With 1,200 years of history, Osawa Onsen is popular with people coming both for its seasonal scenic beauty and hot spring treatments. The simple alkaline hot spring water is clear and smooth on the skin.
The Onsen consists of seven hot spring baths among which “Osawa-no-Yu” is the most famous open-air bath. The bath is open for mixed bathing with some time each evening limited to women only. Visitors can immerse themselves in the open-air bath while enjoying the murmuring sounds of the pristine stream nearby. Day visits are available however an overnight stay is recommended to enjoy all of the baths.
There are three hot spring inns in the town: old-fashioned Jisuibu Yuchiya, modern Sansuikaku and the thatched-roof wooden house Kikusuikan. They are connected with bridges and corridors so guests can pass through and enjoy each of the varied baths. A wide range of accommodation options is available at these inns from a basic overnight stay to a luxurious all-inclusive stay in a traditional inn. Jisuibu Yuchiya offers the traditional experience of the old hot spring inns where guests can enjoy a long-term stay and make use of a well-equipped communal kitchen.
Osawa Onsen was loved by a number of Japan’s great poets. Kenji Miyazawa visited here many times since he was a child. Kotaro Takamura described Osawa Onsen favourably as “the Onsen with a real taste of the hot springs”. There is also a display of Mitsuo Aida’s calligraphy to be found here.
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