Set along the Hida River with the Japanese Alps to the east, Gero Onsen is home to enough natural hot spring water to supply the whole town with ryokan, public baths, and outdoor dipping pools. An ideal city break, this onsen resort promises a relaxing getaway whether it’s just for a day as you pass through the centre of Japan or for a full weekend of discovering this nature-rich corner of the country.
As the natural spring water that bubbles up from beneath Gero Onsen is the main attraction to the area, the majority of the town’s activities involve a good soak in an onsen. Both public baths and traditional ryokan that house their own indoor and outdoor onsen can be found at every step around Gero Onsen with a large choice of styles and temperatures to test out. In order to benefit from the full array of onsen, pick up a 1,300-yen Yumeguri Tegata onsen pass for access to three onsen of your choice. The town is also peppered with free-to-use open air baths which range from mini hand and foot baths along the roadside to the large outdoor bath next to the Hida River which is fit for a full body dip. For a easy tour of the town, download the Gero Onsen Guide app which navigates visitors around the many onsen and other attractions including restaurants and cafés.
Gero Station is found on the JR Hida and Takayama lines so access to the town is most commonly via Nagoya or Takayama. For a cheaper trip into Gero Onsen buses also travel frequently into the town from nearby cities. The majority of Gero Onsen’s attractions lie to the east of Gero Station spreading out around the Hida River whose lines of cherry blossom trees put on an impressive show in springtime. With views over the Hida Mountains to the east, the autumn leaves are also a spectacular sight in October and November when whole hillsides turn every shade of yellow, orange, and red.
Hot springs aside, Gero Onsen is home to a number of other cultural activities to keep you active among all that relaxing. Visitors are invited to learn about the science and culture of hot springs at the Onsen Museum while a trip up to the Onsenji Temple on a neighbouring hill is a good way to soak up views of the area. Head a little east out of the centre for the small historic village of Gero Gassho-mura which. Reconstructed from centuries old thatched roof houses, the village is home to museums, workshops, and artifacts which offer an insight into the rural lifestyle of Japanese country folk hundreds of years ago.
Gero Onsen Overview
NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR