Ibusuki in Kagoshima Prefecture is known for its volcanic sand baths (砂むし).
About 10 minutes walk south from Ibusuki Station, the Saraku Sand Bath Hall or Sunamushi Kaikan Saraku is the biggest sand bath facility in the area. Here the sand on the beach is infused with hot water from deep underground.
After taking off all your clothes and donning a yukata, you are buried in the sand by an attendant. 10 minutes is the recommended limit before you push yourself out and walk back to the Saraku Sand Bath Hall to shower and take a water hot bath and sauna if you so desire.
The sand bath in central Ibusuki is not the only one in the area. There is another smaller sand bath, Yamakawa Sand Bath on the beach near the large Healthy Land spa and Flower Park Kagoshima.
The procedure is the same but this sand bath had some delicious onsen tamago and onsen-steamed potatoes to enjoy after your sand burial.
Climbing up the cliffs behind Yamakawa Onsen are good views along the coast to Kaimondake (Satsuma Fuji.)
Sand baths are supposedly more effectively than normal onsen in the healing process. Sand baths are said to be good for rheumatism, lumbago and neuralgia.
Sunamushi Kaikan Saraku
Tel: 0993 23 3900
Yunohama 5-25-18, Ibusuki, Kagoshima 891-0406
Yamakawa Sand Bath
Tel: 0993 35 2669
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