Nyuto Onsen-kyo is unique, refreshing and relaxing. Splendid in all seasons, this Hot Spring Village in Semboku City, Akita has 10 different sources of water for its 7 hot springs that comes in a variety of colours – blue, brown, white and clear. The inns built with each of the springs differ in their styles, some dating back 300 years, all offering a novel experience, a relaxing stay, and delicious cuisine with seasonal vegetables. Guests of the inns can purchase a pass that allows them to soak in each of the hot springs once, and a shuttle bus is also available between inns - giving you more than you bargained for and ensuring you get the most out of this hot spring experience. .
This is the oldest hot spring in the area, with its existence recorded over 300 years ago. It is known for its thatched roof and has 4 separate spring sources with different properties across a 50 metre radius. For visitors looking for something off the beaten track, this inn; set in the old forest, is perfect, taking you back to old Japan. It offers separate bathing areas for men and women, as well as a combined one in the main bath. .
With its Kin-no-yu (Gold hot spring) and Gin-no-yu (Silver hot spring) from 2 different sources, Taenoyu Onsen is most popular with women. With outdoor baths to fully appreciate the weather and scenery, and indoor baths for those who wish to have more privacy from the elements, Taenoyu is a beautiful inn that takes care of its guests well. .
This is the most modern inn amongst them all which besides housing hot springs, is also equipped with a trailer park and recreational facilities. A splendid place that takes your breath away, Kyukamura takes care of all of one’s needs. The hot springs are located outdoors with a roof over the open-air bath, to ensure you enjoy nature at its best whilst shielding you from its harshness, amidst stunning views. .
This is the perfect place to truly experience any of the four seasons in all their glory, as the spring is at the end of a 50 metre walkway. Walk under the canopy of branches, listen to nature’s music of birds chirping and water running in a nearby stream, or trek through the walk in snow boots, feeling like you’ve earned your soak at the end of it. The design of the lodge reflects its surroundings, which is also the location of a shrine where people go to show gratitude for their surroundings and all that nature has offered them - food, wood and the healing hot springs. .
This is the innermost set spring and mostly consists of indoor baths, with the exception of one outdoor bath. The indoor ones have high pressure waterfalls which relieve pressure on sore muscles, for an all-round relaxing bath. Open all year round, the outdoor spring frames the majestic mountains - green in the summer and white in the winter, but beautiful all the time. .
This was previously a school, and the building still provides a sense of nostalgia. Beautifully converted to accommodate indoor and outdoor baths, Ogama still retains the architectural style of the school, with a statue of a boy reading while carrying wood - depicting studying and hard work. Across the statue, outdoors are multiple footbaths, meant to refresh travelers without too much trouble on their part to enter or have the need to change out of their clothes. The mountains around provide great trekking and skiing, depending on the season, the baths remain a standard 98 degrees year round, which adds to its appeal. .
This has a wide variety of indoor and outdoor baths, along with a history of over 300 years, and a spectacular backdrop of nature. The second-oldest lodge after Tsurunoyu Onsen, it shares similarities in its architecture and feel of a completely natural lodge, also off the beaten path. One of its signature features is “black onsen” or black hard-boiled eggs. Dipping eggs into the pools boils them, turning them black on the outside while leaving them white inside, allowing them to last for longer due to the bacteria killed in the process. This process reinforces the beliefs of the springs’ healing properties, and the cascading baths add to the luxury of the place with its natural massage. Its bluish milky-white and rich milky-white tones adds to the beauty of this place, which is unfortunately, closed from the middle of November till the beginning of April every year. . Whether you choose to dip in one of them or all of them, Semboku’s hot springs are not to be missed!