Translated by Greg
2-Day Gero Onsen Trip From Centrair - Hot Springs, Great Food, And Sweets!
Written by MATCHA-PR
In Gero Onsen, you can enjoy a two-day trip wearing a yukata and strolling through the hot spring town, staying at an onsen ryokan, and visiting the famous places in the area. This trip itinerary includes relaxation, sightseeing, local cuisine, and souvenirs.
Gero Onsen - A Renowned Hot Spring Town Just Two Hours from Nagoya!
Located only two hours from Nagoya in Japan's Chubu region, Gero Onsen is easy to access.
Visitors can enjoy many things in this town, including soaking in the hot spring waters, which are great for the skin, tasting sweets and local food, and shopping for high-quality self-care products.
Take a vacation to Gero Onsen where you can relax with friends!
Access to Gero Onsen from Chubu Centrair Airport
Now, we'll explain how to get to Gero Onsen from Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya.
First, take the Nagoya Railway at the airport bound for Nagoya Station. Next, ride the Hida Limited Express at Nagoya Station to JR Gero Station, which is close to Gero Onsen.
Another option is to stay one night in Nagoya and head to Gero Onsen after breakfast the following morning.
On the way to the hot springs, you'll enjoy the views of the city changing to rural fields as you gaze out the train window. These views will get you even more excited for your visit.
If you depart from Chubu Airport right after lunch, you'll arrive at Gero Onsen around 15:30.
Day One - 15:30 - Arrive at Gero Onsen
Upon arrival at Gero Onsen, first, go to the hotel and leave your luggage there.
Sasara is a recommended lodging popular with domestic and international guests, just five minutes by taxi from the station. From the accommodation, the hot spring area is just five minutes on foot.
After you check-in at the hotel, be sure to change into a yukata!
The onsen facility has many different kinds of yukata, so you can choose and coordinate your favorite colors and design. During certain times staff members can assist you in putting on your yukata.
16:00 - Walk through the Town Wearing a Yukata!
When visiting Gero Onsen, relax in the hot springs, but also remember to stroll around the town in yukata. With the many souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes in the area, your day will be filled with fun things to do.
On cold days or when you're tired from walking, we recommend trying the complimentary ashiyu (footbath) in the hot spring town.
Relax in the Footbath and Enjoy Yuamiya Ice Cream
Next, we'll introduce something sweet you can savor while you relax in the footbath.
This is the ontama soft serve ice cream (410 yen including tax), a customer favorite at Yuamiya. The soft serve is topped with an onsen boiled egg. Mix the soft-boiled egg, ice cream, and brown rice flakes well before indulging in this delicious treat!
The aroma and flavor taste just like custard cream. It will surely be an unexpected taste and sensation!
Visit a Curious Frog Shrine
In the Japanese language, the pronunciation of the word "gero" is the same sound as a frog's croak, so frogs have become one of the symbols of the town of Gero. There's even Kaeru Shrine, where frogs ("kaeru" in Japanese) are enshrined.
The guardian deity of this shrine is a frog. Visitors will see frog motifs at the chozuya (purification trough) and at the stone lanterns (see picture above).
When shrine visitors make a monetary offering, they receive a surprise auditory message from a frog. In the Japanese language, the words for "frog" and "return" both have the same pronunciation. So, the frog deity at the shrine also wishes for the safe return home of all visitors.
18:00 - Enjoy Kaiseki Cuisine at a Hot Spring Resort!
At the hot spring inn Sasara, guests can enjoy cuisine made with local seasonal ingredients.
You can also sample Hida beef at the inn. Various cuts of beef, sliced in different thicknesses, are cooked and prepared for diners in a variety of ways. The rice served here is Ryu no Hitomi, a local variety that is famous throughout Japan. For dessert, diners can eat sweets that go perfectly with Japanese cuisine (washoku).
All items on the menu have an exquisite and delicate taste. The portion sizes are just right and are sure to satisfy your appetite.
After dinner, relax in the hot springs and the stone sauna (ganbanyoku). On the premises, there is even a stone sauna area exclusively for women.
Take a dip into the relaxing Japanese cypress (hinoki) bath. The spring water is said to enhance the luster and firmness of the skin, too.
Sasara's guest rooms feature an artistic design. Elegant and charming, these rooms are very popular with young visitors.
The rooms help visitors to feel rested both physically and mentally with a design of soft, smooth wood textures. In addition, each of the western-style and Japanese-style rooms has beds placed right in front of the large windows, giving guests a night view of the Gero Onsen area under a star-filled sky.
