Okuhida Onsengo: Onsen paradise in the Hida Mountains, rich in abundant hot spring water
Okuhida Onsengo (Okuhida Onsen Village) in Gifu Prefecture is an onsen paradise surrounded by the Hida Mountains, which are called “the roof of Japan.”
A collective term, Okuhida Onsengo consists of Hirayu, Fukuji, Shinhirayu, Tochio, and Shinhotaka onsen areas.
With the longest history among the onsen areas in Okuhida Onsengo, Hirayu Onsen is located on a plateau 1,283 meters above sea level. It has an abundant amount of water and the water contains sodium, calcium, magnesium, hydrogen carbonate, etc. It is said to be efficacious for skin diseases, rheumatism, and nerve problems. It is also popular as a spa for therapeutic purposes.
Fukuji Onsen is located in a village in the quiet mountains, which are completely covered with snow in winter. The colorless, transparent water containing low levels of minerals and other ingredients is said to be effective for treating hives, diabetes, and physical exhaustion. Many of the hotels using renovated old buildings together with the morning market selling local specialties and antiques give the town a retro feel, making visitors feel nostalgic.
Located at the west side of Mount Yake-dake of the Hida Mountains, Shinhirayu Onsen is the largest onsen area located at the center of the Okuhida Onsengo. Shinhirayu Onsen has many hot spring sources, offering various types of hot spring water and an abundant amount of water. From guest houses to spa facilities and retreat-like hotels, various kinds of accommodation facilities are offered. Nearby, there is Okuhida Bear Farm,” with more than 100 bears. At the farm, you can enjoy feeding the bears and taking photos with them.
Tochio Onsen is characterized by a compact, homey atmosphere. This onsen area has many hotels offering an unpretentious, casual atmosphere and homemade dishes of Okuhida. The water containing low levels of minerals and other ingredients is said to be effective for treating rheumatism, muscle pain, and lower-back pain. At “Kojin no Yu,” a public open-air bathhouse on the riverside of the Gamata-gawa River running along the town, you can enjoy bathing while feeling healed by the surrounding grand nature and the murmur of a stream.
Surrounded by wilderness at the base of the Hida Mountains, Shinhotaka Onsen used to be a rustic onsen in the mountain, which served as a base for climbing the Hida Mountains and therefore was known and loved only by alpinists. Since the opening of the Shinhotaka Ropeway in 1970, it has become a generally popular onsen area drawing many tourists.
Shinhotaka Onsen has many spring sources as well, so you can enjoy different kinds of hot spring water.
The onsen areas in Hida Onsengo have different characteristics. As they are located within a 30-minute distance from each other by car, you can visit them all in one trip. Enjoy!
Tokyo Sta. -> 165 min by limited express Azusa or Kaiji -> Matsumoto Sta. -> 90 min by expressway bus -> Okuhida-Onsengo Hirayu Onsen
Okuhida Onsengo Tourism Association
*The information herein is as of June 2021