A trip to Aomori wouldn’t be complete without a visit to any one of its famous onsen districts. With a generally cool temperature all year long and abundant nature, it provides the perfect setting for the most indulgent baths. Make Aomori your most relaxing vacation ever by checking out the region’s 10 best onsen resorts:
Sukayu has been a place of healing and relaxation for over 300 years. Located in Hakkoda, it is a hot spring resort surrounded by Mt. Hakkoda, Suiren Numa Pond, and Jogakura Gorge. For most of the year, it is often frequented by trekkers and hikers, while in winter, skiers and snowboarders warm up in its bathing pools. The resort is most famous for its Sennin Buro, literally translated as the bath of a thousand bathers. It received such a name because of its 248 sqm size. Do take note that this is a mixed-gender facility, but those who prefer same gender baths shouldn’t worry either as Sukayu also has dedicated ones for males and females respectively.
Address: 50 Sukayusawa Arakawayama Kokuyurin Arakawa-minami, Aomori-shi, Aomori Prefecture
Price: ¥600 (Day Rate), From ¥10,455 / person / night
Website: http://www.sukayu.jp/Tops/index (Japanese only)
Located in the coastline town of Fukaura, Furofushi Onsen offers outdoor bathing facing the Sea of Japan. It has two bathing facilities – one is mixed-gender and the other is for women only. Soaking in these hot springs while waiting for the sunset is truly a marvelous experience, but you must be an overnight guest to be able to do so. Additionally, the resort’s name means eternal youth and immortality. Hence, expect no less than an experience that gives you a youthful glow.
Address: 15-1 Shimokiyotaki Henashi, Fukaura-machi, Aomori Prefecture
Price: ¥600 (Day Rate), From ¥10,410 / person / night
Asamushi Onsen is an onsen town in Aomori City that overlooks the Mutsu Bay. Its history dates back to Japan’s Heian Period (794 – 1185 AD), and today, it is home to approximately forty ryokan and minshuku accommodations that offer not just traditional hospitality, but also local history.
Among the oldest in the area is Tsubakikan (Camellia Inn), which is run by the Ebina family for 18 generations. This family ryokan has 26 Japanese-style rooms, several hot spring facilities, and a banquet hall that serves handmade local cuisine. It is also famous for their exhibition gallery of Shiki Munakata’s artworks. He was a world-famous woodblock printmaker during the Showa Period and was a regular guest of Tsubakikan.
Address: 14 Uchino, Asamushi, Aomori Prefecture
Price: From ¥9,000 / person / night
Tsuta Onsen is a hidden gem nestled among the virgin forests near the entrance of the famous Oirase Gorge. This ryokan is a long-standing establishment founded in 1897, whereas the area’s hot springs have been a choice destination of local bathers for at least a thousand years. Tsuta Onsen boasts of bubbling hot springs since their bathtubs are built directly on top of the water source. Enjoy a gentle bath and a calm atmosphere during your stay here.
Address: 1 Tsutanoyu Okuse, Towada-shi, Aomori Prefecture
Price: ¥600 (Day Rate), From ¥17,473 / person / night
Website: http://tsutaonsen.com/ (Japanese only)
Aomoriya is an onsen resort that combines everything you’d want in a perfect vacation spot. It offers luxurious accommodations, indulgent hot spring baths, serene and exclusive ambiance, delicious local cuisine, and curated cultural activities for guests to enjoy. Owned by the popular hotel and resort chain Hoshino Resorts Group, this establishment is the place to go for an exquisite onsen experience.
Address: 56 Furumagiyama, Misawa-shi, Aomori Prefecture
Price: From ¥17,000 / person / night
Ajigasawa Kogen Onsen
This onsen hotel is best for travelers who want to partner their hot spring experience with physical activities. Set amongst a stunning 400-hectare nature park, this establishment boasts of a 14-slope ski resort in winter and an 18-hole golf course during the rest of the year. Inside the hotel, guests can also enjoy spa treatments, gym facilities, shopping, and entertainment rooms for a complete experience.
Address: Ajigasawa Kogen, Ajigasawa-machi, Nishitsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture
Price: From ¥13,637 / room / night
Shimofuro Onsen is an onsen district located in Aomori’s Shimokita Peninsula, the northernmost point of Japan’s Honshu Island. Albeit remote, it is a known hot springs destination since the ancient times, and because of its seaside location, it is likewise popular for its high-quality seafood. There are numerous accommodations in the area. Shimofuro Tourist Hotel Miuraya is a mid-sized hotel perfect for travelers who are looking for modern comforts, whereas smaller inns like Tsuruya Satsukisou are the choice accommodations for those who are keen on experiencing an intimate ryokan stay.
Shimofuro Onsen Town
Website: https://www.shimohuro.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Shimofuro-70 Shimofuro, Kazamaura-mura Shimokita-gun, Aomori Prefecture
Price: From ¥19,590 / room / night (2 persons)
Website: http://www.shimofuroonsen-miuraya.jp/ (Japanese only)
Address: Shimofuro-33 Shimofuro, Kazamaura-mura, Shimokita-gun, Aomori-ken
Price: From ¥8,500 / room / night (excluding tax)
Owani Onsen is another one of Aomori’s popular hot spring districts. It has a history that dates back to 800 years ago and was particularly popular for its elegant inns. The same applies today as many luxurious ryokans populate the area. KAI Tsugaru, for instance, is a boutique ryokan owned by the popular Hoshino Resorts Group. It has 41 rooms – a combination of Japanese-style tatami rooms, Western-style rooms, and Japanese-style suites with an outdoor bath. Guests can enjoy apple-scented baths and Tsugaru shamisen concerts during their stay here.
Address: Kamibotanmori-36-1 Owani, Owani-machi, Minamitsugaru-gun, Aomori Prefecture
Price: From ¥27,000 / person / night
Website: http://kai-ryokan.jp/tsugaru/ (Japanese only)
Yachi Onsen is pretty unique for its very secluded location. Situated up in the Hakkoda mountains at 780 MASL, it is considered one of the top hidden springs in Japan. It has only one inn, which makes booking a room quite difficult, but at the very least, walk-in bathing is allowed from 10 AM to 6 PM. The property has two hot spring baths – the warmer white water Kamino-yu bath and the colorless lower temperature bath called Shimono-yu. Both are famed to have therapeutic properties that treat ailments like nerve pain, joint pain, fatigue, skin diseases, digestive disorders, among other things.
Address: 1 Horyo Yachi, Towada-shi, Aomori Prefecture
Lamp no Yado Aoni Onsen is another secluded hot spring resort worth checking out. Located in Aoni Valley, deep in the mountains of Aomori Prefecture, it is a mountain retreat for anyone seeking undisturbed peace. Devoid of modern conveniences like for instance, power sockets inside your room, it provides a perfect setting to disconnect and just enjoy nature. It has four bathing facilities and four lodging areas to accommodate individuals and small groups. Make the trip and be rewarded with an onsen experience like no other!
Address: 1-7 Aonisawa, Okiura, Kuroishi-shi, Aomori Prefecture
Price: ¥520 (Day Rate), From ¥9,870 / person / night
All price information in this article is as of June 2017.
Thumbnail image is from Flickr.