Gettin’ Your Soak On?

While you are in Japan, you definitely should soak in one of our hot springs.
We have lots of good onsen here in Ishikawa, and some constitute their own spa towns.
You will enjoy not only the soaking but also the fun streets, original food and tranquil scenery.

With friends or family in tow, let’s go
visit a spa town in southern Ishikawa
to share an amazing experience!

As onsen ranking used to be popular in Japan during the Edo period, people are always enthusiastic over hot springs. Especially, many partakers are particular about the effects they can receive from the chemical properties of the water.

Furthermore, spa t

Ko-Sohyu (public bathhouse)
in Yamashiro Onsen

owns have grown into resort destinations, with many restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops and amusement places lining the streets. Visitors are allowed to wear yukata (traditional room wear) for strolling outside, and the sound of wooden clogs underfoot adds much more charm to the atmosphere!

Kohrogibashi bridge in autumn, Yamanaka Onsen

Well... we will introduce you to four of the great spa towns in Ishikawa. Yamashiro Onsen is known as a superb one with many resort ryokan. There is a legend that the hot spring was found in 725 by a holy crow which had "three" feet! The hot spring is effective for Beriberi, Gout, or women’s diseases amongst others.
A li

Ayatori-bashi bridge with snow in Yamanaka-Onsen

ttle further on toward the south from Yamashiro, there is another lovely hot spring called Yamanaka Onsen. This spa town used to be loved by great writers, because of its scenery, its simplicity, and its isolated location. If you have dermatological issues (skin-related), then this hot spring water is most recommended.

The new Machiyu public bathhouse in Katayamazu Onsen

Katayamazu Onsen is located by the beautiful Shibayamagata lagoon. Recently a modern public bathhouse was newly opened. It’s said the water is effective for Neuralgia, Arthritis and muscle aches.
Another quai

Joanna trying an footbat at Katayamazu Onsen

nt hot spring is located in the suburbs of Komatsu City, which is called Awazu Onsen. You already might know the second oldest ryokan in the world is located there!

The second oldest ryokan
in the world, Awazu-Onsen Hoshi

The ryokan, Hoshi (founded in 718) used to be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest, but recently another one was found. (Darn!) Yet the ryokan is still worth a visit because of its lengthy history, its park-like garden, and their hospitality. It’s all up to you which spa town you choose.

Ha ving meals in your room is onsen style!
You should check out some other onsen food as well!

The purpose for going to an onsen is mainly to kick off your shoes and relax. When you get back from your first soaking in the evening, then “tadaa!”, dinner will already have been serve

Onsen tamago (special boiled egg) at Yamashiro Onsen

d in your room! You don’t have to get dressed for dinner, just enjoy it there on the trays on tatami! Ryokan meals are not the only specialties of sp

Onsen Manju (Yamanaka Onsen Nyah-Nyah Manju)

a towns. Onsen tamago (an egg boiled in the mineral rich hot spring water) is a typical food cooked in those areas. Though it’s a sort of coddled egg, the white isn’t hard because of the temperature. Japanese people love them! Recently the Katayamazu burger has made an appearance in this spa town, which actually contains onsen tamago under its bun. Yum! You can try one at a cafe or a restaurant in the town. Of course each spa town sells original confectionery, such as onsen manju (bean-paste in a brown bun made from rice, flour, or even buckwheat). Yamanaka’s manju is well-known, by the way.

The one and only Katayamazu Burger!

Release yourself from the everyday stresses of life for a while! You’ll get more energy that way.

Be lazy when you are in a spa town, like we say, “Age-zen Sue-zen.” It means that during holidays you shouldn’t have to lift a finger. The housekeepers will work for you! Of course there are a variety of ryokan in a spa town, ranging from high-class five star classics to more hostel-like budget options. At some affordable ryokan, there might not be a personal housekeeper and you might have to have meals in a shared dining room with other guests. So please be aware of what service you receive when you book your reservation! And for you day-trippers out there, one can visit any of the spa towns from Kanazawa proper quite easily if desired. However, it is said that one will never know the true experience of a spa town without staying over.

Head office: 3-70, Hokubu, Yamashiro Onsen, Kaga City
Phone 0761-77-1144 / Fax 0761-77-2109
www.yamashiro-spa.or.jp (Japanese / English / Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese / Korean)

Head office: Bunka Kaikan bldg., To-5-1, Nishi-Katsuragi-machi, Yamanaka Onsen, Kaga City
Phone 0761-78-0330 / Fax 0761-78-0332
www.yamanaka-spa.or.jp (Japanese / English / Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese / Korean)

Head office: Tsu-71, Katayamazu-machi, Kaga City
Phone 0761-74-1123 / Fax 0761-74-1083
www.katayamazu-spa.or.jp (Japanese / English / Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese / Korean)

Head office: Ho-59-9, Inokuchi-machi, Komatsu City
Phone 0761-65-1834 / Fax 0761-65-2235
www.awazuonsen.com (Japanese)

No clothing or bathing suits please!
You are not allowed to wear clothes or a bathing suit in the communal bath, only your birthday suit!

The tub is not a swimming pool!
Please do not jump or dive into the tub! You are not allowed to swim in the tub either (when in Rome).

No bathing when you are drunk!
Let’s see…inebriated for a long period of time in steaming hot water? No explanation necessary, I think!

Please rinse off your body before taking the dip!
An onsen is a communal bath, so obviously everyone tries to keep it that way.

You had better do your hair up!
This is also for keeping the water clean. No one wants to see hair floating like seaweed in the communal bath!

Even wearing towels is not permitted!
All of you shy types will just have to muster up the gumption! Remember, most pools are segregated by gender these days!