Yubara Onsen Village
Famous for its naturally occurring open-air “sand spring” that bubbles up from the bottom of the river
The Chugoku Region centers around the Chugoku Mountains, which decline gently down towards the Japan Sea on the one side, and the Seto Inland Sea on the other, spreading across a large area. Located in almost the very center of the Chugoku Mountains is Yubara Onsen Village.
In times past, Okayama Prefecture was divided up into the three countries of Bizen, Bichu, and Mimasaka. Within the country of Mimasaka were the mountain villages that currently make up Northern Okayama. Yubara Onsen Village is an onsen area that has been present in this region since long ago, and in the present day, is located in Maniwa City on the prefectural border with Tottori Prefecture.
The flow of the rivers in the region is divided by the watershed of the Chugoku Mountains into those flowing into the Japan Sea, and those flowing into the Seto Inland Sea. The town of Yubara Onsen can be found near the upper reaches of one of the rivers flowing into the Seto Inland Sea, known as the Asahigawa River. The flow of the Asahigawa River is impeded by a dam, and directly upriver from the onsen village is the man-made Lake Yubarako, boasting water aplenty.
Yubara Onsen Village is made up of Yubara Onsen, Shimoyubara Onsen, Taru Onsen, Maga Onsen, and Goroku Onsen.
Yubara Onsen Village has a long history, apparently tracing its earliest use back to the people of the Kofun Period. This is due to Yubara Onsen Village’s wellsprings flowing forth naturally, allowing use by people in periods before the discovery of excavation technologies.
The scenery at Keiryu, the quiet and atmospheric ryokan town along the Asahigawa River from Yubara Onsen Village, also has a lot to offer.