Tsurunoyu Onsen at Nyūtō Onsenkyō, Senboku, Akita Prefecture: Four Hot Springs at a Single Inn

Guide to Japan Travel

The  Nyūtō Onsenkyō resort in Semboku, Akita Prefecture is a cluster of seven hot spring inns alongside Sendachi-gawa, a mountain stream deep in the forest. Each of the inns has its own springs with distinct characteristics, all supplying large quantities of hot water. The facilities have a rustic look and a hidden-away feel. Mid-October is the peak of the autumn foliage season in this area. Visitors can enjoy being soothed in both mind and body by the experience of bathing in open-air pools while listening to the babbling of the nearby stream and viewing the seasonally colored leaves of the forest.

The hot springs at Tsurunoyu Onsen are the most historic, having been visited by a seventeenth-century lord of the Akita domain for a hot-spring cure. The thatched-roof building that housed his guards now accommodates visitors to the inn. Another distinctive feature of this inn is that it has four hot springs from separate sources, each with its own water quality and therapeutic effects. The inn’s signature bathing place is a large open-air bath for both men and women. Another outdoor bath is for women only. Also outdoors is an utaseyu, a stream of falling water under which bathers stand. The inn also has three indoor baths, each fed from a different source.

(Originally published in Japanese. Created in cooperation with Cable Networks Akita.)

autumn foliage Tōhoku Akita