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Yugawara Onsen: An onsen town with a history of more than 1,000 years, healing people’s wounds and attracting people


UpdateJune 25, 2021
ReleaseSeptember 25, 2017

yugawara onsen Located within 60 minutes by limited train from Yokohama, Yugawara Onsen in Kanagawa Prefecture is said to be one of the oldest onsen hot springs in the Kanto area. The spring source is from the erosion caldera of Yugawara volcano, which ended its activity hundreds of thousands of years ago. Yugawara Onsen is famous as the only onsen in Eastern Japan that appears in the “Man-yoshu,” the oldest collection of Japanese waka poems. It is said to offer healing to many people since the old days in various ways, such as a hydropathic spa for samurai and villagers in the Medieval era, and a designated place for treatment of injured soldiers during the Japanese-Sino and Japanese-Russo wars (later 19th to early 20th centuries).

Since the modern era, many writers and artists, including Toson Shimazaki, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, and Jun-ichiro Tanizaki, visited this place as a retreat. This onsen has been attracting many great literary figures, such as Doppo Kunikida who wrote short novels, such as “Yugawara yori” (From Yugawara) and “Yugawara yuki” (Visiting Yugawara), and Soseki Natsume, who wrote his last novel “Meian” (Light and Darkness) in Yugawara.

Yugawara Onsen Yugawara Onsen has 109 spring sources, all of which are effective for certain conditions and diseases. Blessed with five kinds of spring water, including one highly effective for heat retention by warming up the core of the body and keeping the heat within, one with a tranquilizing effect, and one with effects for beautiful skin by softening and smoothing the skin and preventing wrinkles, each onsen has its own effects.

Yugawara Onsen
Yugawara Onsen The onsen town goes upstream along the Chitose River from Yugawara Station. With many Japanese ryokan hotels, the streetscape in Yugawara Onsen town retains a good old atmosphere. The town’s drop-in bath facility “Kogome no Yu” offers a place for visitors to relax while looking at the streets of the onsen town for a whole day, this feature attracts many visitors.

Yugawara Onsen Photo:Yugawara Town

In Man-yo Park next to the facility, a new retreat facility, “Yugawara Soyu: Books and Retreat” is due to open in 2021. The facility will consist of several areas, including “Genkan Terrace” with a tourist information center and a cafe and “Soyu Terrace” with a bath tub with 100% natural hot spring water (with sauna), restaurant, and library. With the emergence of the new facility people can relax at a footbath and onsen with books, a cup of coffee, and sandwiches, Yugawara Onsen town will attract even more attention in the future. Don’t miss it!

Yugawara Onsen Photo:Yugawara Town

Located close to the Tokyo metropolitan area, Yugawara Onsen not only has onsen but is also filled with attractive things throughout the year, such as fresh greenery and plum blossoms in spring, fireflies and swimming in the ocean in summer, and autumn foliage. On your trip to the Tokyo area or on your day-off, you may want to have a little side trip to Yugawara.

Tokyo Sta. -> 80 min by the limited express train Odoriko-> Yugawara Sta.

Yugawara Onsen Tourism Association

*The information herein is as of May 2021.