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Onsen in Hokkaido / Tohoku

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  • Sakunami Onsen
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    Miyagi Sendai-shi Aoba-ku Sakunami
    A hot spring area, surrounded by lush natural beauty, considered the “inner parlor” of Sendai. Since it opened in 1796, the area has been a favorite of countless people. This area is also known for its connection to such cultural figures as Masaoka Shiki; Bansui Doi; Ippei Okamoto, manga artist and father of Taro Okamoto; and Jiro Shirasu, close associate of Shigeru Yoshida. Because of the area’s abundant flow of waters that are gentle on skin, it has also gained a reputation as a “hot spring which produces beautiful women.” The waters of the area’s simple hot springs, chloride springs, and sulfate springs are said to beautify the skin and treat such ailments as nerve pain, rheumatism, joint pain, women’s diseases, and sensitivity to cold. The Nikka Whisky Sendai Factory, where visitors can see the whisky making process; and the picturesque beauty of the sprawling Okunikkawa Ravine and Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls can also be found nearby.
  • Atsumionsen
    Yamagata Tsuruoka-shi Yuatsumi
    A renowned hot spring district located in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture close to the border with Niigata Prefecture. Boasting over 1,000 years since it was first developed as a hot spring rest, the area has been visited by many writers and artists, including Akiko Yosano, Riichi Yokomitsu, and Matsuo Basho. The waters of the area's sodium-calcium chloride springs and sulfate springs are said to ease cuts and skin diseases, while drinking them is believed to treat chronic constipation and gallstones. The hot springs here generate an abundant 1,300 liters of piping hot water every minute, enough to fill around 9,360 oil drums a day. The area is dotted with numerous hot spring water drinking facilities, footbaths, and public baths, making it easy for visitors to enjoy the famous local waters in a variety of ways. Another fun thing to do here is to visit the Atsumi Onsen Morning Market (open April to November) while dressed in a yukata robe and geta sandals.
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  • Kaminoyamaonsen
    Yamagata Kaminoyama-shi Yumachi Tokamachi Shinyu Hayama Kawasaki Takamatsu
    Kaminoyama once flourished as a castle town beneath Kaminoyama Castle as well as a post station town situated on the Ushu Highway, and even today much of its old castle town atmosphere remains. Also known as the Village of the Three Paradises, Kaminoyama Onsen's history dates back over 560 years. Comprised of six districts, visitors can enjoy the area's beautiful views of Mt. Zao. The Shinyu-Yumachi-Tokamachi district is a history rich area and the location of the Crane's Resting Stone, the place where the hot springs of the area were discovered according to legend. The Hayama-Kawasaki-Takamatsu-Kanakame district is a relatively new area and its superb location offers a sweeping view of Mt. Zao. The area's sodium-calcium chloride-sodium-sulfate springs (common salt springs containing calcium sulfate) generate clear, mildly alkaline waters with a mild mineral scent and salty taste.
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  • Tsuchiyu Onsen
    Fukushima Fukushima-shi Tsuchiyuonsenmachi
    A hot spring district connected to an ancient legend concerning Prince Shotoku located in western Fukushima City 16 kilometers from Fukushima Station. The area is host to 17 hot spring hotels and old-fashioned public bathhouses as well as more casual day trip hot spring bathhouses, and visitors can choose which facility or facilities to visit based on their interests and mood. A variety of source springs are found in the area, including simple hot springs, simple sulfur springs, and hydrogen carbonate springs, each purported to offer different health benefits. Tsuchiyu Onsen, together with Togatta and Naruko, is also considered one of the three primary locations where kokeshi wooden dolls, a traditional craft, emerged, and visitors can observe kokeshi artisans at work or even try painting their own kokeshi doll at Matsuya Products Shop. Famed for its flowers as well as its history, visitors can also delight in this hot spring district's many seasonal flowering trees and, in the fall, gorgeous autumn foliage.
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  • Onogawa Onsen
    Yamagata Yonezawa-shi Onogawamachi
    The famous waters of this hot spring district are said to have been discovered by the poet Ono no Komachi and were beloved by the samurai Date Masamune, the lord of Yonezawa Domain. The district is located in an area with spectacular seasonal natural beauty. The waters of the district's radium- and sulfur-containing sodium calcium chloride springs are gentle on the skin and contain an abundance of metasilicic acid, a substance also used in facial lotions. The waters of the springs can also be drunk for further health benefits on top of those gained in bathing in them. A money-saving, wooden top-shaped pass called the Yumeguri Tegata is sold at all inns in the area; the pass allows holders to visit the bathhouses of any three inns of their choice in Onogawa Onsen and Shirabu Onsen. Once the pass has been used up, holders can take part in a free class to paint it and created a memento of their trip, a very popular area activity. There are many other classes offered in the area for visitors to enjoy, including making a Buddhist nenju rosary bracelet, sutra copying, ceramic bell painting, and making custard-like soft boiled hot spring eggs.
