HOME Tohoku Miyagi Sendai And Matsushima 4 Gorgeous Rokan in Sakunami Onsen You Need to Visit On a Sendai Day Trip (Access+Things to Do)
4 Gorgeous Rokan in Sakunami Onsen You Need to Visit On a Sendai Day Trip (Access+Things to Do)

4 Gorgeous Rokan in Sakunami Onsen You Need to Visit On a Sendai Day Trip (Access+Things to Do)

Date published: 29 October 2020
Last updated: 8 December 2020

Sakunami Onsen is one of the main hot-spring Areas in Sendai City, in Miyagi Prefecture. Alongside great hot-spring inns, there are many great restaurants, traditional-crafts shops, and scenic spots. The Sakunami Onsen area is easily accessible, being only a 30-minute drive from JR Sendai Station, and about 40 minutes by train.

Today we'll look a 4 ryokan hot-spring inns and day-trip plans for your visit to Sakunami Onsen and its many sightseeing spots.

All the facilities we are introducing are implementing measures against Covid-19.


Main image courtesy of Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan

  1. 1
    a. Nikka Whiskey Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery
  2. 2
    b. Is that a gorilla profile?! Check out Kamakurayama
  3. 3
    c. Enjoy lunch at the Yu no Machi Sakunami tourist Information Plaza Lasanta
  4. 4
    d. Add Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan's hot springs to your day-trip
  5. 5
    e. Find your souvenirs at Hiraga Kokeshi Store
  6. 6
    f. Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls

Sendai's Sakunami Onsen Area

Sendai's Sakunami Onsen Area
Photo courtesy of Sendai International Tourism Association

Sakunami Onsen is located in Sendai, the center of sightseeing in Miyagi Prefecture. It's a hot-spring resort surrounded by nature, right on the border with Yamagata Prefecture.

Being about 30 minutes by car from the center of Sendai City, it has long been a popular back room of Sendai. The hot springs in this area are hypnotic, ranging from mildly alkaline high-temperature ones to simpler hot springs, believed to be gentler on the skin.

Many inns (or ryokan) in Sakunami Onsen boast great views where you can enjoy shiny green mountains in spring and summer, red leaves in fall, and snowy valleys in winter.

How to get to Sakunami Onsen

How to get to Sakunami Onsen
Photo courtesy of Sendai International Tourism Association

It takes about 30 minutes by car from JR Sendai Station to Sakunami Onsen. The huge Kokeshi dolls alongside the highway are the landmarks that pinpoint the onsen village. It takes anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes to reach each inn.

By train, take the Senzan Line from the JR Sendai station and arrive at JR Sakunami Station in about 40 minutes. From the station, you will find free shuttle busses driving to each inn.

There is also a Sendai City Bus service from JR Sendai Station to each inn, but due to the limited number of buses, it is essential to check the schedule in advance. If you're staying overnight, we recommend going by train. If you're going for a day-trip and plan on visiting the many sightseeing spots scattered around the area, we recommend going by car.

*As of October 2020, operations may be suspended to prevent the spreading of Covid-19.

Introducing 4 hot springs in Sakunami Onsen!

There are 4 hot-spring inns in Sakunami Onsen. Take a look at all of them, and select your perfect fit.

1. Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo: Indulge in 3 springs and 8 baths

1. Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo: Indulge in 3 springs and 8 baths
Photo Courtesy of Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo

Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo boasts 3 springs and 8 baths. From the JR Sendai Station, take the Sendai city Bus bound for Sakunami Onsen, and get off at Sakunami Onsen Motoyu. A free shuttle bus (reservation required) also operates from JR Sendai Station and Sakunami Station.

The shuttle bus from JR Sendai Station is currently suspended as part of the measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Photo courtesy of Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo

Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo is an all-inclusive inn where you can enjoy dining, activities, and events, for free. Right next to the entrance, you can enjoy coffee, draft beer, popsicles, and more (products available will change depending on time and season), for a perfect break after bathing. Popular activities are the summer-only pool and the live piano concerts.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, temperature measurement, protective garments; spaced seating and reduced number of patrons in indoors areas; limited reservations and admission; denied entry to customers in poor physical condition; requesting customers to wear a mask; temperature measurement; restricted access to employee guest room service.

