HOME Tohoku Aomori Other Surrounding Areas Of Aomori Surrounded by Autumn Colors! 3 Scenic Hot Spring Ryokan Inns in Aomori Where You Can Enjoy Beautiful Foliage
Surrounded by Autumn Colors! 3 Scenic Hot Spring Ryokan Inns in Aomori Where You Can Enjoy Beautiful Foliage

Surrounded by Autumn Colors! 3 Scenic Hot Spring Ryokan Inns in Aomori Where You Can Enjoy Beautiful Foliage

Date published: 22 November 2021

The inland areas of Aomori Prefecture are dotted with some of Japan’s best spots for autumn leaves, including Oirase Gorge and Lake Towada. The morning to evening temperature variance is notable. Although differences depend on the location, the hardwoods turn red and yellow from mid-October to early November every year, creating a vivid gradation in the landscape.

You can further enjoy the scenery while basking in the comfort of local hot spring ryokan inns. Here are three onsen ryokan where you can relax and enjoy the autumn colors of Aomori while avoiding crowds.

1. Lamp no Yado Aoni Onsen: Enjoy the autumn leaves away from the city (Aoni Onsen, Kuroishi City)

1. Lamp no Yado Aoni Onsen: Enjoy the autumn leaves away from the city (Aoni Onsen, Kuroishi City)

Lamp no Yado Aoni Onsen is located in the Aoni Valley in Kuroishi City, Aomori Prefecture, and is a well-known “secret” hot spring inn.

From Hirosaki Station, take the Konan Railway to Kuroishi Station, about a 30-minute trip, then take the Konan Bus for 30 minutes and get off at Nijinoko Park. A dedicated shuttle bus runs from Nijinoko and takes about 20 minutes to arrive at the inn.

Founded in 1929, Lamp no Yado has no electricity, so it’s entirely illuminated by lanterns. Nestled in a quiet place isolated from the urban hustle and bustle, you can enjoy nature while soaking in the hot springs.

There are four baths: Kenroku-no-Yu, which is made entirely of Hiba wood; a wide open-air bath; the main bath, which has warm, wooden decor; and Takimi-no-Yu, which has both an indoor bath and an open-air bath.

The mixed bathing open-air bath that crosses under the suspension bridge from the main building overlooks the Aoni River and the surrounding trees. The bath itself is made of large, rugged stones and is filled by a stream of simple spring water that’s gentle on your skin. The water temperature is just right and harmonizes with the autumn breezes that caress your face.

The bath provides a sense of calm, and with a roof and an enclosure around it, it is recommended for those who want to take their time soaking in the hot water. Fall is a blissful time to take a bath while watching the vivid Kinshu -- autumn colors -- change daily.

The best time to see the leaves is from mid to late October but varies from year to year. At night, you can take a bath lit only by lamplight, which creates a fantastic atmosphere, and there are women-only times twice a day in the morning and evening.

Kenroku-no-Yu, located in a separate building near the main building, has bath rooms for men and women on the first floor and guest rooms on the second floor. The baths in the mountain lodge-style building are made entirely of Hiba wood.

The refreshing scent of the wood and the inviting hot spring, along with the view of the leaves through the large windows, are exceptional. The water temperature is a little hotter than the open-air bath but still feels great as the warmth soothes your muscles. The women’s bath also has a small, one-person open-air kettle bath that’s popular for its sense of privacy.

There are 35 guest rooms, all of which are simple Japanese-style rooms with tatami mat flooring. The morning and evening meals feature river fish and seasonal mountain produce, and the dining hall lighting is tastefully dim.

International guests have commented, “Atmospheric lamp light, delicious dinner and breakfast, excellent baths and location. I could hear the pleasant sound of the river in my room and slept peacefully.” Information and menus are generally available in English so that overseas guests can stay without inconvenience.

Health & Safety Information
Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced - Restrictions on room service (entry) for staff

2. Kazen no Sho: A lush garden with large maple leaves (Ochiai Onsen, Kuroishi City)

2. Kazen no Sho: A lush garden with large maple leaves (Ochiai Onsen, Kuroishi City)

Ochiai Onsen, located in Kuroishi City, is a small hot spring resort whose steam rises along the Aseishi River. Kazen no Sho is near Kuroishi Station, about 30 minutes from Hirosaki Station on the Konan Railway.

From Kuroishi, ride the Konan Bus for 30 minutes and get off at Tsugaru Traditional Craft Center, followed by a 2-minute walk. There’s also a shuttle bus from the east exit of Hirosaki Station (reservation required).

The inn is close to Aomori’s most famous spots for autumn leaves – Nakano Momiji Mountain and the Hakkoda Mountains. Peak leaf viewing from mid-October to early November and is the busiest time of year. In addition, the inn’s garden is home to a large maple whose beautiful leaves can be seen from all the guest rooms.

Designed with a conceptual love for “flowers and tatami mats,” all the inn’s flooring is made of tatami mats. The feeling of warmth and freshness unique to tatami is popular with Japanese and international patrons alike. And it’s not just the rooms and corridors – even the elevators have tatami flooring!

The Ochiai hot spring’s water is colorless and transparent, and the gentle waters are said to have beautifying effects on the skin. The large open-air communal bath features fragrant Aomori Hiba wood and decorative Towada stone and will wash away your fatigue.

Standard guest rooms are spacious 12.5 tatami Japanese-style rooms. The inn is laid out so the impressive Japanese garden can be seen from every room, which all include Wi-Fi.

Despite not offering much in the way of foreign language support, Kazen no Sho is popular with non-Japanese guests, with one stating what many other have also expressed: “I got a strong feeling of Japanese culture and walking barefoot on the tatami mats felt wonderful.”

Health & Safety Information
Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced - Restrictions on room service (entry) for staff

3. Towada Prince Hotel: A famous spot for autumn leaves on the shores of Lake Towada (Lake Towada West Lakeside Hot Spring, Kosaka Town)

3. Towada Prince Hotel: A famous spot for autumn leaves on the shores of Lake Towada (Lake Towada West Lakeside Hot Spring, Kosaka Town)

Lake Towada is located on the prefectural border between Aomori and Akita prefectures and is known as one of the best spots for autumn leaves in the Tohoku region. Situated on the lake’s western bank, Towada Prince Hotel is a getaway resort hotel wrapped in silence.

The west bank of Lake Towada, about 40 minutes from the Kosaka IC (interchange) on the Tohoku Expressway, is far from the busy east bank with its sightseeing boats and souvenir shops. Alternatively, the inn’s shuttle bus departs from JR Hachinohe Station or Towadako Station (reservation required).

The mysterious beauty of the lake, the crisp cold air of late autumn, and the wind-blown red and yellow hardwoods create the perfect environment for a quiet holiday. The guest rooms offer lake and mountain views, and you can enjoy the autumn colors from both.

The hotel embodies a sense of “Lakeside Auberge,” and you can enjoy a dinner of locally sourced foods at the Lake Towada French restaurant. The main dining room overlooks the lake, so you’ll be able to take in the magnificent scenery while dining.

The hot spring has a spacious open-air bath, and Lake Towada can be seen beyond the surrounding trees. The bath has a large roof so you can relax even on rainy or snowy days.

International visitors said, “The French dinner and spectacular view of Lake Towada were wonderful. The hot springs were wonderful; the room and breakfast were perfect. There are nice trails along the lake, and some trails into the mountains.” The hotel offers thorough assistance and information for overseas guests, mainly in English.

Health & Safety Information
Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Plastic partitions installed (at the front desk & shop) - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced - Restrictions on room service (entry) for staff

Aomori has a wealth of impressive autumnal sights like Lake Towada, Oirase Gorge, and Nakano Momiji Mountain. Come stay in a relaxing setting and enjoy a late-autumn trip to Aomori to experience the wonders of Japanese Kinshu!

Text by: Shoe Press Co., Ltd.
*The information in this article is accurate as of October 2021. Please check official websites for the latest information.

English translation by Gabriel Wilkinson

*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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