There are four main onsens ("hot springs") sites in Tsuruoka, deeply anchored to the history of the city. Two along the sea, one along the river, and one in the inner city. Each of them has special properties and provides a unique environment to spend a pure moment disconnected from the loud and oppressing world.
A hotspring site that is more than 1000 years old. You will also find there plenty of free public footbaths, cafés, restaurants, and a magnificent view on the mountain behind the establishments, splendid during winter when covered with snow, and the hundreds of cherry trees along the river.
A gorgeous building that is 400 years old. A wonderful zen garden and outdoor bath.. To go there by bus, get off at Ashiyu Anbeyumae. Tachibanaya is just at the right behind Bankokuya (the biggest building of the place). You will recognize it by its wooden structure.
A giant establishment along the river that will remind you of the Ghibli movie Spirited Away. To go there by bus, get off at Ashiyu Anbeyumae. Look for the biggest building near the river and there you are!
A warm and comfortable atmosphere reigns in this onsen. Experience the peace of soul when soaking in the bath facing the zen garden.
How to go?
A hot spring site alongside the beach that is around 1000 years old. Conveniently located near Kamo Aquarium, Zenpoji Temple, and Shonai Airport. The place is famous for its marine activities. You will find on Yunohama square a free public footbath and a drinkable spring water fountain.
The name of the building: kame 亀 ("turtle") and ya 屋 ("the house"), thus: "the house of the turtle" refers to a 1000 years old legend according which a turtle who appeared from Yunohama's boiling hotspring had the power to heal people's diseases and wounds.
Directly facing the sea, Yukaitei Miyajima, emblematic building with its bright blue balconies is a hotspring that will leave you unforgettable memories of Yunohama beach's sunsets.
A building that opens up directly onto the beach.
Experience the curing properties of Yunohama's hotspring while admiring the view on the sea.
How to go?
An old legend is at the origins of this onsen site. Yura's hot springs are famous mostly for the splendid sunsets on the coast, which reflects through Hakusanjima islets scattered rocks. Yura Onsen's beaches are registered in the 100 most beautiful sunsets in Japan.
The water is said to have healing effects on rheumatism, skin injuries, burns, and (pre)menstrual pains.
This onsen was named after a legend that is more than 1300 years old.
Prince Hachiko (7th century), son of Emperor Sushun, was fleeing his father's murderers, and left Kyoto under the pseudonym of "Yura". Searching for Dewa Sanzan, he eventually got lost at sea. But eight beautiful young girls (in Japanese: yaotome 八乙女) appeared from the sea and showed him the way. After that, the eight ladies didn't stop helping the prince, by giving him food or guiding his way in secret. The prince never forgot their kindness.
A peaceful atmosphere reigns in this onsen site, known for being circled with plum trees and bamboo forests. Not far from the hot spring houses, you will find a park where 300 plum trees stand proudly, waiting for the end of winter to bloom magnificently. Many little restaurants around will also concoct for you the local bamboo soup: Moso-jiru. But the more interesting in this onsen, is all the shinrin'yoku ("forest bathing") experiences you can do around the hot spring village!
A 300 hundred years old business. There are two mains baths in Kuhe Ryokan: one outdoor bath, and an indoor bath, in which you can soak while looking at the goldfish in the giant tank nearby.
A private bath room is also available on-demand (free).
A very cozy establishment, decorated following Taisho (1912-1926) period's trends. Three private bath rooms are available on demand (free) as well as an outdoor foot bath, inside Tamaya's front garden.
A familial hotspring house that puts an accent on the food served. Magnifying local vegetables and serving quality saké are their priority, as well as making the visitors feel just like at home.