Okuhida Onsen-go is a hot spring resort located at the base of the Northern Japan Alps in the Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. With good public transport connections from Takayama and Matsumoto these hot springs are popular with tourists, skiers and hikers alike, enjoyable in all seasons. If taking a dip and regenerating in geothermally heated waters is your thing, this is one area you will not want to miss!
Okuhida Onsen-go isn’t the name of one particular onsen, rather the collective name of five hot springs in the region developed along Okuhida’s valleys. Each hot spring area has its own unique charm and they all retain different atmospheres. It is said that Okuhida Onsen-go boasts the most open-air hot spring baths of any one area in the whole of Japan, making it a must-visit location for the seasoned onsen fanatic and first timer alike.
There are a variety of onsens in Okuhida: indoor baths, outdoor baths, private baths and both segregated and mixed gender baths. Most hot springs require you to wash your body thoroughly before entering, and Okuhida is no different. Some can be entered free of charge while others require a fee of up to 2,000 yen for a dip. Many of the hot springs in the area belong to a “ryokan”, a traditional Japanese inn, which are of course free to enter if you are a guest at the ryokan. Non-staying guests though are usually asked to pay an entry fee. Most of the hot springs in Okuhida Onsen-go come with stunning mountain views as a bonus!
When you’ve had enough of the hot springs, or just fancy a break from them, other activities in the area include the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway, a ropeway gondola that climbs 1,033 meters in altitude, and three kilometers in distance. When you reach the top, you are afforded breathtaking views of the surrounding Japanese Alps.
There are also an abundance of hiking trails in the area, some of which can be very difficult with unpredictable terrain. Unless you are an experienced hiker with an in-depth knowledge of the area, you are strongly urged to gain professional advice from tourist information centers before attempting to embark on any of the courses.
Finally, evenings in Okuhida Onsen-go are all about relaxing at one of the many ryokans to be found in the area, where you’ll be likely be rewarded with good local food, Japanese sake and of course an onsen to rest your weary legs in.
Okuhida Onsen-go is technically part of Takayama City but buses to and from JR Takayama Station take up to one hour. There are also buses from Matsumoto in just under 90 minutes.
Okuhida Onsen-go Overview
NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR