Onsen (Hot springs)

Steep in One of the Finest from Numerous Onsens in Akita

"Onsen" is an indispensable part of the delights of travelling around Japan. Onsens started off as spas to heal the injured and diseased, and even though they have transformed into desitinations of leisure, they support Japanese people's mental and physical well being to this day. Akita is among the few prefectures with countless Onsens, many of which are acclaimed the best Onsens. We have selected 5 from the variety of unique onsens resorts in Akita.

"Nyuto Onsen": A Secluded Hot Spring Snuggled Deep in the Beech Woods

At the foot of the 2,066 meters tall Eboshidake, also known as Nyuto Mountain, 7 onsen ryokans (Japanese style inns) all having separate sources are scattered in the deep beech woods, altogether composing the secluded Nyuto Onsen province. Named the best onsen selected by foreign tourists in a TV show aired in 2019, you can spend quality time away from the cities in this onsen area with a history extending from the 17th century, exploring the surrounding nature and enjoying rustic food of the mountains.

"Oga Onsen": Home of Namahage, Deities of the Mountains

Oga Peninsula located in the northern part of Akita projects into the Sea of Japan. This area is known to be the home of "Namahage", deities of the mountains with ogre-like faces, accusing the lazy and bringing happiness to households. Oga Onsen consists of 7 onsen ryokans, most of which are within 10 minutes walking distance so you can visit several ryokans in a day and bathe in the difference.

"Oyasukyo Onsen": Hot Springs Gushing Near Boiling Water

"Oyasukyo" is a V-shaped valley formed through fluvial erosion over centuries flanked by cliffs around 60 meters high. Some 10 onsen inns are situated along this valley, providing roten-buro (open-air baths) surrounded by breathtaking views and the sound of trickling water, ashiyu (foot baths) and spring water for drinking. One of the must-sees are the "Oyasukyo Daifunto", the great gushing hot waters of Oyasukyo, where visitors can take the stairs down along the cliff other than in the wintertime to observe the 98 degrees Celsius water gushing out from the clefts at the bottom of the valley.

"Yuze Onsen": The Skin Moisturizing Fountain of Beauty

"Yuze Onsen" is a small area in the northeastern part of Akita, with just 4 onsen inns along the Yoneshiro River known for its alkaline spring water praised as the "fountain of beauty" that conditions your skin, and also offers skin toners using the spa water. This northeastern region is also known as the home of one of Akita's most famous local food, Kiritanpo, and the inns offer delectable Kiritanpo as well.

"Tamagawa Onsen": Yielding Japan's Highest Volume of Spring Water at 9,000 Liters Per Minute

The inn called "Tamagawa Onsen" at the foot of an active volcano, Yakeyama situated within the Towada Hachimantai National Park is the only inn in this onsen, yields Japan's highest volume of spring water at 9,000 liters per minute, and is also Japan's most acidic hot spring. The profile of the spring attracts guests who stay for an extended period of time for healing purposes and sets the inn apart from other onsen areas, but is also open to regular tourists for day visits. The inn is lined around with a misty trailway leading to rare sights like near boiling streams, scorching puddles and steam hissing out from crevices. There are also areas where you can experience ganban-yoku, where you lie down on slabs of rocks heated to 40-50 degrees Celsius and will be the perfect place to enjoy all kinds of onsens to its full.

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