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Kinugawa Onsen: Impressive view of a grand valley at one of the biggest onsen resorts in Kanto


UpdateJuly 27, 2021
ReleaseMay 1, 2021

Kinugawa Onsen Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture is among the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. Located along the valley upstream of the Kinugawa River, Kinugawa Onsen is one of the biggest onsen resorts in the Kanto area, attracting more than 2 million overnight visitors annually.

Kinugawa Onsen used to be called “Taki Onsen,” which was on the left side of the Kinugawa River. It was a special onsen that was only opened for feudal lords visiting Nikko and Buddhist monks. It is said that the onsen only became open to the public from the Meiji period (starting 1868). In the 1920s, when this area was connected to Tokyo by railway, improving access, Taki Onsen was merged with Fujiwara Onsen, which was found on the east side of the Kinugawa River, creating the current “Kinugawa Onsen.”

The spring water is weak alkaline containing low levels of minerals. The clear water with, no taste, and no smell is mild on your skin. Such mild water is said to be effective for beautiful skin as well as for improving skin conditions and stomach problems, and it is especially famous for being effective for burns.

There are several foot bath spots throughout this onsen resort. At the open space in front of Kinugawa Onsen Station, there is a free foot bath facility, “Kinuta no Yu.” It is easily accessible and perfect for relieving fatigue after a long train ride. Kinuta is a local mascot character of Kinugawa, who is responsible for protecting Kinugawa. You can see him around at various places.

Kinugawa Onsen Kinuta no Yu Foot Bath Kinuta no Yu Foot Bath

Kinugawa Onsen Kinuta
Kinugawa Onsen Kinuta Local Mascot Character “Kinuta”

Kinugawa Onsen is located upstream of the Kinugawa River, of which the surrounding area has been designated as Nikko National Park. So, just stroll along the valley, and you can feel close to the wilderness. Because there are many popular tourist destinations, such as the World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, and it has great access from Tokyo, Kinugawa is a perfect onsen resort for your day trip.

Kinugawa Onsen Kinugawa Valley Beauty of the Kinugawa Valley

Shinjuku Sta. -> 120 min by JR limited express on the Tobu Railway Line (Kinugawa or SPACIA Kinugawa) -> Kinugawa Onsen Sta.

Kinugawa Onsen Tobu Railway Line SPACIA Kinugawa Onsen Tobu Railway Line SPACIA We recommend you take the limited express SPACIA for a comfortable trip.

Nikko City Tourism Association

*The information herein is as of April 2021.