The beloved Osawa Hotsprings, a scene taken from a folk tale where feudal lords and poets both bathed.

Review of Osawa Onsen Sansuikaku | Osawa 181
Osawa Onsen Sansuikaku
  • Trip101 Review
Contributing Writer
| 6 min read

The charming Osawa Hotsprings is located in the Hamaki hotspring area, surrounded by the abundant nature of Iwate Prefecture. It was the preferred hotspring of the southern feudal lords of Japan. Guests can enjoy wandering these hotsprings boasting 7 individual areas. In the new modern facilities “Yama Suikaku” or the straw thatched roof area of the “Kikusui Kan” and the “Jisui Bu” a therapeutic bath that is over 200 years old. A guaranteed pleasurable bathing experience awaits. The atmosphere of this hotspring is exceptional. Wouldn"t you like to spend a leisurely holiday in the mountains at Ozawa Hot springs?

Recorded in history as the hotsprings loved by the southern feudal lords of Japan

the beloved osawa hotsprings, a scene taken from a folk tale where feudal lords and poets both bathed. | recorded in history as the hotsprings loved by the southern feudal lords of japan

Takamura Kotaro said “This is what a real hotspring experience feels like” when he encountered the Osawa hotsprings in the Hanamaki area, it was one of his favorites. If we follow history further to approximately 1,200 years ago, it tells us that the hotsprings were found on an expedition to the East by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. Southern Japanese feudal lords and Miyazawa Kenji himself from the Hanamaki area have a long history of visiting the Osawa hotsprings. When we speak of the single Osawa hotspring building, it was actually 3 buildings, built at different periods, now joined. The modern elegantly finished “Yamasui Kan”. The heritage listed “Jisui Bu” with over 200 years of history, and the thatched roof area of the “Kikusui Kan”. All of them individually secluded from each other. This photograph shows the entrance to the “Jisui Bu”, the oldest part of the Osawa Hotsprings with over 210 years of history. The naked light bulb through the opaque glass door adds a sense of melancholy. Through the rolling doors you will be greeted by the smiling faces of both the experienced older and newer attendants, your heart will be at one with Japan. Daytrip Bathing (Casual Bathing) can also be booked here.

Please relax and soak in the calm, peaceful hotspring water

the beloved osawa hotsprings, a scene taken from a folk tale where feudal lords and poets both bathed. | please relax and soak in the calm, peaceful hotspring water

Slightly cool, pure colorless alkaline hotspring water is comfortable and refreshing on the skin. It surrounds your body like a comfortable blanket and is especially popular with women. We promise your skin will feel smoother and softer after the hotspring. The building area is graced with 3 different baths. All of the baths unique in their own way, you can try for the perfect skin condition by enjoying all of them as many times as you like. It may be difficult to experience all three baths on a day trip. For those who would really like to relax, we recommend an overnight stay. The photograph shows the most popular area of the “Osawa Hotsprings (mixed bathing area)”. The source of the spring means that whichever hotspring you go to the effect is the same but, experiencing the wide, open-air spa at the source of the mountain stream has its own value. For women who are not as open to, or for which public bathing is a hurdle, there is also a 2hr “women only” time in the evening provided. You can enjoy the open-air spa while watching the full night sky full of stars.

Inside the building itself is like a maze! Enjoy discovering your way around the buildings

the beloved osawa hotsprings, a scene taken from a folk tale where feudal lords and poets both bathed. | inside the building itself is like a maze! enjoy discovering your way around the buildings

When staying at the Inn spending time looking over the map and wondering, “so…. which bath shall we go to first” is a great way to spend some quality time together. First, please grab your towel in one hand, take a stroll around the interior of the building and explore. Due to the repeated renovations over a long period of time, the place is really like a maze. The highly polished corridors and worn smooth hand rails. In the secluded yet welcoming “Jisui Bu”, there is a large ping pong table area, an old fashioned mom-and-pop candy store and a conversation lounge where you can feel the history of the hotsprings.