  • Yuzukushi Salon Ichinobo
    ゆづくし Salon 一の坊
    • Address 3 Sakunami Nagahara, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, 989-3431
    • Phone Number 0570-05-3973
    • Hours: check-in 3pm, check-out 11am
      Price: one night with two meals from 20,380 yen

2. Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan: Long-established Sakunami Onsen ryokan with gorgeous natural rock baths

2. Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan: Long-established Sakunami Onsen ryokan with gorgeous natural rock baths
Photo courtesy of Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan

Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan is a long-established hot-spring inn founded in 1796, the year when Sakunami Onsen opened.

From the JR Sendai Station, take the Sendai City Bus bound for Sukunami Onsen and get off at Sakunami Onsen Motoyu. From there, you're just a short walk away. A free shuttle bus (reservation required) also operates from JR Sakunami Station.

Photo courtesy of Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan

The inn's 4 natural rock baths (mixed bathing) are its highlight, and they still retain the appearance they had at the time of the opening. All of them are fed directly from the spring, and you can see the clear stream pouring in while you bathe.

However, the natural rock bath is a mixed bath only. If you're a little embarrassed about mixed bathing, relax in the women-only semi-open-air bath, or the large public baths for men and women.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, temperature measurement, protective garments; spaced seating and reduced number of patrons in indoors areas; limited reservations and admission; denied entry to customers in poor physical condition; requesting customers to wear a mask; temperature measurement; restricted access to employee guest room service.

  • Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan
    鷹泉閣 岩松旅館
    • Address Motoki 16, Sakunami, Sendai Shi Aoba Ku, Miyagi Ken, 989-3431, Japan
    • Phone Number 022-395-2211
    • Hours: Check-in 3pm Check-out 10am
      Price: one night with two meals from 16,650 yen

3. Yunohara Hotel: Popular hot springs with a spectacular view

3. Yunohara Hotel: Popular hot springs with a spectacular view
Photo courtesy of Yunohara Hotel

Yunohara Hotel is popular for its hot springs that overlook the surrounding mountains. You can enjoy the hot springs flowing from the source in the private open-air bath, ideal for those who want to relax with their family or friends without distractions.

To get there, take the Sendai City Bus bound for Sakunami Onsen from JR Sendai Station and get off at Sakunami Onsen Iriguchi (entrance). A free shuttle bus (reservation required) also operates from JR Sakunami Station.

Photo courtesy of Yunohara Hotel

The food here is as popular as the hot springs. You can enjoy specialties prepared with Miyagi's and Yamagata's local products, like seafood sent directly from Sanriku, and the famous Yamagata beef. Try it with the local sake.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, temperature measurement, protective garments; spaced seating and reduced number of patrons in indoors areas; limited reservations and admission; denied entry to customers in poor physical condition; requesting customers to wear a mask; temperature measurement; restricted access to employee guest room service.

  • Yunohara Hotel
    湯の原ホテル
    • Address Motoki 1, Sakunami, Sendai Shi Aoba Ku, Miyagi Ken, 989-3431, Japan
    • Phone Number 022-395-2241
    • Hours: check-in 3pm; check-out 10am
      Rates: one night with two meals from 12,030 yen

4. LaLa Resort Hotel Greengreen: A resort with plenty of activities

4. LaLa Resort Hotel Greengreen: A resort with plenty of activities
Photo courtesy of LaLa Resort Hotel Greengreen

If you're looking for an inn with plenty of activities, we recommend LaLa Resort Hotel Greengreen. The hotel has a pool (summer only), karaoke, ramen corner, and amusement facilities where you can bowl, and there are plenty of other fun activities.

Also, the open-air bath overlooking the nature of Sakunami, is perfect for spending a special relaxing time, especially at night.

To get there, get the Sendai City Bus bound for Sakunami Onsen from JR Sendai Station and get off at Sakunami Onsen Iriguchi (entrance). A free shuttle bus (reservation required) also operates from JR Sendai Station and Sakunami station.

