HOME Tohoku Aomori Other Surrounding Areas Of Aomori 5 Tohoku Hot Spring Ryokan Getaways With Spectacular Views The Whole Family Can Enjoy!
5 Tohoku Hot Spring Ryokan Getaways With Spectacular Views The Whole Family Can Enjoy!

5 Tohoku Hot Spring Ryokan Getaways With Spectacular Views The Whole Family Can Enjoy!

Date published: 15 April 2021

The Tohoku region of northern Japan abounds with hot springs and natural beauty. Many of the hot springs have spectacular views, like a “secret” spring surrounded by a virgin beech forest or an open-air bath that seems to blend into the Sea of Japan.

Here are five of our favorites, perfect for family trips and anyone who wants to relax and avoid crowds.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen (Fukaura Town, Aomori Prefecture)
  2. 2. Tsuru no Yu Onsen (Semboku City, Akita Prefecture)
  3. 3. Onsen Sanso Daikon no Hana (Zao Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
  4. 4. Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki (Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture)
  5. 5. Sansuikaku (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)

1. Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen (Fukaura Town, Aomori Prefecture)

1. Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen (Fukaura Town, Aomori Prefecture)

Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen is in Fukaura, on Aomori’s Tsugaru Peninsula at the northernmost reaches of Honshu. The inn is built on a scenic cape called Koganezaki, known for its beautiful sunsets.

The name “Furofushi Onsen” originates from the legend that “If you cure here, you will not get old or weak.”

The inn’s distinguishing feature is the full, open bath on the beach. As you soak at the edge of the waves, the horizon is at about eye level and you’ll feel as if you’re actually in the Sea of Japan.

The bath’s water has a brownish hue because it’s an iron-rich chloride salt spring that contains sodium and magnesium.

It has high heat retention that will warm you to the core and is called a “beautiful skin bath” due to its effectiveness in treating skin problems from cuts to skin diseases.

Day trip visits are welcome, but staying overnight is recommended for the best experience. Day-bathers (last reception 3:30 p.m.) must exit the bath by 4 p.m. before the sun sets and the whole area is dyed golden.

Sunset bathing is a privilege reserved for overnight guests only. The experience of soaking in the hot water while gazing at the glowing orange sunset and the magnificent view of the Sea of Japan will be an unforgettable memory.

In addition to the “seaside open-air bath,” the inn’s “Furofushi no Yu” bath offers a panoramic view of the Sea of Japan, and a “Kogane no Yu” with two hot bathtubs.

These baths make it easy for small children, the elderly or anyone who doesn’t want to bathe outdoors to enjoy an onsen experience.

After a relaxing bath, you’ll have a spectacular seafood dinner. The seas around Fukaura, where plankton nourishes the fish and mineral-rich groundwater pours into the sea, are some of the best fishing grounds in Japan.

Furofushi Onsen serves fresh seafood, including tuna and abalone purchased directly from local fishermen. Breakfast is all-you-can-eat with several types of sashimi and grilled fish prepared daily as well as rice and bread.

The inn has tablets to support several languages so you can rest assured that you will be able to communicate with staff members, even if they don’t speak your language.

COVID-19 Countermeasures
・Regular cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of facilities and equipment
・Hand sanitizer made available
・Disinfection of guest rooms after every check-out
・Proper ventilation
・Use of coin trays
・Protective partitions installed at reception desk
・Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor temperatures
・Monitoring the number of people who enter the inn
・Appropriate seat spacing
・Admission restrictions and reservation system
・Entry denied to people who are feeling ill
・Guests requested to wear masks
・Guest temperature checks
・Room service restrictions (no employee entry)

2. Tsuru no Yu Onsen (Semboku City, Akita Prefecture)

2. Tsuru no Yu Onsen (Semboku City, Akita Prefecture)

Nyuto Hot Spring Village is located in the central part of eastern Akita prefecture, in Semboku city’s Tazawako district. The village is made up of seven hot springs in Towada Hachimantai National Park, which spans Aomori, Iwate, and Akita prefectures.

In the past, the area was often visited by tourists from both Japan and overseas and classic Japanese scenery can still be seen in the moving thatched-roof buildings and old huts among the virgin beech forests.

