Translated by Jelena Kitamura
Disclosing The Charms Of Kaga Onsen Village In Ishikawa!
Written by Mayu
Kaga Onsen Village is located in the southern part of Kaga, Ishikawa prefecture and consists of 3 famous onsens - Katayamazu Onsen on the north, Yamashiro Onsen on the east, Yamanaka Onsen on the south. Learn all about its traits, ryokans, and more.
This is Kaga Onsen!
Welcome to Kaga Onsen, a hot-spring village in the southern part of Kaga city in Ishikawa, a prefecture located in Hokuriku Region. You’ll find Katayamazu Onsen in the northern part, Yamashiro Onsen in the eastern part, and Yamanaka Onsen in the southern part of the village. As you already might have guessed, Kaga Onsen Village is the name of that hot-spring area.
Each of these hot spring facilities has its own charm and attractions, each showing off a different kind of captivating atmosphere – Yamashiro and Katayamazu spas have their laid-back, entertaining mood, and Yamanaka Onsen introduces the splendor of nature with the power of the surrounding mountains and rivers.
Kaga Onsen Village’s Hot Springs – Their Effects and Traits
The chloride-rich water of Katayamazu Onsen helps with blood circulation issues, which makes this spa perfect for skin diseases, women’s diseases, recuperating process, and similar conditions.
You’ll find two types of water in Yamashiro Onsen – waters rich in sulfate, and the so-called tanjun water (tanjun: simple; the water has a low percentage of minerals, it’s moderate and mild which makes it suitable for elderly or sensitive-skinned people). The sulfate-rich water will help you recover from wounds and burns, and has great healing effect when it comes to skin diseases. The tanjun onsen water, on the other hand, will bring your tired or stressed-out body and soul back on the track, and eliminate your fatigue in no time.
Yamanaka Onsen’s water is also rich in sulfate, which will help your skin battle with various skin conditions, and get healthy again.
*The healing effect varies depending on the water type of each facility.
Heading There from Tokyo? This Is the Route!
First, get on the Hokuriku shinkansen bound for Kanazawa at Tokyo Station, and go all the way to Kanazawa Station.
Upon arrival at Kanazawa Station, change to JR Hokuriku Main Line train bound for Fukui, and get off at Kaga Onsen Station. It will take you about four hours to get there, and the fare is 14,660 yen.
You can head to each of the onsens by getting on the transit bus at Kaga Onsen Station. For Yamashiro and Yamanaka Onsens, get on the Onsen Yamanaka Line bus from the second terminal. The ticket to Yamashiro will cost you 250 yen, and to Yamanaka Onsen will cost 420 yen.
For Katayamazu Onsen, get on the Onsen Katayama Line bus at the first terminal, and prepare 250 yen for the fare.
For more detailed instructions on how to get to Kanazawa from Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, take a look at the following article: How To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or Kyoto
Hop on the Kaga Onsen Village Canbus!
If you suddenly get the urge to visit Yamanaka Onsen when in Yamashiro, or to take a look at Katayamazu hot springs when in Yamanaka, no doubt you’ll find the Kaga Onsen Village-circulating bus called Canbus (machine-translated English site available), very useful, because it will get you to each of the onsens without much trouble.
A ride with the Canbus from Kaga Onsen Station can take you not only to three different relaxation paradises – Yamashiro, Yamanaka and Katayamazu, but also to famous sites such as Kaga Fruit Land, or to Kutani Mangetsu (Japanese), where you can try out making your own kutani ware. You are free to choose the route to your liking – through the mountains, by the sea, or the route of Komatsu Airport Line, and to get on and off the buses as you wish.
You’ll need 1000 yen for the one-day pass, and 1200 yen for the two-day pass.
Top Day-Trip Bathing Spots of Kaga Onsen
At Kaga Onsen Village, all public baths are simply called bath grounds (soyu in Japanese), and we’ll be pleased to tell you where you can find public springs to soak in, while on a day-trip at Yamashiro, Yamanaka, and Katayamazu hot springs.
If you intend to check out three public onsen grounds, you might want to make full use of the Kaga Onsen Village Passport. This passport will open the doors to three facilities of your choice, out of numerous public onsen facilities and tourist attractions, and it will cost you only 800 yen.
But, don’t think you’ve heard everything just yet! There is an even more beneficial offer you might want to hear about – you can get your hands on both Kaga Onsen Village Passport and Canbus Two-Day Pass for only 1500 yen! Yes, that is the price of the mighty unification of the two – the Canbus Tickets Set!
Yamashiro Onsen Grounds
A public bath with all-natural spring water. Built at the place of a former veteran Yoshinoya ryokan (ryokan: Japanese traditional lodging), it still partially preserves the traditional style look and the mood, while providing the present-day ambiance with the modern-looking interior. This enchanting ryokan with all-wooden interior and its magnificent skylight in the large bathroom will, even without a rotemburo (open-air bath), definitely make sure your stay at the onsen is an unforgettable, stress-relieving experience.
