Hanamaki in Iwate prefecture is a small town with a big history. This volcanic hot spot was once home to the northern natives of the Japanese islands; the Ainu. These people were later forced out of the main islands of Honshu and now only live on the northernmost Island, Hokkaido, and parts of Russia. They may be gone but their influence can still be felt. Many places in the area have names based on the old Ainu language such as the nearby town of Tono. The hot springs in the region were a shelter from the cold winters, but now they are a tourists attraction welcome to all. You can visit the area, basking in the long and fascinating history of the region whilst also enjoying the various onsen around the town. Read on to learn about the best tourist-friendly onsen ryokan in Hanamaki.
Here, you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor onsen. The indoor onsen is nice and protected from any outside elements. Guests in the outdoor onsen might feel cool winds every now and then but this is the traditional way to enjoy the hot springs. You can be nice and warm from the neck down and your head gets a refreshing cool breeze. The ryokan has spacious rooms with balconies, and some even have a private onsen. Rooms come in a western style with European beds, but there is a Japanese living room. The living room has tatami mats and a table to sip green tea as you sit in the seiza position. There is also a ryokan restaurant where breakfast and dinner are served. These are traditional Japanese meals and they are all served in a private dining area.
Spacious and opulent rooms await you at Yamayuri no Yado. The rooms come in both traditional Japanese and modern western styles. The ryokan is very proud of its restaurant that served Kaiseki style meals. These are historically Japanese meals that are served in a variety of small dishes and through multiples courses. You get to sample small pieces of new and exotic foods that all add up to a full meal. It allows you to have a whirlwind culinary experience of Japanese cuisine. All of the meals are prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The ryokan also has an open-air onsen that guests are free to dip in and out of as they choose.
Have a relaxing soak at Osawa Onsen Sansuikaku. The hot spring water is pumped out of the grounds where it was volcanically heated and used to fill up their baths. Guests can choose from an indoor or outdoor bath. The indoor baths are more like a relaxing spa but the outdoor baths have rock features that are an attempt to recreate the setting of a naturally occurring hot spring pool. So you can choose between relaxing in a manmade environment or a more natural one.
At the Yukaen ryokan onsen, guests are the number one priority. The staff have done their very best to make the ryokan as peaceful and soothing as possible. They have onsen both inside and outside the ryokan so that you can choose which style you prefer. The rooms have been constructed to be in keeping with traditional architecture. The floors are mostly tatami matted but guests can choose to stay in a room with hardwood floors should that be their preference. The ryokan also has a restaurant that serves kaiseki meals that are beautifully prepared. They are perfect for your stomach and your Instagram page.
Guests get to choose from western or Japanese style rooms here at Dai Onsen Matsudaya Ryokan. It is more culturally Japanese to stay on woven reed tatami mats and sleep on a futon. The staff encourage anyone who wants a full Japanese experience to stay in one of these rooms but if you are looking for something that is more basic in terms of international hotels, then you can stay in the western rooms. All rooms come with wifi, a television, a fridge, and toiletries. The property also has onsen that the guest can use if they want to. This is another authentically Japanese cultural experience that everyone should try at least once.
This is a great ryokan for those who love hiking. The staff feel very passionately about climbing the local mountains, that it is a fantastic way to spend a day. They are always happy to help guests plan out their itineraries and show them the best routes to take to the summits. After you come back, why not take a relaxing soak at the ryokan onsen. The heat from the hot spring water is said to be therapeutic for muscles. If you still have some energy, you could also unwind with a game of tennis at the ryokan tennis court. For those who tire themselves out, you are free to retire to your Japanese style room. Rooms have a private bath as well as wifi and air conditioning.
This is the perfect ryokan for those who want to experience Japanese culture. The restaurant has a very Japanese menu that goes beyond sushi. You can try local cuisines like deep-fried skewers, steak, or a variety of traditional desserts. Of course, you can also experience the referencing feeling of soaking in a warm onsen here as well and stay in a Japanese style room with authentic Japanese furnishings. The staff have prepared a variety of activities that the guests can partake in, such as a folk song and dance show featuring the ‘Shishi-Odori’ (Deer Dance) that is a local tradition. There is also a kimono dressing service for female guest who can select a colorful yukata from the reception. There is also a kids’ corner that’s full of activities to keep the little ones happy, and a sports area with table tennis and other games.
