Perfect for Couples! Take a Short Trip and Enjoy the View at Katayamazu Hot Springs
Every now and then, don’t you want to get away from the busy city? Take a short vacation to relax and get rid of all that stress? Located in the famous Kaga Onsen Village, Katayamazu Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax. Surrounded by a lake, it offers open-air baths and stunning scenery. Come here to experience an unforgettable trip with your loved one!
Jun 18 2018 (Jan 11 2021)
*This article was written in collaboration with Katayamazu Hot Spring Tourist Association.
Several months ago, my boyfriend complained that we “hadn’t gone on vacation for quite some time”, so we should do something about it. Many days later, I was as excited as an elementary school student waiting to go on a field trip for this very day.
We decided to choose somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As soon as our direct flight from Taiwan to Komatsu Airport landed, like a magical door, our eyes landed upon a stunning sight.
Surrounded by lush nature like the gorgeous Mt. Haku (Haku-san), Katayamazu Hot Springs is a famous hot spring area that can be found along the shores of Lake Shibayama, whose surface changes colors seven times a day. It is a perfect place to take things quiet and slow.
From the group of lodgings lined up along the shore, we decided to stay at Kasuikyo – a hotel that looked like it had everything needed for some peace and relaxation. Not only did it have large baths on its observation deck and open-air baths, but it felt roomy and perfect.
*Direct flights from Narita Airport to Komatsu Airport: http://www.komatsuairport.jp/flight/narita_en.html
*Direct flights from Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport: http://www.komatsuairport.jp/flight/haneda_en.html
APA HOTEL & RESORT Kaga Katayamazu Onsen KASUIKYO
*The following pictures are examples of each room type.
This room can be found on the top floor, which is the 8th floor. It lets in natural light, allowing the moonlight and sunlight to wash over your body. The amazing panoramic view from the installed open-air bath is yours to savor and keep. It is the best room in Kasuikyo, which is why there’s only one in the whole building.
This Japanese-style room is filled to the brim with Japanese aesthetic. From the window, you can take in the brilliant sight of a Japanese garden. The fact that you can eat all your meals in this room just makes this hotel’s service even more impeccable.
This room was designed with a fusion of Japanese and Western elements, so even those unused to tatami (woven straw flooring) can sleep well through the night. Every bit of it was planned and constructed with care, as evident with its barrier-free layout.
We arrived late, so it was a little cold, but we couldn’t keep our excitement at bay! Even though it was a freezing 3°C (37.4°F), we immediately headed for the mixed bath.
The bath had a roof on top of it, meaning that regardless of weather, we could soak in the hot spring water. From the bath, you can gaze at lights in the distance.
Some say that it’s great for those that catch cold easily, as it is a sodium and calcium chloride hot spring with great heat insulation properties.
There’s no greater pleasure than drinking some milk after letting the warm water soothe away any body pains.
By the way, the hotel has a souvenir shop, so if you find yourself running out of time to do other activities, you can just purchase your souvenirs there!
There are ten other charming accommodations lined up along the shore that offer pick-up and drop-off services from JR Kagaonsen Station.
They’re all unique in their own way, but they also offer amazing service that will warm your heart. If you visit Katayamazu Hot Springs, it’s worth giving one of them a try!
List of Accommodations: http://www.katayamazu-spa.or.jp/hotels_new/ (Japanese Only)
It was pitch dark outside yesterday, so I didn’t expect to see the sparkling surface of Lake Shibayama when I unpeeled the curtains from the large window of our room.
The view of waterfowl swimming gracefully on the surface of the lake and the sacred Mt. Haku with a light topping of snow looked as beautiful as an ink wash painting.
The water fountain at the lake, which is capable of spurting water up 70 m into the sky, is Japan’s largest water fountain. It puts on a show 12 times each day.
<Fountain Show Times>
7:00 am / 8:00 am / 12:00 pm / 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm / 3:00 pm / 4:00 pm / 5:00 pm / 5:30 pm / 8:00 pm / 8:30 pm / 9:00 pm / 9:30 pm
For our first day, we ate breakfast at Kaga on the first floor.
Every dish seemed to bring out the best out of local ingredients. Not only was the service lovely, but we had unlimited refills of rice!
After we finished our delicious meal, we embarked on an adventurous day!
