Ginzan Onsen is one of Japan's most popular onsen towns, nestled among the scenic mountains of Yamagata's Obanazawa City. One of the go-to hot springs towns for the people of the Tohoku region, it's a trendy destination for visitors from abroad as well.
Here we'll take you around this incredible area, where you can experience a magical atmosphere unique to Japan!

One of Yamagata Prefecture's Best Hot Springs Villages

Ginzan Onsen is filled with quaint ryokan inns and other buildings that will spirit you away to a magical world

Located in the northern part of Japan, Ginzan Onsen is in Yamagata Prefecture in the Tohoku area, facing the Sea of Japan.
Yamagata itself is dotted with hot springs, with pretty much every town and village having at least one.
Amongst these, Ginzan Onsen in Obanazawa City is especially famous. Built between the 1920s and 1930s, the numerous wooden structures of the ryokan constructed there were joined up, forming the onsen town it is today, with countless visitors from far and wide across Japan.
One of the main draws of Ginzan Onsen is its structure and atmosphere; walking through it makes you feel as though you’ve walked through a time slip and gone back in time.
The “town” of Ginzan Onsen is very compact, taking only around 5 minutes to walk from end to end. Built along the crystal-clear Ginzan-gawa River, the traditional Japanese ryokan inns here are over a hundred years old, and the rows of wooden buildings give the place a charming atmosphere.
Between the gas lamp-lit street at twilight and the snow along the tiles lining the pavement, this is a view that you can’t tear your eyes away from. Its stark contrast with the modern buildings and structures of today is where the beauty of this place lies.

Getting to Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen is easy to get to from Tokyo!

From Tokyo to Ginzan Onsen
・Bullet Train (Shinkansen):
From Tokyo, it takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes via the JR Yamagata Shinkansen (Tsubasa). After getting off at JR Oishida Station, an additional 40-minute bus ride will take you to Ginzan Onsen. The bus only runs 5 times a day, so check the timetable in advance!
・Highway Bus:
From the Yaesu Exit at Tokyo Station are various highway buses heading to Sendai Station. The trip will generally take between 5 to 6 hours. Once at Sendai Station, take the ‘Yamako’ bus (Tokkyu 48 Liner) heading to Shinjo, which will take an extra 1 hour and 45-minutes. Disembark at Obanazawa Machiaijo and board the Obanazawa City Bus heading to Ginzan Onsen. This will take another 35-45 minutes. While a rather long trip, the bus is ideal for those on a budget!
Some ryokan in Ginzan Onsen also provide free pick-up and dr…

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