Hanamaki Onsen Hotel Koyokan
Address: 127 Daiichi Chiwari, Yumoto, Hanamaki-shi, Iwate Prefecture
Price: from 108 USD
Access: [Access to Hanamaki Onsen] - From Iwate Hanamaki Airport: 15 min by car. - By car: 5 min (4 km) direct from Hanamaki IC. - From Shin-Hanamaki Station (Tohoku Shinkansen): 20 min by car (a free, regularly departing shuttle bus is available). - From Hanamaki Station (Tohoku Main Line): 15 min by car (a charged route bus is available).
Guest of the Osawa Onsen Sansuikaku can relax in either an indoor or outdoor onsen. The outdoor onsen has views of the beautifully maintained gardens that guests can take a stroll through, whilst the indoor onsen is totally protected from the weather. The rooms are decorated in a classical Japanese style. The furnishings will make you feel like you are about to dine with the emperor as they only have the highest quality tatami mats and Japanese futons. The ryokan restaurant serves traditional Japanese Kaiseki style meals. You can sample interesting dish after interesting dish in these multi-course dinners. You might encounter some entirely new flavors.
Osawa Onsen Sansuikaku
Address: 181 Osawa, Yuguchi, Hanamaki-shi, Iwate
Price: from 167 USD
Access: From Hanamaki Station (JR Tohoku Line) Take the bus bound for Shin-Namari Onsen and get off at Osawa Onsen Bus Stop (about 30 minutes). Immediate access from there. By car: Exit the Tohoku Expressway at Hanamaki-minami IC and continue along Prefectural Route 12 for about 15 minutes (12 km). Follow Yu (Hot Spring) signs.
Hanamaki onsen hotel is a source of variety. This is the onsen for those looking for a whole host of things to see and do. As well as comfortable Japanese style rooms, the ryokan offers a choice of three different onsen locations. They have a deal with the neighboring hotels so that guests of Hanamaki Onsen Hotel Hanamaki can bath in their onsen free of charge (one of which is number 8 on our list). These onsen include an open-air rock bath, an open-air cypress bath, as well as many other indoor baths. There are also shows that you can watch. The ryokan organizes folk entertainment, dances and singing. And if all this isn’t enough for you, there is a gorgeous waterfall that you can visit just a 15-minute walk away from the ryokan’s rose garden.
Hanamaki Onsen Hotel Hanamaki
Address: 126 Daiichi Chiwari, Yumoto, Hanamaki-shi, Iwate Prefecture
Price: from 110 USD
Access: [Access] - From Iwate Hanamaki Airport: 15 min by car. - By car: 5 min (4 km) direct from Hanamaki IC. - From Shin-Hanamaki Station (Tohoku Shinkansen): 20 min by car (a free, regularly departing shuttle bus is available). - From Hanamaki Station (Tohoku Main Line): 15 min by car (a charged route bus is available).
This ryokan has 17 onsens with a variety of types. There are indoor and outdoor hot spring baths with water taken from three different sources. If you want to, you can rent an onsen out and have a private bath or relax in the larger and more traditional shared baths. Guests can choose from classically Japanese rooms and more modern western hotel rooms. The restaurant and bar’s menu consists of seasonal produce from northern Japan, also known as the Tohoku region. Airinkan are very proud of the local specialties and are regularly changing the menu to give guests the chance to try all sorts of flavors and to make sure they are serving the freshest meals.
Address: Namari 23
Price: from 77 USD
Fascinating history with relaxing spa treatment
Hanamaki is a wonderful place for people who are interested in Japanese history that goes deeper than Samurai and Ninja. It is also a great place to experience the traditional Japanese practice of soaking in an onsen at one of these ryokan.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.