The Tohoku region of northern Japan abounds with hot springs and natural beauty. Many of the hot springs have spectacular views, like a “secret” spring surrounded by a virgin beech forest or an open-air bath that seems to blend into the Sea of Japan. Verdant scenery and gentle winds will melt away the fatigue of the summer as you bathe in such hot springs.

Here are ten of our favorites, perfect for family trips and anyone who wants to relax and avoid crowds.

1. Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen (Fukaura Town, Aomori Prefecture)

Koganezaki Furofushi Onsen is in Fukaura, on Aomori’s Tsugaru Peninsula, at the northernmost reaches of Japan’s main island of Honshu. The ryokan inn is built on a scenic cape called Koganezaki, known for its beautiful sunsets.

The name “Furofushi Onsen” originates from the legend that “If you cure here, you will not get old or weak.”

・By Car:
Roughly an hour and 40 minutes from JR Hirosaki Station
・By Public Transit:
Around three hours from JR Shin-Aomori Station when taking the Resort Shiragami bound for “Akita” on JR’s Gono Line. Once getting off at WeSPa-Tsubakiyama Station, the facility is located a five-minute taxi ride away (free shuttle bus services timed to the arrival/departure time of the trains are available. No reservation required)

The inn’s distinguishing feature is the full, open bath on the beach. As you soak at the edge of the waves, the horizon is at about eye level and you’ll feel as if you’re actually in the Sea of Japan.

The bath’s water has a brownish hue because it’s an iron-rich chloride salt spring that contains sodium and magnesium.

It has high heat retention that will warm you to the core and is called a “beautiful skin bath” due to its effectiveness in treating skin problems from cuts to skin diseases.

Day trip visits are welcome, but staying overnight is recommended for the best experience. Day-bathers (last reception 3:30 p.m.) must exit the bath by 4 p.m. before the sun sets and the whole area is dyed golden.

Sunset bathing is a privilege reserved for overnight guests only. The experience of soaking in the hot water while gazing at the glowing orange sunset and the magnificent view of the Sea of Japan will be an unforgettable memory.
*Those with tattoos are prohibited from bathing.

In addition to the “seaside open-air bath,” the inn’s “Furofushi no Yu” bath offers a panoramic view of the Sea of Japan, and a “Kogane no Yu” with two hot bathtubs.

These baths make it easy for small children, the elderly or anyone who doesn’t want to bath…

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