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.
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.
Deluxe rooms are spacious and they have a great view. You can see the water stream running from the rooms.
The Tsurunoyu Onsen building is located on a hill, so the staircase is steep.
Let me show you the rooms in Nigokan and Sangokan, for travellers staying for long periods.
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
Booking : 0187-46-2139 (Hours: 7:00~22:00)
Photograph and text by meguru hayata