HOME Tohoku Yamagata Surrounding Areas Of Yamagata Getting to Ginzan Onsen From Tokyo, Sendai, Osaka and Yamagata: By Bus, Train, and Plane
Getting to Ginzan Onsen From Tokyo, Sendai, Osaka and Yamagata: By Bus, Train, and Plane

Getting to Ginzan Onsen From Tokyo, Sendai, Osaka and Yamagata: By Bus, Train, and Plane

Date published: 5 May 2021

Ginzan Onsen, nestled in a gorge in Obanazawa, Yamagata, is a beautiful hot springs area. Tourists from all over the world come to enjoy the retro atmosphere that will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to old Japan.

However, because of its location with the Tohoku region, getting there often prompts questions like “Can I go by train?” and “How long does it take?”

To answer these questions, we’ll explain how to get to Ginzan Onsen from Tokyo Station, a convenient starting point for your trip, and Sendai Station, the gateway to sightseeing in Tohoku, via bus, train, and taxi.

Table of Contents
  1. What kind of place is Ginzan Onsen?
  2. How to Get From Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen
  3. How to Get From Sendai to Ginzan Onsen
  4. How to Get From Osaka to Ginzan Onsen
  5. How to Get From Yamagata to Ginzan Onsen
  6. How to Get From Yamadera to Ginzan Onsen
  7. Details on Getting to Ginzan Onsen from JR Oishida Station
  8. 1. Bus from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen
  9. 2. Taxi from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen
  10. 3. Free shuttle bus from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen

What kind of place is Ginzan Onsen?

What kind of place is Ginzan Onsen?

Ginzan Onsen is a hot spring resort located in Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan side of the Tohoku region.

Its wooden ryokan inns were built from the end of the Taisho era (1912-1926) to the beginning of the Showa era (1926-1989), creating a unique beauty that will turn your thoughts to a different era.

The hot spring town has other points of interest besides the hot springs, including restaurants, souvenir shops, and scenic spots, and welcomes international tourists throughout the year.

How to Get From Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen

How to Get From Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen
Piti Sirisriro / Shutterstock.com

Here’s how to get to Oishida Station, closest to Ginzan Onsen, from Tokyo, Sendai, and Osaka, which are easy starting points for your trip.

From Tokyo, you can get to Oishida Station by train, plane, and highway bus; from Sendai, you can take a train or highway bus; from Osaka, a flight is recommended.

Shinkansen From Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen
・Use the JR Yamagata Shinkansen “Tsubasa” to arrive at JR Oishida Station in about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
・From JR Oishida Station, take the municipal bus to Ginzan Onsen (around 40 minutes; 720 yen)
・Total time: Around 4 hours 10 minutes

Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen by Plane
・It’s about 1 hour from Haneda Airport to Yamagata Airport.
・From Yamagata Airport, there is a direct bus to Ginzan Onsen departing three times a day. The ride takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs 1,500 yen for adults (750 yen for children).
・Be sure to check times in advance on the Yamagata Airport website.
・Total time: Around 2 hours 30 minutes

Highway Bus From Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen
・There is no direct bus from Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen.
・From the Yaesu Exit of Tokyo Station, take an express bus to Sendai Station. The trip takes about 5 to 6 hours.
・From Sendai Station, take the Yamako Bus “Limited Express 48 Liner” bound for Shinjo, which takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
・Get off at Obanazawa Machiaijo and transfer to the Obanazawa Municipal Bus bound for Ginzan Onsen, arriving in about 35 to 45 minutes.
・Total time: Around 8 hours

How to Get From Sendai to Ginzan Onsen

Sendai to Ginzan Onsen via Train
・Take the JR Senzan Line to Uzen-Chitose Station. The trip is about 1 hour and 5 minutes.
・At Uzen-Chitose Station, transfer to the JR Ou Main Line and you will arrive at Oishida Station in about 40 minutes.
・From JR Oishida Station, take the municipal bus to Ginzan Onsen (around 40 minutes; 720 yen)
・Total time: Around 2 hours 25 minutes

Sendai to Ginzan Onsen via Highway Bus
・From Sendai Station, take the Yamako Bus “Limited Express 48 Liner” bound for Shinjo, which takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
・Get off at Obanazawa Machiaijo and transfer to the Obanazawa Municipal Bus bound for Ginzan Onsen. The bus journey takes about 35 to 45 minutes.
・Total time: Around 2 hours 30 minutes

How to Get From Osaka to Ginzan Onsen

・There are three flights a day from Osaka's Itami Airport to Yamagata Airport. The flight takes about one hour and 15 minutes.
・From Yamagata Airport, there is a direct bus to Ginzan Onsen departing three times a day. The ride takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs 1,500 yen for adults (750 yen for children).
・Be sure to check times in advance on the Yamagata Airport website.
・Total time: Around 2 hours 30 minutes

How to Get From Yamagata to Ginzan Onsen

Visitors to Yamagata will likely want to take in the area's many beautiful sights, including Mount Zao and the picturesque Yamadera Temple, before heading on to Ginzan Onsen.

