An onsen boasting over 1000 years of history. Also one of Tohoku’s tourist highlights.
To reach Naruko Onsen, found in the center of the Tohoku region, , take the Rikuto Line and ride the train for approx. 50 minutes from Tohoku Shinkansen Furukawa station, or take the Rikuto Line for approx. 60 minutes from Yamagata Shinkansen Shinjo Station. It is close to the borders of Iwate, Akita, and Yamagata Prefectures, and Tohoku’s distinctive tourist spots such as Sendai, Matsushima, Hiraizumi, and Yamadera etc. are within two hours travel by car or train. This onsen village is also captivating as one of Tohoku’s tourist spots.
Along the Rikuto Line are many stations with names such as “Kawatabi Onsen”, “Naruko Onsen Gotenyu”, Naruko Onsen”, “Nakayamadaira Onsen” Akakura Onsen”, and “Semi Onsen” which refer to the names of onsen, giving the line the nickname “Okunohosomichi Yukemuri Line” (The hot-spring steam line of the narrow road to the deep north).
Naruko Onsen Village is a single area made up of 5 separate onsen, “Naruko Onsen”, “Higashi Naruko Onsen”, “Kawatabi Onsen”, “Nakayama Onsen”, and “Onikobe Onsen”. An onsen was discovered in the year 837, and it now boasts over 1000 years of history.
It is known that the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune, also known by the name Ushiwakamaru, visited Naruko as he retreated from his brother Yoritomo to Hiraizumi, and that the poet Matsuo Basho selected the mountain pass on the Dewakaido road between Naruko and Shitomae for his book “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”, and many famous ruins and old roads connected to Yoshitsune and Basho still remain to this day.
We recommend purchasing a “Yumerguri Ticket” for savings on single-day bathing, and trying out the wide variety of water qualities on offer at Naruko Onsen Village.