The inland areas of Aomori Prefecture are dotted with some of Japan’s best spots for autumn leaves, including Oirase Gorge and Lake Towada. The morning to evening temperature variance is notable. Although differences depend on the location, the hardwoods turn red and yellow from mid-October to early November every year, creating a vivid gradation in the landscape.
You can further enjoy the scenery while basking in the comfort of local hot spring ryokan inns. Here are three onsen ryokan where you can relax and enjoy the autumn colors of Aomori while avoiding crowds.

1. Lamp no Yado Aoni Onsen: Enjoy the autumn leaves away from the city (Aoni Onsen, Kuroishi City)

Lamp no Yado Aoni Onsen is located in the Aoni Valley in Kuroishi City, Aomori Prefecture, and is a well-known “secret” hot spring inn.
From Hirosaki Station, take the Konan Railway to Kuroishi Station, about a 30-minute trip, then take the Konan Bus for 30 minutes and get off at Nijinoko Park. A dedicated shuttle bus runs from Nijinoko and takes about 20 minutes to arrive at the inn.
Founded in 1929, Lamp no Yado has no electricity, so it’s entirely illuminated by lanterns. Nestled in a quiet place isolated from the urban hustle and bustle, you can enjoy nature while soaking in the hot springs.
There are four baths: Kenroku-no-Yu, which is made entirely of Hiba wood; a wide open-air bath; the main bath, which has warm, wooden decor; and Takimi-no-Yu, which has both an indoor bath and an open-air bath.

The mixed bathing open-air bath that crosses under the suspension bridge from the main building overlooks the Aoni River and the surrounding trees. The bath itself is made of large, rugged stones and is filled by a stream of simple spring water that’s gentle on your skin. The water temperature is just right and harmonizes with the autumn breezes that caress your face.
The bath provides a sense of calm, and with a roof and an enclosure around it, it is recommended for those who want to take their time soaking in the hot water. Fall is a blissful time to take a bath while watching the vivid Kinshu — autumn colors — change daily.
The best time to see the leaves is from mid to late October but varies from year to year. At night, you can take a bath lit only by lamplight, which creates a fantastic atmosphere, and there are women-only times twice a day in the morning and evening.

Kenroku-no-Yu, located in a separate building near the main building, has bath rooms for men and women on the first floor and guest rooms on the second floor. The baths in the mountain lodge-style building …

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