketa City are spread out across three main areas: Nagayu Onsen, considered Japan’s number-one carbonated spring, Kuju Kogen (Kuju Plains) Onsen, and the Ogi-Taketa Onsen district. There are more than 50 bathhouses in total—each with its own unique charms—where you can enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating soak. Why not start at the Taketa Onsen Hanamizuki bathhouse—a central and convenient venue that was the first in Japan to offer a negative-ion bath. Expect to feel refreshed and in the mood to embark on a hot spring adventure for the ages.
Hours: The baths are open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last entry at 9:00 p.m.) Hours for other facilities may vary.
500 yen for adults (junior high school age and older).
200 yen for children (elementary school age).
Free for children under six years old.
Address: 2250-1 Aiai, Taketa City, Oita Prefecture
Airport: Kumamoto Airport
Closed Thursdays (open if Thursday is a holiday). (Taketa Onsen Hanamizuki) Hours for other facilities may vary.
+81-974-64-1126 (Taketa Onsen Hanamizuki)
Phone numbers for other facilities may vary.
Airport buses are available from Kumamoto Airport to Taketa City
(approx. 100 minutes one-way via the Airport Express “Yamabiko”).