Hot spring water springs from the eroded caldera in Yugawara Volcano, which ended its activity hundreds of thousands of years ago. The quality of the water is smooth and soft.
Known as “Yakushi-no Yu” (medical hot springs) since ancient times, the spa has prospered as a therapeutic bath and attracted many people suffering from bruise, external injury, rheumatism, neuralgia, skin disease and feminine problems. In the Manyoshu, the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry, out of 4,500 poems, there is only one poem in which hot springs are described, and that is Yugawara Onsen.
After the beginning of the Meiji era (1868-1912), many literary figures and painters, such as Shimazaki Toson, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, and Tanizaki Junichiro, visited there for their health. Novelist Kunikida Doppo stayed there and wrote short novels, including “Yugawara yori” (From Yugawara) and “Yugawara yuki” (To Yugawara) in his later years, and also novelist Natsume Soseki wrote his last work, “Meian,” there.
The hot spring town stretches from Yugawara Station alongside the Chitose River and retains many traditional ryokan (Japanese hotels). “Kogome no Yu” is a day hot spring facility and “Doppo no Yu” in the adjacent Manyo Park is a footbath facility. Close to Tokyo, you can enjoy various aspects of the onsen throughout the year, such as fresh greenery in spring, fireflies and sea bathing in summer, red and yellow leaves in autumn, mandarin orange picking in winter, and ume plum blossom viewing in early spring.
Tours in which geisha in Yugawara explain the hot spring resort are held on the last Saturday of every month. Ume plum blossoms are at their best in Makuyama Park from February to March, and Mount Maku-yama is also a good place for trekking.
Tokyo Station -> Yugawara Station: 75 min by Limited Express Train “Odoriko” on the JR Tokai Line ->
Onsen-ba (Central area of the town with Kanko Kaikan and Manyo Park): About 3 km, 35 min walk or 10 min by local bus
Yugawara Onsen Kanko Kyokai (tourist association)
Yugawara Local Government