12 Outdoor Hot Springs with Breathtaking Views at Tohoku
Tohoku is one of the remaining few places in Japan where you get to experience untouched nature and in this article we will be showcasing some wonderful hot springs that will bring you closer to mother nature.
Jun 24 2015 (Sep 09 2020)
1. WeSPa Tsukiyama Nabeishi Onsen, Aomori
The hot spring facilities within the resort, WeSPa Tsukiyama is actually built within a dome-like structure. When the weather is lovely, the glass windows of the dome will be open to provide bathers with a great view of the Sea of Japan. During the day, come and soak while enjoying the views of the cape and in the evening, come back for another soak while the sun is setting on the horizon.
226-1 Nabeishi, Henashi, Fukauramachi, Aomori Prefecture
2. Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen, Aomori
Step right into the hot spring pool here that was set to be part of the seaside and enjoy the view of the Sea of Japan right in front of your very eyes. Come during sunset and you would get to enjoy how beautiful and red the west skies turn when the sun sets. There are coed baths here in the shape of a gourd and there is also a bath only for women in the shape of an ellipse. The water of the bath is reddish brown because it is high in iron. The baths are open from sunrise to sunset.
15 Shimokiyotaki, Henashi, Fukauramachi, Aomori Prefecture
3. Shidotaira Onsen Yunomori Hotel Shidotaira, Iwate
The hotel here is equipped with big outdoor baths and apparently one of them can fit up to about 1000 bathers at a go! The baths are built just right next to the Toyosawa River. So that would mean that when you are taking a leisurely soak here, you will get to enjoy the beautiful colors of the valley and its surroundings while taking in the chirping of the birds. At night, the outdoor bath that can fit 1000 bathers will be lit up and from here you will be able to see how beautiful the night sky in Iwate is.
27-1 Shidotaira, Yuguchi, Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture
4. Fukiage Onsen Hounkaku, Miyagi
The outdoor natural bath here, which is of the senninburo type is open from the end of May to the end of October. It is a waterfall basin with a rustic landscape and a waterfall in the background. There is no other outdoor natural hot spring pool like this that can fit more than 20 bathers at once. Let the mountain stream guide you and step foot in this pool for an enjoyable soak!
16 Fukiage, Naruko Onsen, Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture
5. Minami Sanriku Onsen Minami Sanriku Hotel Kanyo, Miyagi
This is the baths of all baths as the view from this pool gives you an unobstructed view of the sea. Soak in the waters that are pumped up all the way from 2000m under and let the morning breeze caress your face. There are separate pools for men and women. The pool for men focuses more on the green color and Japanese designs whereas the women get to enjoy their bath in a cave like pool. Both pools provide bathers with breathtaking views.
99-17 Kurosaki, Minami Sanriku Cho, Miyagi Prefecture
6. Fukenoyu, Akita
Within the rolling hills in Hachimantai, there lies a cozy inn at the height of 1100m. Step into their outdoor bath here and you would gasp at how fortunate you are to be surrounded by pure unblemished nature. Come here spring, summer, autumn and winter because the experience would be different as the landscape changes according to the seasons. There are barrel baths prepared specially for female bathers.
Kumazawa Kokuyurin, Hachimantai, Kazuno City, Akita Prefecture
7. Tsurunoyu Onsen, Akitaunertlkm/Flickr
Tsurunoyu onsen is hands down the most popular hot spring place in the Nyuto Onsen area. It wouldn't come as a surprise then that making reservations here would be difficult. The coed pools here are famous but you don't have to feel awkward at all because the waters are white and cloudy and you really can't see anything at all. There are other outdoor pools that are meant only for female bathers.
50 Sendatsuzawa Kokuyurin, Takawako Tazawa Senboku, Akita Prefecture
8. Doroyu Onsen Okuyama Ryokan, Akita
In the past the big outdoor bath was meant to be shared among both male and female bathers, but the bath is no longer coed. Even though it has been divided into two separate baths, it still offers its bathers ample of space. At night the stars are bright and clear and the surroundings quiet. There is also a special Tengu no Yu pool available here.
25 Doruyuzawa, Takamatsu Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture
9. Ubayu Onsen Masugataya, Yamagata
Ubayu Onsen is located deep in the valleys tucked within the north of Mount Azuma, at a height of 1300m. Red and grey boulders outline the coed pool here giving bathers an interesting view of the rocky landscape dotted with wild plants and every now and then you might be able to catch a glimpse of antelopes. Of course, the best seasons to come would have to be during spring for a green landscape or during autumn when the leaves have turned the mountain into a fiery red! You don't have to stay overnight here just to enjoy the pools. There are pools just for day-trip bathers.
1 Ubayu Osawa, Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture
10. Hygeia Park Nanyo, Yamagata
This onsen facility is located on top of a small hill. The outdoor bath is 100m² and right in front of it lies the expansive Mount Iide with the Yonezawa Valley rolling beneath it. The view is simply breathtaking from here. There are many types of facilities here like restaurants, lounges, massage services and so forth for you to enjoy. The outdoor swimming pool will be open to the public in July and August too.
1855-10 Wano, Nanyo City, Yamagata Prefecture
11. Hirogawara Onsen Yunosawakanketsusen Yunohana, Yamagata
Don't let the name of the place intimidate you with its length. This particular onsen is a Kanketsusen onsen, which means that the hot waters are sourced from below and it is brought above ground due to the natural gas pressure from within. In short, it is a geyser hot spring. The color of the spring is brownish and the smell of iron is quite strong but you probably won't notice it when you are soaking in here because you'll be busy enjoying the beautiful landscape that showcases Japanese beech trees. Bathers are also pleasantly surprised when the hot spring waters gush out once every 10 to 40 minutes. The water isn't boiling hot, so you can actually touch the gushing spring.
448-2 Yunosawa, Hirokawara Iide, Nishiokitama District, Yamagata Prefecture
12. Oshio Onsen Tatsumi So, Fukushima
Tatsumi So is a nice inn located by Tadami River in Okuaizu and here there is an outdoor bath at the back of the inn. The waters here come naturally from below and when winter is over, when the snow melts and as the water level of the river rises, the hot spring swells with more water gushing out but the phenomenon stops in May. You don't have to pay to soak in the bath here but you are required to head to Tatsumi So first to ask for their permission.
3106-2 Yasumiba Oshio Kaneyama-machi, Fukushima Prefecture
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.