Natural hot springs (温泉, onsen) are numerous and highly popular across Japan. Every region of the country has its own share of hot springs and resort towns. It’s the traditional way of the locals to immerse themselves with nature, relaxing the body and mind. Another way it can be put as a medium for de-stressing the body with countless health benefits attached to it. The vast number of minerals dissolved in natural hot springs provide countless healing and therapeutic effects, benefiting exclusively the mind and the body. Onsen’s come in different varieties – indoor and outdoor types, mixed and gender-separated. Today, the onsen culture, in Japan, serves as another vital attraction for tourists to enjoy. Tohoku, famous for its countryside with stunning landscapes makes it a very alluring destination to relax at a natural hot spring amidst the lush nature. Here are 5 selections that are chosen as a must-visit onsen for not only its popularity but as well the distinctive characteristics of the surrounding.
Fukiage Onsen – Miyagi Prefecture
This hot spring resort has been broadcasted in many local TV programs and documentaries. The outdoor bath is situated in the middle of lush green nature with a beautiful waterfall which has gained it such popularity.
Location on google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/JRaeYZnSvov
Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen, Aomori Prefecture
Sitting on the shore overlooking the Sea of Japan, this outdoor onsen has gained serious media attention. It has been a famous relaxation spot after long trekking of the mountain ranges of the world heritage site, Shirakami Sanchi. Sitting right on the shores, and overlooking the Sea of Japan, makes it an excellent choice for sunset lovers.
Ginzan Onsen, Yamagata Prefecture
Ginzan Onsen (銀山温泉, or “Silver Mountain Hot Spring”) is a secluded hot spring town nestled in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. Its charismatic beauty and quiet nature make it an excellent choice for couples to have a lasting romantic evening.
Historically, the area was developed around a silver mine, but nowadays, it has been transformed to be one of Japan’s most “prettiest” onsen town with historic ryokans (traditional Japanese style hotel) lined up along the river.
Minami Sanriku Onsen, Miyagi Prefecture
Situated north-east of Miyagi Prefecture facing directly the Pacific Ocean, makes Minami Sanriku Onsen a go-to destination to enjoy the vivid harmony of the ocean, mountains, and the land. Surrounded by extremely gorgeous nature, one will get full satisfaction from a broad variety of nature. Either you choose to trek up the mountains or relax by the beach with the crystal clear water of the Pacific Ocean, the location is perfect to suit everyone. Since the onsen is facing directly the Pacific Ocean, it’s an ideal spot not only to relax the mind and the body but for the soul as well – to get transformed in spirituality overlooking the sunrise.
Tsurunoyu Onsen, Akita Prefecture
Tsurunoyu onsen is hands down the most popular hot spring place in the NyutoOnsen area. In winter, Nyuto is one of the most popular travel destinations for a nice warm winter vacation around an atmosphere like a fairy tale. TsurunoyuOnsen features four bathes, each with a different composition of minerals in the hot spring water. A mist slowly rises off the bluish, milky water that is rich in minerals found at the hot spring’s source, creating an atmosphere, soothing and calm to the soul.
Location on google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/g9txefs6Vx42