Wakura Onsen: a seaside hot spring town discovered by the White Heron
Set on Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula, Wakura Onsen is an “ocean hot spring,” rare even in Japan, characterized by abundant salt content. The three main benefits of the hot spring are the sterilizing effect on wounds and skin disorders, the moisturizing effect of salt to prevent sweat evaporation and chills, and a skin-beautifying effect that tightens pores and smooths the skin.
The 1,200 year history of this ancient spring begins with the injured White Heron that came to heal itself and rest here. A curious couple followed the bird and discovered the gushing hot spring, or so the tale is told.
In the center of town stands a monument called Wakuura no Yutsubo in honor of this legend, and a testament to the importance of hot springs to the town.
The spring water gushes forth between the two heron statues. The water is drinkable, but due to the high salt content is recommended to be diluted with water first. Eggs are also sold at the shop across the street to make soft-boiled hot-spring eggs. After leaving the egg in the water for 11-18 minutes you’ll have an exceptional naturally-salted soft-boiled egg.
Other than the inns, there are plenty of ways to enjoy hot springs such as low priced communal baths, free footbaths with a superb view, and many handbaths as well.
Another joy is to indulge to your heart’s content, the freshly harvested seafood from Nanao Bay and neighboring Toyama Bay. Many seafood restaurants and izakaya bars in the city are waiting to fill your belly after your soak in the healing springs.
Crossing the bridge from Wakura Onsen to cycle or drive around Noto Island is a great way to take in the magnificent scenery of the deep blue Sea of Japan and surrounding countryside. The ups and downs of the course and the refreshing sea breeze will leave you energized.
Notojima Ohashi Road Park
Ease your mind and body at Wakura Onsen
Tokyo Sta. -> 155 min by Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki or Hakutaka -> Kanazawa Sta. -> 60 min by limited express Noto-Kagaribi -> Wakura Onsen Sta.
Wakura Onsen Tourism Association
*The information herein is as of April 2021.