Together with Togatta and Naruko, Tsuchiyu is said to be one of the three great birthplaces of Kokeshi dolls. This town has a long association with Kokeshi, so long in fact that it is not an exaggeration to say that you really can’t talk about the town without also mentioning Kokeshi! The doll-making tradition is alive and well today and you can watch demonstrations of dolls being made by hand. There are also shops where you can paint your own Kokeshi, so you have a variety of opportunities to sample the skills and traditions of Tsuchiyu.
The hot spring waters that well up from the ground here in Tsuchiyu, the “Home of Kokeshi,” are famous for the sheer volume of water and the varying properties of the different springs, which are dotted around this hot spring area in the upper reaches of the Arakawa River. Hot water emerges from the ground everywhere, and the entire scene is one very typical of an old hot spring town, with foot spas, and shared bath houses dotting the townscape and ryokan and hotels lining the banks of the river. If you head even further upstream you will find Tsuchiyutoge hot spring area, where you can enjoy various lesser known hot springs, hidden in the shadow of mountains and gorges, such as Shinnoji, Washikura, Akayu, Makukawa, Noji, and Okutsuchiyu.
Around Nidanuma close to the hot spring town area you can enjoy various flowers in the spring, such as the Japanese skunk cabbage, dogtooth violet, and azalea. In the autumn, why not head out on the hiking trail to enjoy the beautiful red and golden autumn leaves? The best thing to do in winter is perhaps sit back in an open-air bath and enjoy the snowy scenery.
- 15 minutes by car from Fukushima-Nishi Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway
50 minutes by car from the Inawashiro-Bandaikogen Interchange on the Ban'etsu Expressway
40 minutes by bus/taxi from JR Fukushima Station
- Official Website
- Visit this website
- Reviews (TripAdvisor)
- Tsuchiyu Onsen Tourism Association
- Telephone Number