The Onsen of Nikko

If there’s one thing Nikko and its surrounding area does as well as sacred sites and stunning natural beauty, is its onsens. The heart of Nikko city is close to a collection of onsen towns including the famous Kinugawa, the tranquil Yumoto and the rustic Okukinu. No matter what type of atmosphere you’re chasing or how much time you have up your sleeve there’s something for everyone, you just need to know where to look.

The Onsen of Nikko

Located not too far from central Nikko is Kinugawa, a hot spring resort town that is a popular getaway for visitors looking to enjoy a tranquil weekend recovering from the stresses of everyday life. Home to the Kinugawa River, this hot spring village has gone through a transformation over the decades. After being over developed a number of decades ago, the area experiences an ‘onsen bubble’ which of course burst and left the town with an array of abandoned buildings in its wake. Over time the locals have worked tirelessly to re-beautify the area, cleaning away the remnants of the burst bubble and maintaining the stunning natural surroundings. These days it’s fair to say the area looks more beautiful than ever before.

The Onsen of Nikko
The Onsen of Nikko

What made this area such a go to in previous years was the fact that it sat along the banks of the Kinugawa River and was home to the hot springs that were said to contain minerals which boost and enhance your skin health and quality. To experience this water for yourself, it’s worth booking a few night at Kinugawa Onsen Hotel, one of the best and most welcoming accommodation options in the area. Featuring both Japanese and Western style rooms, and dining for both Western and Japanese tastes, as well as a collection of impressive baths, there’s something for everyone.

The Onsen of Nikko

Not too far from Kinugawa sits Yumoto, a small hot spring town in located in the back of the mountainous region of Okunikko and part of Nikko National Park. In Japanese the name Yumoto translates to the "origin of hot water" which is a pretty fitting title considering its abundance of impressive hot springs and its proximity to Lake Yunoko (literally meaning "hot water lake"). Sitting on the northern point of the town is Onsenji, which is a Buddhist temple that’s home to a small hot spring bath open to the public. Next to the temple sits Yunodaira Marsh, which is where most of the town's hot water supply bubbles up from the ground. Here you can witness the warm water bubbling along the northern shore of Lake Yunoko, and smell the sulfur that lingers in the air.

The Onsen of Nikko

Finally if you are onsen hopping in the Nikko area, be sure to visit Okukinu Onsen. Tucked away in the far back of a remote valley in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, these four humble and rustic ryokan are home to some of the most stunning and atmospheric baths in the area. There’s really no better way to truly experience the world of Nikko’s onsens than by heading to Okukinu’s baths to soak in the overflowing, warm mineral filled, sulfuric waters while soaking up the surrounding views of the mountainside.

Facility Name
Nikkou
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Aioichou
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Nikko National Park
Address
Tochigi prefecture, Fukushima prefecture, Gunma prefecture
Introduction
Established in December 1934 this is one of the first national parks in the country. It is home to many mountains such as Mt. Shirane, the highest mountain in the northern Kanto region, Mt. Nantai famous as a place of mountain worship, the active volcano Mt. Nasudake, the scenic landscapes of historic buildings and the majestic valley of the Kinugawa River basin are spectacular. Many tourists and mountain climbers visit when the autumn leaves change colors every year. There are several visitor centers and museums in the area which exhibits the ecosystems, nature and organisms of Nikko National Park, offers guided tours (some at a fee), and offers a snowshoe rental service during snow season (for a fee).
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Lake Yunoko
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Yumoto
Introduction
The Lake Yunoko is a peaceful lake surrounded by mountains on three sides; it was created when the Yukawa River was dammed up by the eruption of Mt. Mitsudake. There is hiking trail around the lake with an overall length of about three kilometers, and it takes about one hour to go around the trail. This is a spot where you can enjoy unspoilt nature with wild birds chirping in the hardwood and coniferous forest. It is also known as a famous spot for trout fishing, and the place is lively with a lot of people fishing during the period when the lake is open for fishing from May to September.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Onsenji
Address
Gifu Pref. Geroshi Yunoshima 680
Phone
0576252465
Business hours
6-sunset
Regular holiday
open everday
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Onsenji

    Temple (Kannon/Fudo Myoo)
    Gifu Pref. Geroshi Yunoshima 680
  • dummy image

    Okukinu Onsengo Spa

    Onsen (Japanese hot springs&baths)
    Tochigi Nikko-shi Kawamata871
  • dummy image

    Kinugawa Spa Hotel

    Hotel
    Tochigi Nikko-shi Kinugawaonsentaki545
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    Nikkou

    Station
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Aioichou
  • Lake Yunoko  image

    Lake Yunoko

    Lake
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Yumoto
  • Nikko National Park image

    Nikko National Park

    Park
    Tochigi prefecture, Fukushima prefecture, Gunma prefecture
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