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Bandai Atami Onsen: An onsen resort with the legend of “onsen for beautiful skin”


UpdateJune 25, 2021
ReleaseSeptember 27, 2017

Bandai Atami Onsen Photo:Koriyama City Tourist Association

Located in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, Bandai Atami Onsen is said to be named after the area related to Mount Bandai and Atami Onsen in Izu (Shizuoka Pref.). Izu is the hometown of Ito Sukenaga, who became a local lord of this area after the Oshu Kassen (a series of battles in 1189 between the Oshu Fujiwara family and the Kamakura shogunate led by shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo). Nestled in the mountain area far from the ocean its name includes “Atami” (literally meaning the hot sea); therefore, it is assumed that the area had a hot spring even in those days just like Atami Onsen in Izu.

Bandai Atami Onsen The onsen opened about 800 years ago. The alkaline spring water with low levels of dissolved substances is clear and mild on your skin. The water is said to soften dead skin cells and dissolve them and be highly effective against age spots and freckles with its whitening action, so the onsen has been attracting people as the “onsen for beautiful skin” for a long time. It is also said that taking a bath with this spring water can improve your metabolism.

Bandai Atami Onsen Photo:Koriyama City Tourist Association

In addition, legend has it that it is not only the “onsen for beautiful skin” but also a “great onsen for making beauty.” About 800 years ago, there was a beautiful girl called Hagihime in Kyoto, who was suffering from a fatal disease. One day, she had a revelation from Fudo Myo-o deity to head to the Tohoku region and immerse herself in a special spring located at the 500th river so her health would be fully recovered, so she left for the Tohoku area. After overcoming difficulties on her trip, she took a bath at Bandai Atami Onsen. Then, she was fully recovered and regained her beautiful appearance, so she was very grateful and went back to Kyoto. Since then, Bandai Atami Onsen has been known as a “great onsen for making beauty.” At an annual “Hagihime Matsuri” festival held in August, the onsen town comes alive with street vendors, dance performances, a flea market, and parades.

Bandai Atami Onsen Photo:Koriyama City Tourist Association

Bandai Atami Onsen is also known as an artistic onsen area. There are wall paintings here and there in the town, entertaining visitors.

Bandai-Atami Onsen Photo:Koriyama City Tourist Association

Bandai Atami Onsen Located almost at the center of Fukushima Prefecture with convenient access, Bandai Atami Onsen can serve as a hub for your trip to visit sightseeing spots within the prefecture. After refreshing yourself in the onsen, enjoy sightseeing in Fukushima!

Tokyo Sta. -> 85 min by Tohoku Shinkansen -> Koriyama Sta. -> 13 min by JR Ban-etsu West Line (rapid train) -> Bandai-Atami Sta.

Bandai Atami Onsen Inns Cooperative Association

*The information herein is as of May 2021.