*The shuttle bus from JR Sendai Station is currently suspended as part of the measures against the spreading of the coronavirus infection

Photo courtesy of LaLa Resort Hotel Greengreen

For dinner, you can choose between a buffet and a Japanese set. You can enjoy Miyagi's unique gourmet food at the buffet, such as fresh sashimi, sushi, and Sendai's specialty: beef tongue. The dishes that the chef prepares right in front of you, are excellent.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, temperature measurement, protective garments; spaced seating and reduced number of patrons in indoors areas; limited reservations and admission; denied entry to customers in poor physical condition; requesting customers to wear a mask; temperature measurement; restricted access to employee guest room service.

  • LaLa Resort Hotel Greengreen
    La楽リゾートホテルgreengreen
    • Address 2 Kyou 5-12, Sakunami, Sendai Shi Aoba Ku, Miyagi Ken, 989-3431, Japan
    • Phone Number 022-395-2011
    • Check in: 3pm, check-out: 10 am
      Rates: from 9,950 yen, one night and two meals

One-day sightseeing plan for Sakunami Onsen

Let's take a look at a one-day plan to enjoy Sakunami Onsen. Let's start with a plan for those of you driving, to enjoy the sightseeing more smoothly.

1

a. Nikka Whiskey Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery

a. Nikka Whiskey Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery

At first, head to the Nikka Whiskey Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery, about 35 minutes by car from JR Sendai Station. This is one of the only two Nikka Whiskey distilleries in Japan, and you can tour the factory, if you make a reservation in advance. This factory tour is not only a guided tour of the distillery but also a free tasting. The guide is available in Japanese only, but the pamphlets are available in English, Korean, and traditional Chinese.

The factory tour takes about 60-70 minutes. Currently, it's being cut down to 45 minutes, as a preventive measure against coronavirus. After visiting the preparation building filled with whiskey's sweet scent in the lined-up barrels, it's tasting time. For those of you driving, soft drinks are also available. You can buy the whiskey that you prefer at the shop. If you can't sample because you're driving, get a miniature 5-piece set (2,550 yen), containing 5 types of whiskey that you can drink and enjoy at home.

The contents of the factory tour may change to prevent Covid-19 infections. Please check the official website for details.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, gargling temperature measurement, protective garments; spaced seating and reduced number of patrons in indoors areas; limited admission and implementation of a reservation system; denied entry to customers in poor physical condition; requesting customers to wear a mask; temperature measurement; restricted access to employee guest room service; automated check-in; non-face-to-face support

  • Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery
    ニッカウヰスキー仙台工場宮城峡蒸溜所
    • Address 〒989-3433 宮城県仙台市青葉区ニッカ1
    • Phone Number 022-395-2865
    • Open: 9am-4:30pm (reception for tour information 3:30pm)
      Price: free tour
      Closed: irregular holidays

2

b. Is that a gorilla profile?! Check out Kamakurayama

b. Is that a gorilla profile?! Check out Kamakurayama

When you drive along the national highway from Nikka Whiskey Sendai Factory Miyagikyo Distillery, towards the hot-spring town, a small mountain suddenly appears on the right side. If you look closely, it looks just like the profile of a gorilla. Although its official name is Mt. Kamakura, locals have nicknamed it Mt. Gorilla. If you want to take a picture, stop at the parking space along the way.

3

c. Enjoy lunch at the Yu no Machi Sakunami tourist Information Plaza Lasanta

c. Enjoy lunch at the Yu no Machi Sakunami tourist Information Plaza Lasanta

Next, drive for about 8 minutes from the Nikka Whiskey distillery to Yu no Machi Sakunami Tourist Information Plaza Lasanta. This is a complex facility with a tourist information center, café, and shops. Have lunch at Albero Café Sakunami. This is a sister-shop of the popular restaurant Albero in Sakunami Onsen. Enjoy the panini (1,000 yen including a drink), curry, and sweets.

There are various types of panini, like the "margherita", a sandwich that matches the freshness of the tomatoes, the richness of the cheese, and the refreshing aroma of basil.

