Takayu Onsen, Fukushima - The Best Place To Enjoy A Relaxing Holiday

Takayu Onsen, Fukushima - The Best Place To Enjoy A Relaxing Holiday

Takayu Hot Spring is a secluded hot spring resort in the mountains in Fukushima. Here, the retro chic and historical Japanese buildings can still be found, as well as springs that are said to help treat various illnesses.

What is the Takayu Hot Spring?

秘湯、高湯温泉に行こう!

Image courtesy of: the Takayu Hot Spring Tourism Association

A hot spring town about 300km (roughly 186 miles) north of Tokyo, the Takayu Onsen in Fukushima city, Fukushima prefecture is located in the Tohoku region of Japan, and is, along with Zao Onsen and Shirafu Onsen, one of the three highest ranking hot springs in the area known as Oshu (*1). This is a hot spring that takes pride in having over 400 years of history. The phrase ‘secluded hot spring’ describes this hot spring perfectly as it’s in a village in Eastern Japan covered in mountain ranges; an area full of natural landscapes that’s wrapped in the silence of the opaque warm waters of the hot spring. This is one of those hot springs that even the famous poet Mokichi Saito often visited.

Takayu Onsen has a 400 year long history despite having to close after fires or because of politics, and still retains its authenticity to this day, making it one of those places in where you can just simply relax while enjoying the everlasting history.

*1 Oshu: an area covering Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, Aomori, and part of Akita prefectures.

The Distinctive Features and Remedies of the Takayu Hot Spring

秘湯、高湯温泉に行こう!

Image courtesy of: the Takayu Hot Spring Tourism Association

At the Takayu hot spring the water comes from nine different spring sources. You can enjoy the natural waters of a gensen kakenagashi hot spring here.

The quality of the spring here is one of the best in the country, as it is a sulfur-based spring. It’s said that the warm water in the spring here is good at helping to prevent illnesses and treat conditions such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, and atopic dermatitis.

Takayu Onsen is a well-known curative hot spring throughout Japan. While it goes without saying that you can do both day trips and overnight stays at this spring, you can also take a ten day rest here in order to fully make use of the hot spring cure as well.

Getting to the Takayu Hot Spring

秘湯、高湯温泉に行こう!

Coming from Tokyo

It takes roughly an hour and a half to get from Tokyo Station to Fukushima Station on the JR Tohoku shinkansen, and costs 8430 yen one way for a non-reserved seat. If you prefer to take the bus, those departing at midday will take about five hours to reach Fukushima Station, while overnight buses will take about six hours. Bus tickets start at 4000 yen.

Coming from Osaka

Traveling from Shin-Osaka Station to Tokyo Station on the JR Tokaido shinkansen takes about two and a half hours, after which you will need to transfer to the JR Tohoku shinkansen, which will take you all the way to Fukushima Station. Non-reserved seats on this route will cost 19,670 yen, one way. On the other hand, an overnight bus will take roughly twelve hours, with tickets costing roughly 11,600 - 12,700 yen.

Coming from Fukuoka

By Train

It takes roughly five hours to travel from Hakata Station to Tokyo Station via the JR Sanyo and JR Tokaido bullet trains, but after transferring trains you’ll arrive at Fukushima Station before you know it! It costs 27,650 yen for a non-reserved seat.

By Plane

There are six flights a day operated by JAL, ANA, and IBEX from Fukuoka Airport to Sendai Airport. The flight takes an hour and forty minutes and it costs 48,000 yen for a standard one-way ticket. After arriving at Sendai Airport, you will need to take the Sendai Airport Access Line to Sendai Station, which takes about 25 minutes. Then, you will need to transfer to the JR Tohoku shinkansen; it will take about 30 minutes to reach Fukushima Station from there. The fare for this train costs 3180 yen.

Reaching Takayu Hot Spring from Fukushima Station

From Fukushima Station you will need to take the bus in order to reach Takayu Hot Spring; head out of the west exit of the station and go to the Number 1 bus stop. Please be careful though: there are only five buses on weekdays and three on weekends/holidays that head to Takayu Hot Spring. This trip will cost 820 yen.

If you are staying at an inn in the town, double check when making your reservation as there may be a free shuttle service from the station to your hotel.

Baths at the Takayu Hot Spring for Day Visitors

秘湯、高湯温泉に行こう!

