Awara Onsen: One of the biggest onsen towns in Fukui, home to a food stall village with a cozy atmosphere
Located in the northern part of Fukui Prefecture with hilly terrain to the north and a paddy field zone to the south, Awara Onsen is one of the biggest hot springs in Fukui, attracting more than one million visitors annually. The onsen was found by a farmer digging a well in his paddy field in 1883, only to find spring water gushing out. Today, the area has become a busy onsen town with more than 20 accommodation facilities, a footbath facility, and a food stall village called “Yukemuri Yokocho.” As an accessible onsen town in the Kansai area, Awara Onsen also attracts many celebrities and cultural figures.
There are 74 spring sources, so different hotels have different compositions of water. The temperatures range from 33.5 to 77.5 degrees Celsius. The spring waters in this area are said to be efficacious for various ailments, including rheumatism and chronic skin inflammation.
Located at the center of the onsen town, “SAINTPIA Awara” is an onsen bath facility that was established in commemoration of the 110th anniversary of Awara Onsen. You can enjoy two unique bath areas, “Ten no Yu” and “Chi no Yu,” which are switched weekly for men and women. On the 1st floor, you can make onsen-tamago (soft-boiled eggs). The facility also has a tourist information corner, an exhibition of panels about the history and development of the town, and a shop selling local specialties. It is a good place to start your sightseeing trip.
Another must-see place is “Yukemuri Yokocho,” a food stall village in front of the rotary at Awara-Yunomachi Station on the Echizen Railway. The yokocho street made with bricks has a nostalgic atmosphere with all kinds of food stalls, including yakitori, gyoza, horumon-yaki (grilled giblets), ramen, and kushi-age (fried skewered food). Each shop has a cozy atmosphere with only about nine seats. You can have a great time there, talking to the shop workers and the locals while enjoying delicious dishes.
The area has three Yakushido halls, enshrining Yakushi (“Healing Buddha”) gods of medicine protecting Awara Onsen, including “Funatsu Onsen Yakushido,” “Tanaka Onsen Yakushi-jinja,” and “Futaomote Onsen Yakushido.” These are said to bring good fortune with health, longevity, and peaceful life. These Yakushido halls are located within 20 minutes on foot from each other, so you can easily visit them while strolling around the area.
With various kinds of great food in Fukui, including snow crab, which are referred to as the “king of winter food,” watermelons, melons, and “Koshino Ruby,” a sweet tomato variety, this onsen town will be a great place to enjoy your next holiday in a relaxing atmosphere.
Tokyo Sta. -> 150 min by Hokuriku Shinkansen -> Kanazawa Sta. -> 40 min by JR Hokuriku Line limited express -> Awaraonsen Sta. -> 10 min by taxi -> Awara Onsen
Awara City Tourism Association
*The information herein is as of May 2021.