Legend has it that the origins of Yutagawa Onsen can be traced back to a period between 708 and 715 when villagers witnessed a white heron soothing its wounds in hot water. Another tale attributes the creation of the hot spring to a cow with an eye ailment that accidentally opened a hole in the ground, causing healing water to flow. During the Edo Period (1603-1868), Yutagawa Onsen gained favor as a destination for physical rejuvenation, particularly for the local lords, the Sakai Family. Commoners also frequented the town to unwind and celebrate after completing rigorous training at Dewa Sanzan. Located in proximity to Mt. Kinbo, a sacred mountain associated with Mt. Haguro during the 13th and 14th centuries, it was not unusual to encounter Yamabushi trainees in the baths of Yutagawa Onsen during that era.

Yutagawa Onsen is a charming and traditional hot spring village, characterized by its collection of small wooden bath houses situated around the Yuzusame-jinja Shrine and its 300 plum trees in the Plum Flower Park (blossom season: March/April). The baths are of modest size, and the guest rooms exude a peaceful ambiance, making it an ideal destination for families or couples in search of privacy and tranquility.

Yutagawa Onsen is the perfect place for hikers who wish to visit many little shrines hidden in nature or to climb Mt. Kinbo.

List of hotels/ryokan/inns


NamePhone numberCapacity (persons)Address
Kuhe Ryokan0235-35-277770Yutagawa Otsu 19
Yudonoan0235-35-220024Yutagawa Otsu 38
Tamaya0235-35-353537Yutagawa Otsu 39
Tsukasaya0235-35-230157Yutagawa Otsu 52
Ridayu Ryokan0235-35-288840Yutagawa Otsu 51
Hayato Ryokan0235-35-335550Yutagawa Otsu 56
Masuya Ryokan0235-35-321135Yutagawa Otsu 63
Yutagawa Senso0235-35-377370Yutagawa Otsu 13

Daytime bathing:

Daytime bathing is also possible in most establishments, but priority is given to overnight customers. Hence, please make sure with the establishments by phone if you can use their baths during daytime.

You can also use the public bath house “Shomen no Yu”, “Ta no yu”, or the footbaths “Shirasagi no yu” near the Yuzusame-jinja shrine.

Special souvenirs from Yutagawa Onsen: Just like in any onsen, you can buy “manju” cakes (sweet-red-beans-stuffed steamed wheat cakes) in Yutagawa Onsen. But Yutagawa’s manju are special in that they are shaped to remind the symbols of the town: breast-shaped manju (oppai-manju) to remind the “breasted-ginkgo tree” in front of the Yuzusame Shrine or  hyottoko buffoon-man face manju (hyottoko manju), to remind the local kagura festival. The 6-piece souvenir manju box costs 1500 yen (tax included). You can order one by asking Tsukasaya Ryokan prior to your arrival.

Main events:

🌸Plum blossom festival:

Late March to mid-April

🎍 Moso-bamboo festival:

Early May to mid-June

🐝 Fireflies festival:

Mid-June to Early July (Genji fireflies) Late June to Late July (Heike fireflies)

Spot Information