All About Japan

A Rare Sand Hot Spring

| Onsen , Saga

There's something truly special about Tsuru-no-Ongaeshi Yomigaeri Inn Kakureisen. The hot water springs out from bedrock that's covered with sand, so the water gushes directly through the grains! This place is not only unique but also very old—it has a history of over 2,000 years!

Tsuru-no-Ongaeshi Yomigaeri Inn Kakureisen

Saga Prefecture’s Furuyu Onsen area is designated as a national recreation and hot spring location where the water is very good for your health. According to an old legend, this place was found by Japan’s seventh emperor, Korei (traditionally said to have reigned from 290 to 215 B.C.), but was destroyed by a flood and forgotten afterward. Many years later, local people noticed that cranes (tsuru) were healing their wounds in a nearby water pond, so they dug into the pond and found the old hot spring. Turu-no-ongaeshi literally means, "The crane's return of a favor."



The famous Japanese poet Mokichi Saito also stayed at Kakureisen Inn. The elegant Japanese-style ryokan inn just might remind you of nostalgic old times. In the garden, where you can enjoy the changing of the seasons, there's even a rock with a poem inscribed by Saito.

Two Hot Spring Pools

The inn has two hot spring pools. The one you see in the foreground of the photo above is warmed up through additional circulation. The other pool, in the background, is the unique sand bath. It’s rather lukewarm, with a water temperature of 36 to 37 degrees Celsius (96.8-98.6°F).

The best way to make use of this hot spring is to go from one pool to another. This will stimulate your metabolism and increase the detoxification effect on the body. The shower area is also rather unique with its tatami flooring.

Try the Rare Sand Hot Spring!

There's plenty of sand on the bottom of this hot spring pool. It’s been placed there to protect the bedrock from which the hot water springs. The result is that the water gushes from under your feet and creates a very pleasant feeling when you’re soaking in the pool. 


Try to scoop a bit of the sand from the bottom. Most of the particles are just 1 to 2 millimeters, although there are some bigger pieces as well. This is nice and mild sand that doesn’t hurt your skin and feels pleasant to the touch.

You Can Drink the Water!

One of the greatest pleasures of free-flowing hot springs is the opportunity to drink some of the water! Increase the healing effect by drinking a bit and allowing the water to flow inside your body. There's a pipe spout with free-flowing water just next to the sand pool, so simply use the cups left by the window and drink! There's no smell or color in the water!

Kakureisen Inn is located just 30 minutes away by car from Saga Station, so you can also come for a day-trip. Refresh your body with new energy in this unique and historical sand bath!

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