Kuronagi Onsen. It is frequently featured in magazines dedicated to hidden secret onsen hot springs.
From Unadzuki Station take the “Kurobekyoukoku Tetsudo” train line’s trolley train that runs along the Kurobe Canyon. Get off at Kuronagi Station.
After a 20 minute walk you get to a lone inn, the “Kuronagi Onsen Ryokan”. Here you find great nature and the finest hot spring flowing out torrentially. Ah, happiness.
By trolley train
To get to the Kuronagi Onsen Ryokan you have to use the Kurobekyoukoku Tetsudo’s trolley train there is no other way there. You can’t get there by car, or any other method.
That’s not all that’s strange about this place. In the winter the trains don’t run and this area is covered in snow so they close down for winter, only to be open in late April until late November.
The best time to go is when the fall leaves are changing colors. We went in late October but the leaves haven’t changed much so maybe the best time to go is early November.
You can bath as a visitor but we chose to stay the night and fully enjoy all they offered.
Being embraced by great nature, an outdoor bath the epitome of joy
The outdoor bath is a little away from the dormitory buildings.
There is even a geyser which is always spewing steam high into the air.
The hot spring type is a clear slightly alkaline simple hot spring, so it is very smooth.
Amazingly this spring pumps out 2000 liters a minute of this hot water!
Of course we used the fresh hot spring water to rinse down before getting in.
The view from what I assume is a bath that can fit 20 people, is only the mountains that surround us of the Kurobe Canyon.
Bathing stark naked in a bath that has no walls, in the middle of great nature, I didn’t just feel alive, but more like I was being given life.
Normally this is a coed bath but there are women only times so rest assured.
A rustic single inn
This is the entrance to the Kuronagi Onsen Ryokan.
It almost feels like a mountain lodge for hunters more than a hot spring resort. The interior feels just the same as the exterior, with very little in luxury, but in reality when you come here luxuries seem to almost get in the way of it all.
Each room is separate, and each has a spectacular view!
Dinner is had with the other guests in the dining hall, it wasn’t extravagant but a Toyama delicacy, “Kobujime” which is sashimi cured in kelp came out which was fantastic.
The only TV is in the so called lobby which is a table and chairs near the entrance. But why waste a trip like this watching TV? The best option is to use all five of your senses to really melt into the surrounding nature.
Two baths other than the large outdoor bath
Other than the big outdoor bath there is the “Tennyo no Yu” (bath of the celestial maiden), which has an outdoor and an indoor bath. The picture is of the indoor bath.
The indoor bath also has a scenic view for those who aren’t comfortable with outdoor baths.
An onsen that must be revisited
It’s been a quick 6 years since I last visited Kurnagi Onsen.
Lately the memory of it is starting to fade so I am desperate to revisit it to experience its glory.
Oh, for those going in summer please be careful of the horseflies.
Also, the onsen downstream from here, “Unadzuki Onsen” gets all its hot spring water from here.
For those that want the freshest newly born hot spring water the trip on the trolley train up here is definitely a must.
I went alone at night to the large outdoor bath and was a bit uneasy because of its distance from the inn and being in the middle of nature by myself. I suggest going with a few people during the night.
This onsen is truly unique and is nothing like any other around.
If you like onsens then this one is one for the bucket list.
Visitor bath fee adults 600 JPY, children 300 JPY 1 night with 2 meals 9600 JPY to 11700 JPY Water type weak alkaline simple hot spring Open: late April to November 23rd or so
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