Nasu Onsen: still cool in summer! Onsen on the plateau
Nasu Onsen refers to several onsen areas located in the resorts on the Nasu Kogen Plateau in Tochigi Prefecture collectively.
Opened over 1,300 years ago, Nasu Onsen has been attracting people over its long history, as suggested by the fact that it was ranked in 2nd place after Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma Pref.) in the popular onsen ranking in the Kanto area published in the Edo period (1603-1868).
The first onsen area that found the spring source in Nasu Onsen was “Shika no Yu.” It is still serving as a public bath facility with the atmosphere of an old spa. Shika no Yu is the oldest onsen in Tochigi Prefecture. After the discovery of the spring source of Shika no Yu, other onsen were found one after another. There were already seven onsen in the Edo period, which have been called “Nasu Shichito” (Nasu seven onsen).
As the temperature of the spring source of Nasu Onsen is relatively high at 63 to 80 degrees Celsius, the temperature of Shika no Yu is also set relatively high at 41 to 48 degrees. In order for people to be able to soak themselves in such hot water, a unique bathing style, called “jikan-yu” (time bathing), has been created and handed down in Shika no Yu, where you are supervised to be able to keep your bathing time short.
Shika no Yu
The spring water is characterized for its opaque white color of the sulfur spring. Said to be visited by ascetic monks and samurai injured in wars, Nasu Onsen is said to be effective for trauma, such as burns, cuts, and chronic skin problems. There are some other onsen from which you can expect relieving effects for neuralgia, rheumatism, gastrointestinal conditions, and women’s conditions.
Nasu Onsen is currently an extensive highland resort with more than 10 bath facilities and about 30 accommodation facilities. The area is also characterized by having various kinds of accommodation facilities, from Japanese-style ryokan hotels and highland resort hotels, to pensions, while maintaining the natural landscape of the Nasu Kogen Plateau. The bath facilities have different kinds of spring water, so you can find your favorite one after touring all of them.
Nasu Kogen is a popular highland resort conveniently accessible from Tokyo, with a wide variety of sites to see, including natural landscape, historic sites, and theme parks. In addition, since the area has a holiday cottage for the royal family, it is also known as “royal resort Nasu.” It is cool and comfortable especially in summer. It is a perfect place for your holiday if you want to enjoy nature and relax in onsen.
Tokyo Sta. -> 75 min by Tohoku Shinkansen -> Nasu-shiobara Sta. -> 60 min by Kanto bus -> Nasu Onsen
Nasu Tourism Association
*The information herein is as of April 2021.