In 1866, during the waning days of the Tokugawa shogunate, Sakamoto Ryoma, who had received a sword wound in the Teradaya Incident, came here to heal his wounds, bringing his wife Oryo with him. They spent the majority of this trip at Shiohitashi Onsen. Since the days of old, this place had been called “Crane Hot Spring” because cranes supposedly flew to the spring to heal their wounds, and so it has been said to be effective in healing things like wounds and gastrointestinal disorders. Introduced to this place by his Kyushu-born confederates Komatsu Tatewaki and Saigo Takamori, Ryoma enjoyed the Kirishima scenery as he took a curative bath, and spent an unforgettable time with Oryo. This journey has been called “Japan’s first honeymoon.” Later, after repeated maintenance by Satsuma Domain, in 2010 the current Shiohitashi Onsen Ryoma Park was established as an integrated bathing and museum facility.
To commemorate it as “a place associated with Ryoma, who laid the foundation for modern Japan,” a monument to the “Sakamoto Ryoma and Oryo Honeymoon Hot Spring Vacation” was erected within the park. There’s also the “Kono Yo no Soto Ryoma Museum” that explains the relationship Ryoma and Oryo had with Kirishima. The name “Kono Yo no Soto,” which means “out of this world,” comes from a letter Ryoma wrote to his older sister about Kirishima: “Truly, it is such a wondrous place as to make one think it a thing not of this world.” The “Ryoma-no-yu” men’s baths and “Oryo-no-yu” women’s baths are sourced to Shiohitashi Onsen, the same hot spring that the Ryoma used to rest and heal his wounds. Also sourced to the same hot spring, the “Ryoma and Oryo Enmusubi Foot Bath” can be comfortably used by anyone of either gender.