The history of Hosenji hot spring dates back to the Heian Period. Hosenji locates along Machida river, which is a tributary of Chikugo river.
It is said that, in 938, Saint Kuya was on the tour to preach through the country and met a hunter. Kuya told the hunter not to kill animals and pierced the earth by a wood stick he had. He went away, saying that some miracle would happen later. The wood stick was rooted and grew up to be large cedar.
In 972, when a big earthquake occurred to this place, a hot spring begun to gush suddenly from the root of the cedar. Strangely, the day was the day when Saint Kuya died.
An injured person soaked in the hot spring, he was cured soon. The hot spring was a treasure itself. The villagers surprised at this, and built a temple near the hot spring. Since Saint Kuya gave the treasured hot water, a temple was named Hosenji and enshrined statues of the Saint and Dainichi Nyorai.
The temple don't remain at present, but a statue of Kannon, whose height is 15m, watches over the town, and a Kannon holy fire memorial service is performed on the 21st of every month.
A common outdoor hot spring called "Ishibitsu-no-yu" is a symbol of Hosenji, for this is the biggest stone-chest bathroom in Japan made of stone chests of the. (At present, this is a footbath.)
Hosenji hot-spring village has three hot springs: “Kabeyu Onsen,” “Kawazoko Onsen,” and “Hosenji Onsen.”
From over 70 sources, more than 2000 liters per minute of hot water gushes out, so many hotels and public bathhouses are receiving benefit from the hot springs.
Hot springs of Hosenji are the oldest in Kokonoe town, and the softness of the water has been loved by many people. In a short story "Pastoral of women," written by the author Kazuo Dan, scenes full of human feelings in Hosenji appear.
Hosenji was chosen as "100 best rural areas for creatures," and became famous for the precious place where three kinds of fireflies lives.
We want to keep the wonderful hot springs and a nostalgic atmosphere.
"Firefly festivals" are held every June in Hosenji, elementary school students of the town and others try to greed fireflies in order to increase fireflies around Hosenji.
Teachers and students of the elementary school in the town collect about four hundred male fireflies and female fireflies around Machida River in June or July, and grow fireflies on a plastic container so that they can lay eggs.
Grown-up larvae are released and returns to nature at wide areas, typically along the Machida River, from October to November.
Also, we collect black snails, which is prey to the fireflies, and clean rivers. These contribute to a good environment for fireflies.
If you are lucky, you can see Genji fireflies even at the end of May around the Hosenji. From the end of June, you can see other kinds of fireflies, for example, Heike fireflies.
The service which grants the desire of the customer of the etc. which "would like to take a bath" who "would like to eat" of which I "would like to see the sights" is also plenty in Hosenji hot spring in these other ones.