The first recognized National Recreation Hot Spring with ancient and honorable tradition hot spring is Sukayu Onsen.
It is located on the west side of Mt. Hakkodasan in Aomori Prefecture.
For an Osaka resident like me it is a dream hot spring.
Finally this summer I acted on my want to go there, so by car I left Osaka.
It’s only a meager 1200km to Sukayu Onsen. Not a big deal.
It really was worth the long drive!
*because taking photos were prohibited the photos of inside the bathhouse was given by the Sukayu Onsen.
This is a real thousand person bath
This is the famous “Hiba Sennin Furo” (thousand person bath made from Hiba wood).
It may surprise you but it is coed.
(There are women only times so rest assured)
At most of the attractive onsens in the Tohoku Region they almost always have coed baths.
Actually you can even say if there is a coed bath it is a good one.
First take a look at this bathhouse.
All of this is made in Hiba wood.
The design is tastefully sweet.
It is fed by a milky with a slight green tinged sulfur hot spring.
This is indeed a well-known hot spring.
Here goes the first step in.
Of course before entering you have to rinse off with hot water before you get in.
The hot water here seems to kind of just softly hug you.
The water is slightly high in acidity but it feels very soft.
I am actually a onsen sommelier so I decide to taste it.
As sour as a lemon you can tell this water is fairly acidic.
Of course there is a lot of sulfur infused in the water too so it smells like eggs.
Ah, so this is what it feels like to be in the finest of onsens.
The standard picture of Sugayu Onsen
It is a picture of many people actually bathing.
It is depictive of what Sugayu Onsen really is.
The closest bath in the picture is of the “Netsuyu” (heat bath). This is where the raw hot spring water flows up from the bottom of the bath which is rare.
Because of this you are feeling the purest form of the hot spring before it touches air and is the freshest you can get.
Further in the back is the so called “Shibu Rokubu no Yu” (40/60 bath), it draws from a different spring than the Netsuyu, so to cool it down a bit they mix water with it but it is still a fine bath.
Visit one of Japan’s most superb Onsens at least once
I was only there for an hour early in the morning but it definitely felt good.
Thanks to this, fatigue and sleep deprivation from that ultra-long drive melted away.
The next time I go will be in autumn when the leaves change and I will be staying the night for sure.
Also, Sugayu Onsen allows women to wear “bath clothes” so you don’t have to be shy
They are sold at the store at Sugayu Onsen for 1000 JPY each.
My wife actually bought one so we could bath during the coed times.
It’s somehow made so that the cloth doesn’t stick to the body and allows you to bath unhindered.
I recommend it for those women who are shy.
Visitor Fee adults 600 JPY children 300 JPY Visitor times 7am to 5:30pm Open all days even holidays
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