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.
Naruko Onsen Basic Information
- See Map
●From JR Tohoku Shinkansen Furukawa Station
Change to the Rikuto Line and ride the train for approx. 50 mins.
Get off at Naruko Onsen Station
●From JR Yamagata Shinkansen Shinjo Station
Change to the Rikuto Line and ride the train for approx. 60 mins.
Get off at Naruko Onsen Station
Tokyo - Tohoku Expressway - Furukawa IC - National Route 46 Line - Naruko Onsen
Akita - National Route 13 Line - Yuzawa - National Route 108 Line - Naruko Onsen
Yamagata - National Route 13 Line - Shinjo - National Route 47 Line - Naruko Onsen
●From Sendai Airport
Go to JR Sendai Station by shuttle bus
Go by JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Furukawa
Change on to the Rikuto Line
- There are as many as 400 wellsprings within the Naruko Onsen Village. Many lodgings offer their own wellsprings on the premises. These wellsprings are rich in the volume of water they produce, and many of these onsen characteristically have kakenagashi-style baths in which the water overflows freely from the wellspring. And amazingly, Naruko Onsen Village boasts nine of the 11 types of onsen available within Japan. Known since ancient times as Tohoku’s premiere healing spring, the onsen has an established reputation for its efficacy and positive water qualities.
A handy “Yumerguri Ticket” is available so you can try out the wide variety of water qualities on offer at Naruko Onsen Village. Enter the various onsen using the six stickers attached to the ticket and you can bathe for even cheaper than paying in cash. Ryokan with banners and billboards, as well as public baths can be enjoyed whenever you want without the need to stay the night.
You can also purchase this ticket at any ryokan, or at the Naruko Tourism/Ryokan Information Center. 1300 yen for one (or 1650 yen with a kokeshi coaster) In addition to Naruko Onsen Village’s five onsen areas, ie. Naruko Onsen, Higashi Naruko Onsen, Kawatabi Onsen, Yamanakadaira Onsen, and Onikobe Onsen, you can also try out Akakura Onsen and Semi Onsen, taking the total to seven.