Yakushima is blessed with several natural hot springs (onsen 温泉 in Japanese). A unique feature is that a couple of the Yakushima onsens are actually by the sea and one of them is only accessible when the tide is low. There is this specific etiquette you need to follow in hot springs. First you have to wash yourself before entering the bath and remember that swimming costumes are not permitted. Tattoos are still not the norm in Japan and so it’s polite to cover any tattoos whilst using the onsen. If you don’t wish to enter the onsen it’s still worth a visit to see this amazingly beautiful area by the ocean.
I got a chance to visit Hirauchi Onsen springs which are located in to the small village of Hirauchi. It has been used as a bath for the locals for 400 years but over the years it has also become a tourist attraction. Each onsen has a different temperature, some of them are hand warm and some of them really hot. The longer you wait after low tide, the hotter the pools become. During and after the onsen I felt myself so relaxed, energized and refreshed. It was such a interesting experience. Nature was so pure and clean. There were some big rocks you could climb on after the bath and just enjoy the view and listen to waves. The whole atmosphere was filled with peace and harmony.