Image courtesy of: the Takayu Hot Spring Tourism Association

Atakayu - Public Bath

Here you can enjoy an open air bath along with a private bath. There are set times for when you can use it, but there’s also a lounge along with the Ataka hot spring park that’s maintained 50 meters above. Here you can view the Takayu hot spring.

Atakayu Public Bath
Fee: Adults 250 yen per hour, children 120 yen per hour
Private baths cost 1000 for 50 minutes (bathing taxes and other taxes are included in the price).
Address: Fukushima city, Machiniwasaka-aza,, Takayu 25
Website:Atakayu Public Bath (Japanese)

Takayu Nonbiri Onsen

Here there is a main hall and another separate hall, both of which have their own indoor baths as well as open air baths.

Takayu Nonbiri Onsen
Fee: Adults 700 yen, children 350 yen (bathing taxes and other taxes are included in the price).
The private bath in the main hall costs 1080 yen for 50 minutes, while the private bath in the separate hall costs 2160 for 50 minutes (consumption tax included; there’s a separate entrance fee and bathing tax which costs 700)
Address: Fukushima, Fukushima, Machiniwasaka-aza, Takayu 14-1
Website: Takayu Nonbiri Onsen (Japanese)

Seishin Sanso

This is an area in where the temperature of the water in the baths is set slightly lower than the others; the baths are closer to lukewarm than steaming hot. These are perfect for those who find the water in the other baths too hot to bath in. Here you can comfortably enjoy the hinoki or Japanese cypress baths too.

Seishin Sanso
Fee: 400 yen (before tax)
Address: Fukushima city, Machiniwasaka-aza, Yuhanazawa 1-15
Website: Seishin Sanso (Japanese)

A Few of the Best Japanese Inns at the Takayu Hot Spring

秘湯、高湯温泉に行こう!

Image courtesy of: the Takayu Hot Spring Tourism Association

The Egg Bath

This bath apparently gets its name from the bluish opaque water that makes your skin as smooth as an egg, as well as its distinctive boiled egg water smell. Starting off with the egg bath under the thatched roof hut, there are seven different kinds of baths here that you can enjoy.
The Egg Bath
Address: Fukushima, Fukushima, Machiniwasaka-aza, Takayu 7
Website: The Egg Bath (Japanese)

Azumaya

This is an inn that the poet Mokichi Saito loved. Here there are more than just two open-air baths. There’s also a bath in families can enjoy together and a private bath.

Azumaya
Address: Fukushima, Fukuhima-shicho, Machiniwasaka-aza, Takayu 33
Website: Azumaya (Japanese)

Adachiya

Here we recommend the large open air bath, known as Taiki no Yu; you'll be surrounded by nature and can command an amazing view of the stars at night from this bath at night. There are also private hot springs at this inn as well.

Adachiya
Address: Fukushima, Fukushima, Machiniwasaka-aza, Takayu 21
Website: Adachiya (Japanese)

Tourist Spots Around Takayu Onsen

秘湯、高湯温泉に行こう!

Image courtesy of: the Takayu Hot Spring Tourism Association

At the heart of the Takayu Onsen stands Yakushido, a temple dedicated to the Yakushinyorai (Bhaisajyaguru), the Buddha able to cure all ills, where many of the visitors to this hot spring town gather to pray. There are three stunning waterfalls in the area, Kumatakiato, Fudotaki, and Tsuzumigadaki, all three of which have promenades leading to their plunge basins. There is also the Fudoson Prospect here as well, where you can look out over the landscape around you.

And, if you drive along the Bandai Azuma Skyline, you can see the Eight Picturesque Sights of Azuma, as described by the Japanese novelist Inoue Yasushi, and take in the grandeur of Azumakonotaki falls and the Azuma mountain range for yourself.

Compared to the summers in Tokyo, those at Takayu Onsen are cool, and winters here last until about March, with the region receiving a lot of snow. To be on the safe side you might want something a little warmer to wear in the summer. In the winter, it’s best that you wrap up nice and warm and dress for the season.

For information on how to properly bathe in and enjoy the public baths and hot springs, feel free to read this article: What You Should Know About Bath Culture In Japan.

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Author & Translator

奈良生まれの旅好きライター。日本の魅力を世界の人々に伝えていきたいです。

Translated by Richard Perkins

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