Akita prefecture has some of Japan’s best hot springs, open air baths and hot water types. Many of them are secluded hot springs in the mountains, but there are also some good-quality ones in Akita city! One such hot spring, which has the reputation of Akita’s best beautification hot spring (or why not Japan’s best?), is Akita Onsen Plaza. This is the place which the local pretty girls visit frequently to make their skin look even better.
An attractive hot spring in Akita city
Akita Onsen is located just 15 minutes away with a taxi from JR Akita Station which can be reached by Akita Shinkansen. Alternatively, you can go there by a city bus. Although Akita is known for its many great hot springs, it’s surprising how this easy to access facility hasn’t been popularized more. Maybe because of that Akita Onsen Plaza has only 2 hot spring inns. Most visitors and tourists tend to stay in the hotels around JR Akita Station and probably haven’t heard about this place.
But be sure to drive away from the center and try the hot spring water of Akita Onsen Plaza at least once. You can do a day trip or stay overnight. Locals come here quite frequently because of the water’s high quality, and the price is reasonable as in a business hotel. Let me introduce the best features of Akita Onsen Plaza.
The effects of this beautification hot spring
As Akita Onsen Plaza is located in Akita city, it’s frequently visited by locals for a day trip hot spring. The main reason is the good quality of the beautification water. The men’s bath is not so crowded, but the women’s one is very popular.
Inside you will find a jacuzzi and other facilities typical for a public bath, but the most popular attraction is the open-air bath. A large cypress-tree bath is situated in the middle of a well-arranged garden. The hot spring water flowing here has a high skin beautification effect. In fact, it’s good also for treating skin diseases, nerve pain and chronic illnesses, but it’s best for skin care. The water is colorless and odorless, but once you enter you’ll immediately feel how it embraces your skin softly. If I have to compare it to something, it would be the feeling of a cosmetic body lotion on your skin. You can massage lightly your legs and arms to help the water penetrate your skin, or you can wash your face with it. Experience the softness of this hot spring yourself.
The temperature of this hot spring is 41 degrees, but during Akita’s winter your face might feel cold. In that case it’s best to go to the indoor bath which also has the same skin beautification effect. One more thing – don’t shower after leaving the bath in order to increase the positive effect of the hot water.
Delicious food that displays the skills of the chef
After the bath you might feel slightly peckish. If that’s the case, I’ll introduce some great local delicacies which you can find at Akita Onsen Plaza. One of them is the luxurious Akita-don (a bowl of rice with food on top) that you can eat at the local restaurant “Shun no Sakana”. Usually Akita-don is eaten with a sticky paste of grated Chinese yam mixed with raw eggs on top of the rice, but this one also has smoked radish pickles, fermented soybeans and chicken! Season it with soy sauce and Japanese pepper to make it even more delicious! This dish is very nutritious and tasty. You can come here even just for trying Akita-don.
Because this place is famous among women, there is a special plan for female guests. It includes bath time and a private room. When you make a reservation for lunch, they’ll ask you about your age, sex, place of living and food taste in order to prepare a customized menu specially for you. How great is that! You’ll be excited to see what they’ve cooked for you. For example, a cold pumpkin soup, soy milk hot pot with vegetables, mackerel in saffron sauce, etc. All dishes are served in small plates, but there are more than 10 in total, so you won’t stay hungry. I was mostly impressed by a sweet potato with raisin butter served for a desert. It was better than the appetizers, so I was thinking I should have ordered that first. The menu changes seasonally so you can always try new things.
You can come on a day trip or stay overnight
You can come here on a short day trip, or stay overnight. The price per night starts from 6975 JPY which is quite reasonable. One night with 2 meals is 11 000 JPY and that includes the customized women’s menu that I described above. Alternatively, you can only pay for accommodation and try the Akita-don.
Go to Akita Onsen Plaza when you visit Akita city
In most hot springs you need to enter the baths multiple times over the span of several days to see the effect of the water, but in Akita Onsen Plaza you’ll feel the difference even after one visit. Local people pour hot water on a towel to warm it up and then put in on their faces when they enter the open-air bath. This is a special type of face skin care which has a surprisingly positive effect! On the next day you’ll apply make-up very easily.
Recently not only women, but men also pay more attention to their skin so this hot spring is a great destination for everyone.
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