Iconic Tsuru no Yu Onsen has a long history, having opened around 1688. The old wooden structures were used in the Edo period (1603-1867). Some rooms are equipped with a traditional Japanese fireplace and hearth.

While retaining a classic Japanese atmosphere, the washrooms, toilets, and heating are modern so guests can stay comfortably.

The atmosphere is perfect for forgetting hectic daily life by taking a walk through the spacious grounds with family or enjoying a quiet chat in your room.

Many of Tsuru no Yu Onsen’s visitors come to soak in the mixed bathing open-air “Tsuru no Yu” bath. Surrounded by beautiful beech trees, the large bath has milky bluish-white water.

It’s a mixed bath, but the milky water provides some privacy and the whole family can enter.

Meals feature a miso-seasoned hot pot, grilled fish, and seasonal wild vegetable dishes made with yams from Akita. After a delicious dinner, a return to the bath is in order. At night, it’s lit only by lanterns, creating a serene atmosphere.

Tsuru no Yu has English-speaking staff members who will gladly explain the rules and policies of the inn and bath.

COVID-19 Countermeasures
・Regular cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of facilities and equipment
・Hand sanitizer made available
・Disinfection of guest rooms after every check-out
・Proper ventilation
・Use of coin trays
・Protective partitions installed at reception desk
・Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor temperatures
・Monitoring the number of people who enter the inn
・Appropriate seat spacing
・Admission restrictions and reservation system
・Entry denied to people who are feeling ill
・Guests requested to wear masks
・Guest temperature checks
・Room service restrictions (no employee entry)
・Automated, non-face-to-face check in

3. Onsen Sanso Daikon no Hana (Zao Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

3. Onsen Sanso Daikon no Hana (Zao Town, Miyagi Prefecture)

Togatta Onsen, resting at the eastern foot of the Zao mountain range in southwestern Miyagi prefecture, is a hot spring resort with a history that goes back about 400 years. The spring’s hot brown waters include sodium, calcium, sulfate, and chloride springs.

Onsen Sanso Daikon no Hana is a ryokan inn that’s recommended for those who want a quiet family-only visit to Togatta Onsen. The approximately 33,000 square meter site is divided into five areas, each with its own accommodations. There are a mere 18 rooms in 12 buildings scattered throughout the vast forest, offering plenty of private relaxation.

Each building has its own characteristic features, such as a view of a mountain stream or a pond where fireflies live. The “Eboshidake” maisonette in the “Mountain Play” area has separate living rooms and bedrooms and trees growing near the terrace and balcony are close enough to touch.

The maisonette has its own bath, so you can use it at your leisure. Family bathing in the refreshing sunrise or under the starry sky is sure to spark memorable conversations.

In addition to the springs and accommodations, the food is another point of pride for the inn. There is a farm on the property, and homegrown vegetables play a leading role in the meals.

For breakfast, an all-you-can-eat salad buffet with freshly picked vegetables and homemade tomato juice is prepared, so you can enjoy fresh vegetables to your heart’s content.

After a leisurely stay in the woods, you can even do some shopping. The main building’s “Mikke” select shop sells traditional crafts and foods from the Tohoku region. Jams and juices made from Zao’s local produce are long-lasting, so they make perfect souvenirs.

COVID-19 Countermeasures
・Regular cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of facilities and equipment
・Hand sanitizer made available
・Disinfection of guest rooms after every check-out
・Proper ventilation
・Use of coin trays
・Protective partitions installed at reception desk
・Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor temperatures
・Monitoring the number of people who enter the inn
・Appropriate seat spacing
・Admission restrictions and reservation system
・Entry denied to people who are feeling ill
・Guests requested to wear masks
・Guest temperature checks
・Room service restrictions (no employee entry)
・Automated, non-face-to-face check in

4. Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki (Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture)

4. Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki (Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture)
Photo courtesy of Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki

Aizu Higashiyama Onsen is located in the center of western Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu region. It is said that the source of the hot spring was discovered 1300 years ago by the monk Gyoki. The hot spring town’s river is lined with old inns as well as free footbaths and restaurants.

Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki is a traditional Japanese-style inn that stands out among its neighboring inns. Founded in 1873, it was once used as a recreational facility by the samurai of the Aizu clan.