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  • Bandaiatami Onsen
    Fukushima Koriyama-shi Atamimachi Atami
    A hot spring district consisting of around 27 hot spring hotels standing side by side in Koriyama. Developed as a hot spring resort some 800 years ago during the Kamakura period, the area's name is derived from a place in Izunokuni Province, what is now Shizuoka Prefecture, the area where the then-ruling lord of the Ito clan was born and raised. Records state that during the Nanboku-cho period, a princess of the Imperial Court suffered from an incurable disease but was healed by the waters of this area after receiving an oracle telling her to head northeast from the capital and bathe in the miraculous spring found at the side of the 500th river she encountered. The area's alkaline simple springs have a pH of 9.1 and their waters are characterized by their smooth, slippery feel. Because these colorless, odorless waters cured the princess, they are also said to grant beauty to women. The Hagi Hime Festival is held here on August 9 and 10 in celebration of the legend of the princess.
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  • Akayu Onsen
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    Yamagata Nanyo-shi Akayu
    This hot spring district is located in the middle of a city, a rarity among the hot springs of Yamagata Prefecture; its history stretches back more than 920 years. The district is dotted with 14 hot spring hotels and four public bathhouses, and one of its most notable characteristics is the number of convenience stores and restaurants located close by. Today, this hot spring district in the heart of Nanyo City is on the small side, but the area once flourished as a red-light district, and it is filled with numerous restaurants which bustle with patrons dressed in yukata robes and geta sandals, the traditional costume of a hot spring hotel guest. Nearby Eboshiyama Park, selected as one of Japan's top 100 destinations for cherry blossom viewing, is famous for its 1,000 cherry trees, and visitors are particularly recommended to come here when the flowers are in full bloom in spring. Akayu also grows large quantities of grapes and is home to four wineries, and visitors can enjoy visiting each to sample and compare their wares. In addition, Akayu is known for its nationally popular ramen chains as well as its many more individual and unique ramen restaurants.
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  • Towadako Hot spring village
    Aomori Towada-shi Horyo Yakeyama
    A picturesque hot spring district sprawling along Oirase Stream, whose source is Lake Towada. Walking paths have been built in the area primarily around the lake for visitors to stroll leisurely along and take in the fresh verdure in spring, fall foliage in autumn, and all the area's seasonal beauty. In winter, visitors can see rare frozen waterfalls along Oirase Stream. Throughout the year, the area bustles with tourists. Different types of springs can be found in different locations within the district, including carbonate springs, chloride springs, sulfate spring, and simple springs, and there waters are said to aid recovery from fatigue and promote health in addition to treating such conditions as nerve pain, joint pain, and rheumatism. Some of the hot spring facilities in the area have baths with views of frozen waterfalls in winter, and these are quickly gaining popularity.
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  • Asamushi Onsen
    Aomori Aomori-shi Asamushi
    A popular hot spring district conveniently located a 30 minute drive from urban Aomori City. The history of the area dates back to the Heian period, when its hot spring waters are said to have been discovered by the great priest Ennin. Today, the area's name is written with characters which mean shallow insect, but it was once written with characters meaning hemp steams, an allusion to the use of the waters here to steam hemp to weave cloth. The simple springs here have an average temperature of 63° C and their colorless waters are said to treat conditions such as women's diseases, rheumatism, and nerve pain. Visitors are particularly recommended to take in the sight of the sun setting beyond the island of Yunoshima floating in Mutsu Bay. A free hot spring footbath is located right in front of Aoimori Railway Asamushi-Onsen Station. This historic hot spring district was once frequented by the lords of Hirosaki Domain; surrounded by natural beauty, it serves as the retreat of Aomori.
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  • Taka Yu Onsen
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    Fukushima Fukushima-shi Machiniwasaka
    A hot spring area first cultivated 400 years ago, a Yakushido hall enshrining a statue of Bhaisajyaguru stands next to the famous Adachiya inn at its center. The Yakushido was built to house the statue, which was commissioned in 1794 by Sugano Kuniyasu during the mid-Edo period when the hot spring area was cultivated. Records state that in ancient times people would pray to the statue to further enhance the benefits of bathing in the area’s acidic sulfur containing aluminum calcium sulfate springs. The waters of these springs are said to have all kinds of beneficial effects, and visitors can find detailed information on how to bathe in them to best treat this or that ailment. Visitors will also want to be sure to check out the public bathhouse in the area, which is constantly supplied with natural, undiluted, unheated hot spring water from a source spring “kakenagashi” style; the bathhouse’ Japanese style building is modeled after the public bathhouses of old, and all of its baths are outdoor baths.