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Goin’ Japanesque!

The Nyuto Onsen (Akita): 7 Secluded Hot Springs that Represent Japan

There is an area in Akita prefecture known for its onsen (hot springs), even said to be the birthplace of secluded onsen. Of the many hot springs in Japan, it is so famous that it is called the Yokozuna (champion sumo wrestler) of the East. We summarized the characteristics of the 7 so that you can reference when you look for the perfect hot springs for yourself. Ref: Photo


About the Nyuto Onsenkyo


It is an area with 7 secret hot springs that are scattered throughout Senboku City in Akita Prefecture. It consistently ranks high in hot springs rankings of Japan. It is a place that onsen fans and those who love travelling yearn to go to. The water for the 7 hot springs all have different sources and its appeal is that there are 7 different ways of enjoying. Thus, it is unique that many people go to all 7. Also, a noteworthy piece of information particularly for women is that generally, the outdoor baths of this region are unisex. 


Location of the 7 Secluded Hot Springs

 – The isolated “Tsuru no Yu” area
 – An area where the four: Taenoyu, Ganiba Onsen, Okama Onsen, Kyukamura Tazawako Kogen are gathered in close vicinity
 – The Kuroyu and Magoroku Onsen area located in the backwoods

Largely grouped, it is made up of the above three sections. Aside from the Tsuru no Yu, all are within walking distance of each other. Information: Map


The most popular

1. Tsuru no Yu


With over 300 years of history, it is said that the discovery was in the Edo period (1603– 1868) it is the oldest and distinguished hot spring of the 7. With its translucent milky white water and the silvery white snow that surround the environment, the entire view changes into a world of white. It will make your skin smooth and make you beautiful.

Another highlight of the Tsuru no Yu is the honjin or main inn with the kayabuki (thatched) roof (It is different type of kayabuki roof than that of Shirakawago or Gokayama). Once you go through the gate, a scene almost out of a historical movie set spreads before your eyes in a world of reality. It is one hotel that you want to stay at.

*Honjin: A posting station used by feudal lords and officers of the Edo period.


Stylish and perfect for ladies

2. Tae no Yu


The Tae no Yu is the most modern and stylish. Its exterior, interior and their attentive service is popular particularly amongst women. It may be good for newlywed couples too.  

There is a dam beside the outdoor bath and it is a hot spring where you hear the sounds of the rushing waters making the hot springs pleasing to the auditory senses as well.


Enjoying the forest in the great wilderness

3. Ganiba Onsen


The Ganiba Onsen lies deepest in the mountains. Perhaps due to its location, it is a secret spot which is relatively less crowded (It should be noted however that all of Nyuto Onsenkyo is overall more crowded than the average hot springs). The appeal is that you can enjoy a bath while feeling unity in nature.

The inner bath that conveys the warmth of the wood structure is also spectacular.


An inn that utilizes a wooden school building

4. Okama Onsen


The Okama Onsen is an inn that lets you feel a Showa period (1926 – 1989) Japan. It is an inn that utilizes a building that was once a school, thus conveying a unique and nostalgic feel.

The translucent waters surrounded by tasteful textures of the wood are also spectacular.


The most modern public inn

5. Kyukamura Tazawako Kogen


This is the only public facility within the Nyuto Onsenkyo. It is located in the heart of this onsen area so it’s easily accessible and its appeal is the low accommodation cost. 

While many of the baths are unisex, this one is not, so women may feel more comfortable here.  


Wild and secluded hot springs

6. Kuroyu


It can be said that this Kuroyu ranks second in popularity after the Tsuru no Yu. This is the only place where you can see the spring gush out from its sources.

The very spacious and wild outdoor bath is amazing. The fence made of twisted wood is very artistic.


The most secret hideaway onsen

7. Magoroku Onsen


This is the only place which is not accessible by car so it can only be accessed on foot. This is the reason why this feels the most hidden.

How about it? You can say that this for sure is the most hidden of hideaway spots.


If you stay at one of the inns you are able to purchase the “Yumeguri cho” a pass that allows you to bathe in all 7 of the hot springs. You can also collect commemorative stamps in the booklet so we recommend that you visit not only one but several of the secluded hot springs.

Access: About 50 minutes on the bust to Nyuto Onsen from the JR Tazawako Station, Information: Map

Related: Other Onsen

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