Outside the building, you will find a free footbath, with water pouring in from a barrel of whiskey.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, gargling temperature measurement, protective garments; spaced seating and reduced number of patrons in indoors areas; limited admission and implementation of a reservation system; denied entry to customers in poor physical condition; requesting customers to wear a mask; temperature measurement

  • Yu no Machi Sakunami tourist Information Plaza Lasanta
    湯のまち作並 観光交流館 ラサンタ
    • Address Motoki 2-7, Sakunami, Sendai Shi Aoba Ku, Miyagi Ken, 989-3431, Japan
    • Phone Number 022-391-4126
    • Open: 9am-5pm
      Closed: open every day

4

d. Add Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan's hot springs to your day-trip

d. Add Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan's hot springs to your day-trip

Now that you are in Sakunami Onsen, you are going to want to soak in the hot springs. Try the long-established hot spring Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan. It's a 2-minute drive from Yu no Machi Sakunami Tourist Information Plaza Lasanta.

Towels and bath towels are included in the bath charge, so no need to worry about bringing your own. The large bath Fuji no Yu, overlooks the beautiful natural settings through the large windows. If will feel like it's not even an indoor bath.

The hot springs at Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan, are said to have an excellent heat retention effect. It will also leave your skin soft and moisturized.

5

e. Find your souvenirs at Hiraga Kokeshi Store

e. Find your souvenirs at Hiraga Kokeshi Store

For your souvenirs, how about something from the traditional craft of Sakunami Kokeshi? Hiraga Kokeshi, a minute driving from Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan, is the only workshop in the prefecture that handles Sakunami Kokeshi dolls.

These are thin-bodied dolls decorated with chrysanthemum flower patterns. Originally, they were intended as children's toys. A variety of Kokeshi dolls are lined up in the store, from traditional Sakunami Kokeshi dolls, to more original ones.

The most popular ones are the Mini Kokeshi (1,100 yen), small enough to fit the palm of your hand. The facial expressions and patterns are different, giving you a lot of options to choose from.

Some of the patterns are the Soft Ice Cream Kokeshi (1,600 yen), with the dolls wearing an ice cream hat, or the Bath Kokeshi (2,600 yen), soaking in the famous hot springs of Sakunami Onsen, and dolls related to seasonal events like Halloween and Christmas. Find your favorite!

You can also try your hand with the Kokeshi doll painting experience if you make a reservation at least three days in advance (up to 5 people at the time, 700 yen per person). Make your own Kokeshi doll for a unique memento of your trip.

Coronavirus countermeasures
Disinfection, sterilization, cleaning of rooms, facilities, and equipment; installation of sterilizer, disinfectant solution; implementation of ventilation on the premises; coin trays; installation of partition plates; staff wearing mask, washing hands, disinfecting, gargling temperature measurement; requesting customers to wear a mark

  • Hiraga Kokeshiten
    平賀こけし店
    • Address Motoki 13, Sakunami, Sendai Shi Aoba Ku, Miyagi Ken, 989-3431, Japan
    • Phone Number 022-395-2523
    • Open: 7am-7pm
      Rates: painting experience 700 yen/person
      Closed: irregular holiday

6

f. Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls

f. Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls

The last stop of the trip is the scenic Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls. From Hiraga Kokeshi, it takes about 5 minutes to reach by car, driving towards JR Sendai Station. Park in the private parking lot, and walk for about 1 minute to reach the walking path. Take a stroll through the woods, and let the sound of the echoing splashing water coddle you. Soon, you will arrive at the overlook.

Looking down, you can see the waterfall steps flowing through the trees. The gentle stream will make you feel better just by looking at it. The name of "Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls", which includes the Kanji character for Phoenix, is said to have originated from the fact that the sound of the water resembles that of the singing of the legendary firebird.

  • Homei Shijuhachi-taki Falls
    鳳鳴四十八滝
    • Address Boumegi, Sakunami, Sendai Shi Aoba Ku, Miyagi Ken, 989-3431, Japan
    • Phone: 022-395-2052 (Sendai City Sakunami District Tourist Information Center)
      Hours: free to visit

We hope you liked this introduction to Sakunami Onsen. Enjoy the hot springs for a day-trip or for a longer stay. Don't miss it when you visit Sendai.

Text by: ShoePress
The information in this article is current as of October 2020

*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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