Tsurunoyu Onsen: The Hidden Hot Spring In Akita

Tsurunoyu Onsen, a hidden onsen in Akita is the hot spring of your dreams. The rotenburo open air bath faces the wild forest.

I visited Tsurunoyu in mid-fall. I left Tokyo on the Akita Shinkansen and got off at the Tazawako JR station. I took a local bus from Tazawako JR station to the Alpa Komakusa bus stop. I asked for the free shuttle bus from the Alpa Komakusa stop to Tsurunoyu. The trip took around 4 hours.

In the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Tazawako, I had a good nap and ate the Ekiben train-lunch box as I practiced using chopsticks.

You will see the forest on the way to Tsurunoyu Onsen. The beech tree forest has many layers of green leaves. The forest goes on and on.

I finally arrived at Tsurunoyu Onsen. Yes! This is exactly what I expected!

The gate is simple and the thatched roof is very traditional.

Gate of Tsurunoyu Onsen, Nyuto Onsen District

You can either stay over night or go on a day trip where you can experience the spa, the rotenburo outdoor onsen and eat at the restaurant.

Let me show you the facility. There is a water stream running. The sound of the water is relaxing.

The water stream at Tsurunouyu Onsen

The thatched roof at Tsurunoyu Onsen

Steps to room Tsurunoyu

Steps to room Tsurunoyu

Door for Nigou-kan

Door for Nigou-kan

Outlooks Tsurunoyu

Outlooks of Tsurunoyu

Rotenburo, open air bath

This is the Rotenburo, the mixed gender, outdoor bath.                                                                 Tsurunoyu Onsen features four baths, each one with different water compositions. You can wear towels in the mixed gender type outdoor baths.

Deluxe rooms are spacious and they have a great view. You can see the water stream running from the rooms.

Standard Japanese room

Deluxe Japanese room

Tatami and Shikii threshold

Tatami and Shikii threshold

Tokonoma, alcove in a traditional Japanese room

Tokonoma, alcove in a traditional Japanese room

Designed ash in Iron fireplace

Ash art in the iron fireplace

Standard rooms

Standard Japanese room

Standard Japanese rooms

Standard Japanese room

Standard Japanese rooms

wash-basin Japanese room

The sink in the Japanese room

View from the standard Japanese room

A view from a standard Japanese rooms

The Tsurunoyu Onsen building is located on a hill, so the staircase is steep.


The staircase


The corridor

slipper for guests

Slippers for guests

Let me show you the rooms in Nigokan and Sangokan, for travellers staying for long periods.

2gokan ~ 3gokan

The entrance to the room

irori fireplace

The irori fireplace

A pothook, Jizaikagi

A pothook, Jizaikagi

winter day

A winter day

Tsurunoyu has 4 different seasonal faces. The spring, summer, fall and winter. You can see very beautiful stars at night.

Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of eight hot spring baths that belong to Nyutou Onsenkyo which is located near the foot of Nyutou san(1478m). Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of the oldest hot spring resorts of Nyutou Onsenkyo. Tsurunoyu Onsen dates back to 1638 and 1661 when the second lord of Akita Yoshitaka Satake and Iwashiro Kameda visited this hot spring for therapy respectively. Visitations by the general public began to be recorded during the Genroku era (1688-1704). Tsurunoyu Onsen derives its name from the fact that a local hunter saw a crane (“Tsuru” in Japanese) healing its wounds in the spring.

For your information

Name of Onsen : Tsutunoyu

Address : 50 Kokuyurin Sendatsuizawa Tazawa Aza Senboku-shi Akita-ken

Access: http://www.tsurunoyu.com/english.html#ACCESS

Booking : 0187-46-2139 (Hours: 7:00~22:00)


Photograph and text by meguru hayata