The ryokan of Nyuto Onsen Village offer seven sublime ways to savor the hot spring experience.
Akita’s mineral-rich water is said to be one of the reasons that the women of the prefecture are renowned for their attractiveness: and what better way to enjoy this natural beauty secret than the soothing steam of an onsen? The entire area is known for its plentiful hot springs, but perhaps one of the most pleasant places to soak it up is Nyuto Onsen Village, just northeast of Lake Tazawa in Akita’s Semboku City.
The village includes seven different ryokan: Tsurunoyu, which has been in operation for more than 300 years; Kuroyu, where you can sample boiled eggs whose shells have turned black in the area’s sulphurous waters; Taenoyu, with its “infinity pool” rotemburo; Ganiba, whose outdoor baths offer stunning and secluded views; Ogama, a former schoolhouse with easy access to hiking trails and ski slopes; Magoroku, which features a small collection of onsen huts; and Kyukamura, the most modern of the Village’s inns. The various ryokan in the Village also feature different mineral water varieties, each with their own distinct color, and reputed health benefits.
All of these hot spring inns offer the chance to appreciate Akita’s rustic hospitality and hearty cuisine, for a long weekend or taking the time to truly savor the onsen experience over an even longer break. Traditionally, fishermen and farmers would spend their off seasons at the onsens to heal up for the work to come. This practice was known as toji – literally, “hot spring cure,” and some of the Village’s ryokan still offer this opportunity.
However long your stay, the natural surroundings of the Nyuto Onsen Village make for the ultimate onsen experience: sitting in a rotemburo (outdoor bath) while you gaze out at the mountainous scenery. This might mean looking out at the freshly sprouted, or thickly lush, greenery of spring and summer, admiring autumn’s fall foliage, or savoring the magical experience of looking out over a snow-draped landscape from the warmth of a steaming hot spring bath. When weather permits, guests can put on their yukata and stroll on paths through forests of buna – Japanese beech.
Beauty and health trends come and go, but the experience that can be savored at the Nyuto Onsen Village is timeless, traditional, and unforgettable.
You might not be able to stay at each of Nyuto Onsen Village’s seven ryokan, but you can still experience the unique pleasures of each location’s hot spring baths. Nyuto Onsen Village offers a ¥1,800 pass that allows holders to visit all seven onsens during their stay. A charmingly decorated bus transports guests as they make their way from one steamingly comfortable bath to the next.
To soak up more information about Nyuto Onsen Village, visit www.nyuto-onsenkyo.com.