Price: adults - 440 yen; children over 6 to 12 years old - 130 yen; children over 3 to 6 years old - 50 yen; children under 3 years old - free of charge *all prices after tax
Address: Kaga, Yamashiro Onsen, Banshoen-dori 2-1
Yamanaka Onsen Grounds Kiku No Yu
The great haiku master of Edo Period, Matsuo Basho, said that “by just soaking in the waters of Yamanaka, will one be granted a long life”, and without a doubt, those words truly do this place justice. You can enjoy the marvelous waters of Yamanaka at the public bath Yamanaka Onsen Grounds Kiku no Yu. This facility also doesn’t have an open-air bath, but it will take your breath away with its wonderful traditional charm.
Price: adults, 440 yen; children over 6 to 12 years old, 130 yen; children over 3 to 6 years old, 50 yen; children under 3 years old, free of charge *all prices after tax
Address: Ishikawa, Kaga, Yamanaka Onsen, Yunode Re 1
Katayamazu Onsen Grounds
This onsen offers two types of baths – mori no yu (the “forest hot spring”) and kata no yu (the “Lagoon hot spring”), and the magic is revealed through the window glass – take a look at the windows of mori no yu, and you’ll be enchanted by the gorgeous view at the trees overflowing with green. Should you, on the other hand, choose the view from the windows of kata no yu, you’ll get to rest your eyes and mind looking at the magnificent surface of one of the three lakes of Kaga, Lake Shibayama. You’ll also find a café in the facility, where you can buy (and savor) parfaits made from local vegetables and fruits.
Price: adults, 440 yen; children over 6 to 12 years old, 130 yen; children over 3 to 6 years old, 50 yen; children under 3 years old free of charge *all prices after tax
Address: Ishikawa, Kaga, Katayamazu Onsen, Otsu 65-2
Website: http://sou-yu.net/ (Japanese)
Kaga Onsen’s Best Ryokans to Stay At
Now, let us introduce some of the greatest onsen ryokans Kaga Onsen has to offer. And how about this great news – there are many ryokans, hotels, and such, that offer crab dishes, one of Kaga’s renowned specialties.
Yamashiro Onsen Yamashitaya
Presenting a deluxe public bathhouse that can provide you with a spectacular panoramic view of the Kaga Plain, all from their observation platform open-air bath. You can rent out your own private bathroom here, and all the rooms are done in traditional Japanese style. Should you feel the need for some amusement or recreation, you can choose from the many facilities and entertainment rooms of the ryokan itself – read manga in the manga corner, take on a game of table tennis, or sing your heart out at the karaoke room. This ryokan is a perfect place to spend a delightful vacation with your friends or to create beautiful memories with your partner.
Address: Ishikawa, Kaga, Yamashiro Onsen 18-124
Website: http://yamashitaya.ooedoonsen.jp/ (Japanese)
Let the Fun Start! At Usagi no Oyado Tsuki Monogatari
This is a ryokan where you can take a pick between 8 different types of bath, including open-air bath, sauna, and such. You can enjoy yourself in private by renting out a private bathroom, and choose between Japanese traditional-style rooms or Western-style rooms. And worry not for they serve delicious meals prepared using seasonal fish and vegetables. In the winter, you can even relish special, luxurious crab dishes, one of the great delicacies of the Hokuriku Region.
Address: Ishikawa, Kaga, Yamanaka Onsen, Sugatani I-10
Website: http://www.tsukimonogatari.com/ (Japanese)
New Maruya Hotel
Now, last, but certainly not the least on our list, is the place where you can enjoy various hands-on activities while staying at the ryokan. Some of the special events you can take part in are cooking onsen eggs or making oko (incense sticks), making your own ceramics by the resist-dyeing technique (yuzen technique), and much more. And guess what? One 500 yen coin will be enough to get you to partake in one workshop! Also, this ryokan will let you immerse yourself in the spectacular view of Lake Shibayama while spending a relaxing time in the open-air bath or the large bath. And after the evening bath – an all-you-can-eat buffet with plenty of tasty and healthy dishes made from the seasonal ingredients is available too.
Address: Ishikawa, Kaga, Katayamazu Onsen 2-1
What to Visit Nearby
These are some of the well-known nearby attractions you can visit while staying at Kaga Onsen Village.
This Kakusenkei Riverbed near Yamanaka Onsen has the most unusual and picturesque rock features, which are sure an unforgettable sight to behold. Another delightful activity you can join in is picking strawberries and grapes at the Kaga Fruit Land. And you know what to do if you want to test your artisan skills – head to the Kutani Mangetsu (Japanese), to make some traditional Kutani ware. You can try out ceramics painting (from 2500 yen), or admire the works of the famous Minori Yoshida, a respected artist that made it on the list of Japan’s Living National Treasures.
You can make many precious memories, and visit a great number of famous places while staying at an onsen. You can try out gourmet food such as hand-made soba noodles, or crab dishes, for which this area is well-known for throughout the country. It is an excellent opportunity to discover new tastes, views, and feelings, all in one place.
If you’d like to know a bit more about Japan’s onsen culture, take a look at this article: Bath Culture In Japan: What Every Visitor Should Know Ahead Of Time
*All the information about the required time, prices, and such, is based on the data from the official website. The information is current as of March 2017. Please note that the information is subject to change.