10 spring sources and 7 hot springs of Nyuto Onsen-kyo
Nyuto Onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village in Akita Prefecture has 10 spring sources with a variety of colors of spring water including brown, blue, white and clear, and you can enjoy different kinds of hot spring at the 7 hot spring inns in Onsen-kyo village. They have different types of inns including a well-established inn since Edo period, a high-class modern Japanese inn and a small inn that perfectly suits the image of a secluded hot spring. You can choose an inn that satisfies your taste.
When travelling to Nyuto Onsen-kyo from Tokyo Station, take JR Akita Shinkansen to Tazawako Station. Lake Tazawa is the deepest lake in Japan. It is located in rich nature and you will be able to see beautiful scenery especially in winter surrounded in perfectly clear air. If you have time, visiting Kakunodate, located about 30 minutes by JR Tazawako Line from Tazawako Station, is also recommended. The streets with beautifully preserved Samurai residences spread in front of you. From Tazawako Station to Nyuto Onsen-kyo, it is about an hour ride by bus for “Nyuto Onsen” on the Ugo Kotsu Bus Nyuto Line. From Akita Airport, there are reservation-only shared taxis and Akita Airportliner that runs directly to Nyuto Onsen-kyo, which takes about 2 hours.
The line-up of inns with unique characteristics
The biggest appeal of Nyuto Onsen-kyo in winter is simply the scenery of snow. The fantastical scenery of snow-covered old forest spreads over the steam of hot springs. Choose your favorite inn from the 7 inns, each with unique characteristics.
If you are looking for an elegant atmosphere, “Tsurunoyu Onsen”, the oldest hot spring inn in Nyuto Onsen-kyo, is recommended. The existence of this Onsen was already recorded more than 300 years ago. They have 4 spring sources with different spring qualities within a 50m radius (about 164ft).The main building, called “Honjin”, is characterized by its traditional thatched roof. Other buildings also have the taste of old forest, letting you feel the Japanese atmosphere of old times. The main bath is a mixed bath, where men and women bathe together, but separate baths for men and women are also available.
“Taenoyu”, characterized by its sophisticated facility and hospitality, is a hot spring inn in Nyuto Onsen-kyo that is especially popular among female visitors. The hot spring of fantastic spring quality, perfect scenery, buildings made with beautiful woodwork, meals full of local ingredients, all of them are provided with a good balance, relaxing the mind of guests. There are 2 hot spring sources, Kin-no-yu or gold hot spring and Gin-no-yu or silver hot spring, and both are available in open-air and indoor baths. Enjoy the modern Japanese atmosphere to the full extent in this secluded region.
The most modern facility in Nyuto Onsen-kyo where the atmosphere of ancient Japan still remains is “Kyukamura Nyuto Onsen-kyo”. You can stay there for a reasonable price compared to other inns. There is a roof over their open-air bath, so you can bathe in it without being affected by weather. Their buffet style dinner satisfies many of their guests, providing a wide variety of food as well as several kinds of locally brewed sake. It is also easily accessible located right in front of the bus stop “Kyukamura-Mae”.
Ganiba Onsen is a hot spring inn that has a long history of more than 160 years. In their open-air bath located in the foothills of Mt. Nyuto-zan, you can relax and enjoy bathing listening to the sound of the freshwater streaming nearby. You can see a fantastical scenery where lanterns are lit in the morning haze in the early morning when the temperature drops.
Located in the innermost part of Nyuto Onsen-kyo is “Magoroku Onsen”. It is about 15 minutes walk from Nyuto Onsen bus stop. It is popular for its water quality which is called “spring with medicinal property” and its atmosphere of a secluded hot spring. The indoor bath “Ishi-no-yu” features the bathtub made of a huge rock and blue hot spring water.
The open-air bath of “Ogama Onsen” is characterized by its beautiful tone of color, such as pillars and walls painted in black and hot spring water of light brown color, the green trees in summer and the white snow of winter. The building made of reconstructed former elementary school is also unique. An easy access, 2 minutes walk from the bus stop “Taenoyu-Mae”, is another appealing point.
“Kuroyu Onsen” is a well-established inn that has a history of more than 300 years. The building has an ancient atmosphere, skillfully using local trees and plants, and it has a wide variety of hot spring baths including 3 indoor baths, 2 open-air baths and 2 cascading baths. You can enjoy bluish milky-white and rich milky-white hot spring water. It is closed from the middle of November to the beginning of April every year.
The tools that make your visits to hot springs more fun and convenient
Guests who stay in any one of the 7 hot spring inns introduced here can purchase a reasonable pass ticket book called “Yumeguri-cho” that allows you to bathe in each hot spring once. It is 1,500 yen and valid for one year. It is sold at the front desk of each facility.
Those who purchase Yumeguri-cho can also use a shuttle bus called “Yumeguri-go” that connects the 7 inns. When you want to use it, you need to tell the front desk of any of the inns “the places you want to get on and off and the number of passengers” at least one hour before the time the bus you want to use is scheduled to leave. In winter, the bus makes 5 round trips a day, stopping at each inn except Kuroyu Onsen (closed during winter) and Magoroku Onsen. You can walk to Magoroku Onsen from Ogama Onsen. If you use the bus, you can enjoy soaking in 3 different hot springs in one day even if you visit them at a slow pace.
Nyuto Onsen-kyo is beautiful in winter with the scenery of snow, but it is also attractive in other seasons. You can enjoy the scenery unique to each season from fresh green of trees in spring to glowing red and yellow leaves in autumn, and you can also experience the cuisine that uses seasonal ingredients such as edible mountain vegetables in spring, fresh vegetables in summer, newly harvested rice in autumn and seafood from the Sea of Japan in winter. You will be surely satisfied at any time of the year you visit them.