The region of Tajima, which refers to northern Hyogo prefecture, offers a completely different face to that of southern Hyogo, which comprises of big city names such as Kobe where many skyscrapers and vivid colors of neon lights characterize the province. On the contrary, this part of Hyogo is full of nature, history and boasts of premium quality hot springs.
One of the rare onsens in Tokyo with natural hot spring water can be found in Musashi Koyama, Shinagawa. Shimizu-yu or Musashi Koyama Onsen not only provides two types of natural hot springs: kuroyu or black spring water and kogane-no-yu or golden spring water, but is also a historical gem that has been running its hot spring baths since 1924.
Kesennuma is a beautiful coastal city in Miyagi prefecture in northern Japan. With Kesennuma having a population of a little over 65,000 people and best known for its fishing industry, one may wonder what it has to offer the average person. Lucky for me, the people of Kesennuma are so kind and ecstatic to share Japanese culture with others! Here are some of the things I’ve found so far!
I decided to visit this hot spring bath for the first time since I saw the unique building since 4 months ago. Yakuseki no Yu Kaisen—is the name of the Hot Spring Bath or Onsen that located in Isawa, Fuefuki, Yamanashi—about 2 kilometers from the nearest JR station; Isawa Onsen Station, by the Kofu By-pass.
Owakudani, written as 大涌谷, in Japanese means "Great Boiling Valley". It is both poetic and a bit mysterious. The valley was created in the result of a Mt. Hakone eruption around 3000 years ago, and still experiences volcanic activity. It is mostly safe, nevertheless. The Tourist Center was closed between 2015 and 2016, but now it is available again, as well as the Hakone ropeway.
Nagasaki is a fascinating prefecture with a long and colourful history. It was the first part of Japan where foreign explorers were allowed to trade with and has thus been a testing ground for the future of the country.
Located at the trailhead of Mount Myoko, the highest mountain in the Hokushin area, Tsubame Onsen is surrounded by forest and gives its visitors a private bathing time with abundant nature around.
Tucked away below Japan’s main island of Honshu, Shikoku Island is home to four prefectures, all known for being more rural and traditional. Being disconnected from the main island of Japan has its advantages though, the island is packed full of authentically Japanese spots to visit. Ehime is the most recognizable of Shikoku, with sights linking it to the famous studio Ghibli, and the Japanese royal family.
Even today, Beppu accounts for at least one tenths of Japan’s onsen production by volume. But although the place is a famous among the Japanese, and an increasingly popular destination for Korean and Chinese tourists, it is still relatively unknown to Western tourists in spite of its long history.
Yudanaka Onsen town is great all year round; however, going in winter would be a bonus to your travel plan as you can see the snow monkeys covered in snow soaking themselves in the onsen, go skiing or snowboarding, and most importantly, enjoy the outdoor natural hot spring under the snow (one of the best life experiences ever).