Shingen no Yu, Yumura Onsen: Famous hot springs beloved by warlords and cultural figures

Shingen no Yu, Yumura Onsen: Famous hot springs beloved by warlords and cultural figures

“Shingen no Yu, Yumura Onsen” is an onsen town in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, known to be one of the “hidden hot springs” visited by Takeda Shingen, a famous and powerful feudal lord of Japan’s Sengoku period (the age of provincial wars, 1521-1573). Usually, hidden hot springs were privately used by feudal lords and were also said to have been used to treat soldiers injured in battles. Yumura Onsen has been depicted in the artwork of ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai during the Edo period and is where famous writers like Dazai Osamu, Ibuse Masuji, and Matsumoto Seicho often came to work on their books. In this way, the town has been frequented by many writers, poets, painters, and calligraphy artists throughout history.

Every minute at Yumura Onsen, up to one ton of high-quality water reaching up to 40 degrees Celcius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature gushes from the source. There are numerous hotels and ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) with hot springs that draw water straight from this source. Most of the springs are classified as sodium-chloride springs and are said to be beneficial for muscle pain, nerve pain, cuts, and cold hands and feet.

Photo:Yumura Onsen Cooperative Association

Visitors staying at one of the eight accommodation facilities in the town can get an “onsen-hopping ticket” for free, with which they can enjoy the hot springs at other facilities for a flat fee of 500 yen at each. Some of the establishments are open to drop-in day visitors as well, making it possible to make a casual trip to try out the various onsen.

Photo:Yumura Onsen Cooperative Association

A 10-minute drive away from the onsen town is Takeda-jinja Shrine, built on the site of Takeda Shingen’s former dwelling. There is a popular belief that Shingen was destined for victory, and because of this the shrine has become well-known as a place of luck for competitions, business, and politics. On the premises is a power spot for longevity and good health, and it is highly recommended for a visit for those staying overnight at Yumura Onsen.

A 30-minute drive from the onsen town is Shosenkyo Gorge, known for its autumn foliage that was registered as a “Japan Heritage” in 2020. Not only will travelers be met with the beauty of the cliffs, the unusual rock formations created through erosion, as well as the contrast of the greenery and autumn leaves, but the clear water of the waterfalls and mountain streams is also sure to calm the spirit.

The “Shingen-ko Festival” is held every spring. The battle flags of Shingen depicting “wind, forest, fire, and mountain” flutter in the breeze, and approximately 1,500 participants dressed as samurai gather in front of Kofu Station. With the approach of sunset, bonfires are lit and the trumpeting sounds of conch shells reverberate through the air. The samurai begin their procession, and it is quite a sight to behold.

Some of Kofu’s most famous dishes are “hoto noodles” (similar to udon simmered in miso) and teriyaki-flavored “bird tripe stew” (bird tripe cooked in sweet and spicy soy sauce), both delicacies that must be tried during the trip.
Satisfy both body and spirit at Takeda Shingen’s beloved onsen town.

Access Shinjuku Sta. -> 90 min by limited express Azusa or Kaiji -> Kofu Sta. -> 10 min by taxi -> Yumura Onsen
Telephone number 0552522261

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The information herein is as of June 2021
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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