Ibusuki (指宿) is a great day-trip location from Kagoshima, most famous for hot sand baths. It is a great location for flower viewing and coastline hot springs. It is also a good spot to take the ferry to Yakushima.
Budget travel tips
- When you arrive, head into the Tourist Information Center in the station. They have free, vital multi-lingual bus times (signs are just Japanese!) and a good map available.
- Also pick up the 1-day bus pass (1100 yen) from the Tourist Information Center if you are spending a day here and visiting down to places such as Healthy Land and the peninsular. It will make getting around much easier, and a little cheaper.
- There are lots of free foot baths around town. One is outside the train station, and another is outside the Sand Bath Hall Saraku.
Things to do
Hot sand baths
How could you not come to Ibusuki and experience the ‘sand baths’? Get some funny photos of yourself submerged in naturally hot sand, relax and then take a soak in an outdoor hot spring as you watch other the sea view. There are two main hot sand bath spots, and they both other similar experiences and views. Healthy Land does tend to be quieter though, as it is not in the town centre.
Sand Bath Hall Saraku (砂むし会館砂楽)
Cost: 610 yen (hot spring only) 1080 yen (plus sand bath). Children half price.
Cost: 510 yen (hot spring only) 1130 yen (plus sand bath). Children half price.
Cape Nagasaki and Ryugu Shrine (龍宮神社)
This Chinese looking shrine is associated with the legend of Urashima Taro. Visitors can see the huge Mt. Kaimon in the far distance, as well as walk down to the lighthouse on the cape.
Open: All day
Flower Park Kagoshima (フラワーパークかごしま)
Large garden with thousands of plants comprising of some 2400 species, including typical Japanese flowers like azalea and hydrangea, as well as tropical and subtropical plants from all over the world.
Open: 9 AM – 5 PM
Cost: 600 yen
In low tide visitors can walk across a sand bridge to this small island. On the island there are various walking routes around small forests and beaches. Make sure you check tide times so you can get back to the mainland! Chirin Island is an awesome idea if you have a bit of extra time in Ibusuki.
Hostels and cheap hotels
Tamaya Youth Hostel
Comfy hostel with a friendly owner, always able to help out and sometimes able to give you a lift to the port. Clean rooms and free tea/coffee. Check prices at Booking.com.
How to get there
With a Japan Rail Pass or Kyushu Rail Pass
We recommend taking the special Limited Express ‘Ibusuki No Tamatebako’ trains from Kagoshima Chuo station (40 mins).
Without a rail pass
Buses are included in the SUNQ pass or cost around 1000 yen (1 hour). Local trains are also available from Kagoshima Chuo station (1 hour, 1000 yen).