Katayamazu has a special vehicle called “Nuku Mobi”. This compact electric car is a snug 2-seater, ensuring that you can get up close and personal with your significant other!
Just like any other regular car in Japan, you’ll need an international driver’s license to drive it. (Taiwanese drivers need their original driver’s license and a translated version of it.)
The staff gave us detailed instructions, so my boyfriend was quickly able to drive the car! Looks like it may not be that difficult to operate, hah!
Tearing through the fields and feeling the wind on our faces, we soon reached our first sightseeing spot for the day – Cape Kasa.
Though Cape Kasa is known for its night view, the beautiful contrast between the white lighthouse and blue sky was fascinating to look at.
Surrounded by grand nature, my heart flung open and I couldn’t hear anything except for the sound of the waves and my boyfriend’s murmurs. It was as aweing as a scene from a movie.
Right next to Cape Kasa, Hashidate Port (Hashidate-ko) is filled with establishments like restaurants specializing in seafood cuisine and eateries, adding life to the quiet town.
There’s no way that anyone could visit the Hokuriku region without trying out some seafood dishes, right?
Pick up the fish that you want to eat from Maruya Suisan on the first floor and then head over to Kassen Shintoku on the second floor to have it cooked just the way you like it. There are other stores available, such as Yashima, which mainly offers crab or sashimi set meals. Regardless of when you visit, you’ll be able to savor the bounties of the sea that were raised in the great outdoors.
The delicious food will definitely leave you moved by the heartwarming service and delectable seasonal ingredients!
After lunch, we decided to do a bit of shopping. The cute stores stood out from the rest of the port.
This is a sweets store called “Hallelujah”.
When renting a Nuku Mobi, you’ll get a bunch of coupons that you can exchange for sweets at various stores around the town, including this store!
The true pleasures of travelling are indulging in food and fun experiences.
This store holds candle-making workshops where you can choose as many colors as you like (apart from gold and silver) and then make a candle for yourself or your significant other!
It’s truly a souvenir filled with memories – a treasure that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Whenever you glance at the candle you made, memories of making it are sure to come flooding in!
Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice
This museum was established to share Ukichiro Nakaya’s feelings on snow, which was: “Snow is a letter from the heavens.” A mere 5-minute walk from Kasuikyo, this is a tourist spot that you absolutely must visit when in Katayamazu Hot Springs.
The hexagonal ceiling of the entrance hall, designed based on the image of a snowflake, amazes many. The whole museum is filled with exhibits and events on snow and ice, with pictures of ice crystallization plastered on the corridors, science workshops where you can experiment and learn about topics like the history of artificial snow, and workshops where you can craft ice pendants.
There’s a cafe called “Winter Flower” (Fuyu no Hana) inside the museum, so when you get tired, you can simply take a break there.
For example, you can gaze at the magnificent scene of Mt. Haku reflected on the waters of Lake Shibayama while sipping on some coffee or tea. Taking in this view during the spring, when the cherry blossoms (sakura) are at full bloom, is an almost overwhelmingly beautiful sight.
Before the sun set, we returned to Kasuikyo.
This time, the scenery we were treated to was Mt. Haku bathed in the sunset’s glow and at the bosom of the mountain, Lake Shibayama, which looked as relaxed as I felt, soaking in the hot spring.
Just as expected, spending time however we wanted really was the ultimate reward to our busy selves!
Caution: It is forbidden to take photos in public bathhouses in Japan. The above photo was taken with permission from the hotel.
Kasuikyo has rooms that face Lake Shibayama, so you can take in the sight of the lake turning seven different colors from your hotel room.
You’ll be mesmerized by all of the untouched scenery!
After resting for a bit, we headed for Kaga on the first floor to eat dinner.
All of its seats are in private rooms, so the two of us could eat together in peace.
Mainly made with fresh seafood fished up from the Sea of Japan, their dishes showcased exquisite flavors from the Hokuriku region, which were so deep and addicting that they touched the deepest corners of our hearts.
Their dishes change with the seasons, ensuring that guests get to taste seafood that’s truly in season.
*The photo shows their winter kaiseki (traditional Japanese banquet cuisine with alcohol).
To speed up our digestion, we decided to stroll over to Ukimi-do Hall, which stands in Lake Shibayama.
Connected to Yunomoto Park through a water bridge, it lights up at night to create a magical sight that puts people under its spell.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.