Nagato Yumoto Onsen: A traditional hot spring town transformed for the future
Nagato Yumoto Onsen is located in Nagato City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the westernmost point of Honshu (the main island of Japan). It is the oldest hot spring in Yamaguchi Prefecture with a history of 600 years. According to a legend, the hot spring was discovered by a priest from Tainei-ji Temple in this area, who was guided by a divine revelation.
The water quality is alkaline and very soft. It is especially good for the skin and often called “the hot spring water for beautiful skin.” It is not so hot but warms the core of the body, so you won’t get cold even in winter after taking a bath.
The best part about visiting an onsen town is not only enjoying the hot springs but also touring the town on foot. Taking a walk beside the Otozure-gawa River that flows through the town is a perfect way to relax. With the implementation of “Nagato Yumoto Onsen Tourism Revitalization Plan” in 2017, the onsen town as a whole has been putting a great effort into the renewal. Referring to the whole town as “OSOTO TENGOKU” (“outdoor paradise”), it reopened as a transformed onsen town in 2020. You can enjoy, for example, a pleasant moment at a stylish café that was originally an old Japanese-style house. Various kinds of events and workshops are held where you can taste local foods and communicate with local people.
A drop-by bathhouse, “Onto,” long popular among locals, also went under re-construction in line with the reopening of the onsen town to welcome more visitors. Having gone through the major renewal, Nagato Yumoto Onsen, with its numerous attractive features such as tasty snackable food while walking, hands-on cultural experiences, and photogenic spots along the Otozure-gawa River flowing through the town, should attract even more attention in the time to come.
You can experience Zen sitting meditation at Tainei-ji Temple, which is said to be the birthplace of Nagato Yumoto Onsen, according to legend.
You can enjoy outdoor activities around the Otozure River, which has a clear water.
The café using the renovated Japanese house. At its terrace, have coffee served in a Hagi-ware cup, which is made in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, while listening to murmur of the river.
Wander off to Motonosumi Inari-jinja Shrine. A succession of red torii guides you to the sea. Such a stunning view!
Tokyo Sta. → 5 hr by Shinkansen → Shin-Yamaguchi Sta. → 10 min by Shinkansen (kodama) → Asa Sta. → 1 hr by train on the JR Mine Line → Nagato Yumoto Sta.
Tokyo Sta. → 5 hr by Shinkansen → Shin-Yamaguchi Sta. → 90 min by bus → Nagato Yumoto Sta.
Nagato Yumoto Onsen Ryokan Cooperative (Nagato Yumoto Onsen Machi Co.,Ltd)
*The information herein is as of April 2021.