Yamanaka Onsen: Onsen in a valley with a history and traditional culture of 1,300 years

Yamanaka Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture has a long history: it is said that the famous Buddhist priest, Gyoki, discovered the onsen about 1,300 years ago. Since then, many people have visited this onsen in the mountains to get their illnesses cured and to refresh themselves. It is said that the famous haiku poet Matsuo Basho and his disciple, Sora, visited this onsen in 1690 during their journey to different regions of Japan and praised it as one of the best onsen in Japan, along with Arima (Hyogo pref.) and Kusatsu (Gunma pref.). At the site in the mountains, along with abundant nature, there is still smooth hot spring water gushing from the ground. The onsen water is reputed to be good for various ailments, such as rheumatism, nerve pain, surface injuries, and skin problems.

Yamanaka Onsen: Onsen in a valley with a history and traditional culture of 1,300 years

Walking in the beautiful valley is one of the ways to enjoy Yamanaka Onsen. Along the Daishoji River flowing through the town, there is the 1.3 km Kakusenkei walking path, offering visitors a great opportunity to enjoy the seasonal colors of nature, including cherry blossoms, fresh green leaves in spring, and autumn foliage. Although it is located in the mountains, Yamanaka Onsen is still close to the Japan Sea, and therefore it receives fresh seafood from Hashidate Fishing Port in Kaga City throughout the year. One of the great features of Yamanaka Onsen is that you can enjoy food from the sea, such as abalones and rock oysters in summer and snow crabs and yellowtails in winter, as well as food from the mountains, such as mountain vegetables, at the same time. In addition, this area has been preserving Japan’s representative traditional culture, such as colorful Kutani-yaki ware and Yamanaka-shikki lacquerware. Yuge-kaido Road, stretching from the center of the onsen town, is lined with many galleries for traditional crafts, including Yamanaka-shikki and Kutani-yaki.

Along Kakusenkei, from Apr. to Nov., special terraces are installed for people to enjoy eating and drinking right at the river.

Kakusenkei Kawadoko

Yamanaka Onsen Public Bath Kiku-no-yu has separate buildings for men and women as well as a foot bath facility (free).

Yamanaka Onsen Kiku-no-yu

Yuge-kaido Street is lined with restaurants and shops selling local specialties, cafés, and liquor shops with a stand-up bar.

Yuge-kaido Street

Yamanakaza is a facility with decorations using Yamanaka-shikki techniques. Performances of Yamanaka-bushi songs and dancing are regularly held.


Editor’s note

Kiku-no-yu public bath facility has been attracting many people, not only visitors but also local area people, for 1,300 years at the same location since the opening. In front of the men’s section of Kiku-no-yu, there is a place for making onsen tamago (soft-boiled eggs).

Making onsen tamago (soft-boiled eggs)
Making onsen tamago (soft-boiled eggs)
Access Tokyo Sta. -> 2 hr 30 min by Shinkansen -> Kanazawa Sta. -> 25 min by limited express -> Kagaonsen Sta. -> 20-30 min by taxi or bus
Telephone number 0761780330
URL https://www.yamanaka-spa.or.jp/

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The information herein is as of May 2019
att.JAPAN consists of members in their 20s and 30s, and we are all travel lovers. In addition to information about sightseeing and great dishes all over Japan, we offer a wide range of information about various subjects/topics, such as onsen (hot spring) and ryokan hotels. We introduce lots of information only att.JAPAN can offer, including information about famous sightseeing spots, the latest news about new facilities all over Japan and rare less-known areas in Tokyo, one-day model walking courses, and anime pilgrimages. We also offer contents to introduce Japan from the view of writers from abroad.

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