Bus from Yamagata to Ginzan Onsen
There is no direct bus from Yamagata to Ginzan Onsen. While there are buses that would take you to Ginzan Onsen via Yamagata Airport, it may be easiest to take the train.

Train from Yamagata Station to Ginzan Onsen
・Use the JR Yamagata Shinkansen “Tsubasa” to arrive at JR Oishida Station in about 30 minutes.
・From JR Oishida Station, take the municipal bus to Ginzan Onsen (around 40 minutes; 720 yen)
・Total time: Around 1 hour 15 minutes

How to Get From Yamadera to Ginzan Onsen

Bus from Yamadera Temple to Ginzan Onsen
There is no direct bus from Yamadera to Ginzan Onsen.

Train from Yamadera to Ginzan Onsen
・From JR Yamadera Station, take the JR Senzan Line to Uzen-Chitose Station (around 11 minutes away).
・At Uzen-Chitose Station, transfer to the JR Yamagata Line and you will arrive at Oishida Station in about 40 minutes.
・From JR Oishida Station, take the municipal bus to Ginzan Onsen (around 40 minutes; 720 yen)
・Total time: Around 1 hour 30 minutes

Details on Getting to Ginzan Onsen from JR Oishida Station

Details on Getting to Ginzan Onsen from JR Oishida Station

Once you arrive at JR Oishida Station, there are three ways to get to Ginzan Onsen: bus, taxi, and shuttle bus. Here’s how to use each.

1. Bus from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen

Many tourists choose to travel by bus. After exiting Oishida Station, follow the roundabout to the left. Oishida Station has only one entrance/exit, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

Oishida Station Bus Stop for Ginzan Onsen

Just a short walk away you’ll find the warehouse-like bus shelter. From Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen, take a fixed-route bus operated by Hanagasa Bus.

There are typically 5 buses per day from Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen. However, the number of buses and departure times vary seasonally, so be sure to check the timetable in advance on the Hanagasa Bus website.

Note that lines for the bus will typically form quickly, so it's best to hop along to the bus stop as soon as you arrive.

This mid-sized purple bus will take you to Ginzan Onsen!

Bus fare from Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen is 720 yen for adults. Children, people with disabilities, and one attendant can ride for 360 yen. Fares are cash only, and IC cards (e.g. Pasmo, Suica) cannot be used. Also, while small notes (1,000 yen) can be exchanged for change, it is best to have exact change before boarding.

There is no foreign language guidance on the bus to let you know, but if you only want to go to Ginzan Onsen, you can pay the fare for your entire party in one deposit. It takes about 40 minutes to arrive at the Ginzan Onsen bus stop at the entrance of the hot spring town.

(Image photo)

In April 2021, Obanazawa introduced a multilingual translation system that allows you to easily check sightseeing and transportation information throughout the city by scanning a QR code with your smartphone.

Service is available in Japanese, English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Korean. The QR code is posted at Oishida Station and on buses, so be sure to look for it.

2. Taxi from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen

2. Taxi from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen
Marcus Hsieh / Shutterstock.com (Image photo)

It is possible to go by taxi, but the fare is high – about 5,500 yen for up to 4 people and about 8,600 yen for a jumbo taxi for up to 9 people (reservation required). The drive takes about 30 minutes.

Reservations aren’t required for regular 4-seat taxis. Simply take a taxi from in front of Oishida Station and tell the driver “to Ginzan Onsen.” However, there are no multilingual taxi companies in the city, so downloading a translation app is recommended.

3. Free shuttle bus from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen

3. Free shuttle bus from JR Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen
(Image photo)

If you plan to stay at one of Ginzan Onsen’s ryokan inns, it’s a good idea to check if your accommodation provides a shuttle bus. Although they are limited to guests and require reservations, shuttles are a cost-effective means of transit, both picking you up from and dropping you off at Oishida Station for free.

Some inns have suspended shuttle buses or reduced the number of trips as a COVID-19 prevention measure, so if you are considering staying and using a shuttle, check those details beforehand.

Getting to Ginzan Onsen is actually very simple, so you won't get lost if you follow the above routes. Have a wonderful trip!

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