Aizu Higashiyama Onsen has a luxurious Japanese-style wooden structure that surrounds a garden. Known for its view along with the Eikanbashi bridge in front of the inn, it is the first Japanese inn to be registered as a tangible cultural property.

Photo courtesy of Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki

If you are staying with your family, the spacious three-room, 32.4 square meter “Special Room Hanare no Ma” suite is recommended.

The Japanese royal family and Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928), a prominent doctor and bacteriologist from Fukushima Prefecture, are among those who have stayed in this venerable Shoin-zukuri style guest room.

Photo courtesy of Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki

One of the VIP room’s charms is its view of the garden with its ponds and waterfalls. In winter, “Yukimi Candles” placed in bamboo tubes light up the garden, making it possible to experience the luxurious lighting with your whole family from the warmth of your room.

Photo courtesy of Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki
Photo courtesy of Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki

Mukaitaki has three privately-sourced natural hot springs, that flow directly from the source. They are colorless, transparent sulfate chloride springs rich in sodium and calcium.

As you rest in the 45 degrees Celsius water, you’ll feel the minerals refreshing your body. The bathroom is decorated with white granite and marble and has a nice retro atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Mukaitaki

Another of the inn’s pleasures is the enjoyment of local Aizuwakamatsu cuisine, such as sweetened carp and pickled herring in Japanese pepper. You can take your time relishing the simple, delicious dishes in the comfort of your room.

COVID-19 Countermeasures
・Regular cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of facilities and equipment
・Hand sanitizer made available
・Disinfection of guest rooms after every check-out
・Proper ventilation
・Use of coin trays
・Protective partitions installed at reception desk
・Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor temperatures
・Entry denied to people who are feeling ill
・Guests requested to wear masks
・Guest temperature checks
・Entry by reservation only
・Room service restrictions (no employee entry)
・Breakfast and dinner served via room service

5. Sansuikaku (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)

5. Sansuikaku (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)

Hanamaki Onsenkyo is a group of 12 hot springs along the Ou mountain range of southern Iwate Prefecture. One of them, Osawa Onsen Sansuikaku, is a Japanese-style inn built in the mountains overlooking the clear Toyosawa River.

Osawa Onsen has an affiliated inn called Tojiya, and as a guest of Sansuikaku, you can use both hot springs. There is a wide variety of open-air baths and bath rooms along the river, including a semi-open-air bath with a view of the mountains and a private family bath suitable even for small children.

(Sample image)

The inn is surrounded by nature, and it’s refreshing to soak in the hot water while gazing at the mountain scenery of each season. The autumn leaves and the snowy winter scenery, in particular, are a must-see.

The semi-open-air, roofed “Toyosawa no Yu” overlooks trees dyed in red, yellow, and green and the magnificent view of the autumn leaves bordered by the window frame looks just like a picture.

To see the snowy landscape, head to the mixed bathing, open-air “Osawa no Yu.” From there you can see the beautiful scenery of the bridge, the roof of the building, and the surrounding trees white with snow. Osawa no Yu is for women only from 8:00 to 9:00 at night, for women who would rather not participate in mixed bathing.

At Sansuikaku, you’ll dine on a Japanese course that makes the best use of seasonal ingredients and a menu that changes monthly.

In addition to wild plants and seafood, Hanamaki’s “Hakkinton” brand pork and Iwate’s “Maesawa” beef and “Iwate beef” are also available (subject to change, depending on availability). There is also a children’s set, so the whole family can have a wonderful meal.

COVID-19 Countermeasures
・Regular cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of facilities and equipment
・Hand sanitizer made available
・Disinfection of guest rooms after every check-out
・Proper ventilation
・Use of coin trays
・Protective partitions installed at reception desk
・Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor temperatures
・Monitoring the number of people who enter the inn
・Appropriate seat spacing
・Admission restrictions and reservation system
・Entry denied to people who are feeling ill
・Guests requested to wear masks
・Guest temperature checks
・Room service restrictions (no employee entry)
・Automated, non-face-to-face check in

For a relaxing, refreshing time of bathing and eating amazing meals while surrounded by breathtaking nature, you should definitely plan a family trip to one of Tohoku’s exquisite hot spring inns!

Text by: Shoepress

*Information accurate as of April 2021. Please check official websites for latest information.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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