Be sure to take notice of the cherry blossom motifs on the tatami floors in the Japanese-style rooms!
Day Two - 9:30 - Depart for Gero Onsen Gassho Village
The Gero Onsen area boats a gassho-mura, or thatched-roof village, like the famous one at Shirakawa-go.
Odo House, a nationally-designated Important Tangible Cultural Property, and nine homes from Shirakawa-go that were built in the gassho-zukuri style (thatched roofs) were relocated to Gero Onsen.
Here at their new location, they create a mountain settlement that gives visitors a glimpse into a distant past.
To access the Gassho Village, board a bus on the route bound for Gassho-mura and Gero Koryu Kaikan from JR Gero-ekimae Nohi Bus Center. After a six-minute bus ride, get off at the Gassho-mura bus stop.
Many events and activities are held at the permanent interactive facility (see above). For example, there are exhibits showing how people lived many years ago. Visitors can make Japanese washi paper, pottery, and other items during hands-on workshops.
There is also a restaurant where you can enjoy a meal.
In addition, they offer a special plan that allows guests to wear a rental kimono, walk around the town, and have their picture taken. Be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.
Afternoon - Leave Gero Onsen
After looking around the Gero Onsen Gassho Village, it will be time to take lunch.
After you finish lunch, one option is to buy some souvenirs and then head back to Nagoya. Another possibility is to ride a bus and head for the famous Shirakawa-go Village.
Be sure to discuss your trip itinerary with your companions before making a final decision!
Gero's Delicious Cuisine
Next, we'll introduce must-try dishes that you'll definitely want to eat when in the Gero area. There are many local dishes to enjoy in addition to popular Hida beef.
Picture courtesy of Toan
This is milk ramen, served at Toan, a restaurant open exclusively in the evenings.
This ramen has a characteristic milky-white soup and is made with locally raised beef and fresh vegetables from the Hida region.
Diners will enjoy the ramen's smooth and rich flavor with no oily aftertaste. This dish will completely change your image of what standard ramen is. It's very popular with the locals.
Keichan - Local Cooking
At many shops in the Gero Onsen area, you can sample keichan, one example of Gifu home-style cooking.
In this dish, chicken and vegetables are simmered in a pot, then flavored with miso paste. The dish has a fragrant aroma when it is heated by the iron cooking plate. It is a truly delicious dish, enjoyed with rice.
Don't forget to buy local products in Gero. All the goods featured below are original Gero souvenirs not available anywhere else.
Irresistibly Cute Frog Souvenirs
The kaeru manju (a frog-shaped, sweet dumpling) is an adorable item that comes in a box, making it perfect for sharing with a friend.
The package is undeniably cute. On top of this, when you open the paper wrapper, the frog-faced manju will make you chuckle.
Pick up Some Sarubobo
In the local area's dialect, "bobo" means baby. In the Japanese language, the word "saru" has the meaning of getting rid of misfortune and bringing peace, and the word for monkey has the exact same pronunciation.
Residents made sarubobo by hand, as a toy and good luck charm to give important people in their lives, including family members, children, and expecting mothers.
Sarubobo come in a wide variety of colors at Gero Onsen. Each of these colors carries a special meaning. For example, green is for good health, and yellow is for good luck with money.
There's also a spot where you can snap a photo with some of the sarubobo!
A Gift Great for Mothers and Relatives
A nagomi sheet, or body compress, would make an ideal gift for a mother, aunt, or a senior citizen.
It's made with minowashi, a type of traditional Japanese paper, and ingredients from natural plants in the Hida area. It doesn't contain anything harsh and is very gentle on the skin. When you apply it to your body it gives off a cherry blossom fragrance.
Onsen Cosmetics - Return Home with Glowing Skin!
When shopping, you will find many cosmetics and health and beauty products created using ingredients from the gentle spring water at Gero Onsen.
For example, shops will carry moisturizing face packs made with spring water, and lip balm and hand cream containing spring water-derived ingredients. These items will help you relax and keep your skin in great condition even after you return home.
Spend a Relaxing Vacation at Gero Onsen
Gero Onsen is a resort area that attracts many travelers. If you're wondering where to go with your friends, your parents, or your relatives in Japan, consider visiting Gero Onsen!
Click here for: Chubu Centrair International Airport Official Homepage
There are many other things to see and do in the Centrair area.
For more information please refer to this page: Travel in Chubu, Central Japan
Sponsored by Chubu Centrair International Airport