Osawa Hotsprings Inspection Memo Water temp 51 deg Celsius (no addition of water nor heat, partial water circulation) Flow rate: Approx: 700lt/min. Spring quality: Alkaline natural spring, 9.2ph Efficacy for: Nerve Pain, Arthritic Pain, Chronic Digestive Pain, Bruising, Sprains, Poor Blood Circulation, Relaxation etc. Interior Baths: 4 Open Air Baths: 3 (* 2 of these are are restricted for use by Inn guests and a family bathing area) ** For those on day trips or staying at other accommodation other than the “Yamasui Kan” can bathe in 5 hotspring baths.

A place to meet "The Hometown of Japan"

the beloved osawa hotsprings, a scene taken from a folk tale where feudal lords and poets both bathed. | a place to meet "the hometown of japan"

The Osawa hotsprings are located on the Toyosawa River banks inhabited by trout and muddler fish. Enjoy the view of all four seasons while listening to the gentle sounds of the babbling mountain stream in the background. Said to be built in the late Edo Period the rumbling sound of the water wheel in the “Kiksui Kan” will make you feel like you have landed in a fairy tale. Seasons colored by Cherry Blossom Trees and Wisteria, the dazzling fresh new green growth season, the intense colors of the autumn leaves, and the pure uninterrupted white of snow. The four seasons that can be seen in the mountain from the inn are ones that everyone can appreciate as a real “Japanese Hometown Experience”.

The exquisite balance of taste and volume! Delicious monthly menu updates

the exquisite balance of taste and volume! delicious monthly menu updates

It goes without saying that the good and bad of a hotspring inn depends on the quality of the spa waters, but one other deciding factor is, of course, the food. You can choose to self-cater at Osawa Hotsprings, but we would encourage you to try the lovingly created meals at the inn. The chef has a great sense of food presentation, meal volume and choice of spices and flavors. The food seems to reflect the importance of the season, alteration to the evening meal is made on a monthly basis. Bright and colorful meals for the children. Using seasonal vegetables and fruits offered as children’s favorite treats in a main meal, deliciously presented. There are very few places left that offer this kind of beautiful food in their children’s menu.

What is your taste in hotsprings?? A place where you can choose by budget and your own tastes

When booking to stay at the Osawa Hotsprings Inn, firstly you need to decide which of the 3 adjoining buildings you would like to stay in. What are you looking for in your stay at the hotsprings? What about your budget? How about choosing according to your taste and budget at Osawa Hotsprings.

“Yamasui Kan” Budget 10,000-160,000JPY / per night, 2 meals included.

Guest who enjoys a modern room with a bath and toilet need not look any further. The only one of the 3 buildings that is not wooden, you can be assured of a peaceful stay if you are concerned over noisy neighbors. All 8 baths in the complex are available only to those staying in the “Yamsui Kan”. Bathing in splendid hot springs, eating delicious meals with plenty of seasonal flavor in the 10,000 JPY range is cheap!!

“Kikusui Kan” Budget 6,000-10,000 JPY / per night, 2 meals included.

For guests who wish to experience the history of the Inn, there is the thatched roof “Kikusui Kan” where the southern feudal lords of Japan once stayed. The view through the glass enclosed balcony of the mountain stream’s four seasons, will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time. You can feel the warmth and comfortable relief in the cozy wooden bath in the “Kikusui Kan”.

“Jisui Bu” Budget under 5,000 JPY

For those wishing to experience hotspring culture should stay at the “Jisui Bu”. This is the most vibrant of all the buildings, there are lots of long term guest who have become friends while undergoing treatments in the springs or growing flowers. You are welcome to bring your own bedding etc. in the “Jisui Bu”. You can stay for less than 3,000 JPY, without meal provision. You can cook your own food, or purchase food from stores outside the Inn, or from stores on-site. You can also suit your budget by arranging for meals to be provided for you beforehand.

Whichever building you choose at Osawa Hotsprings you will get value for your dollar, each with its own unique personal qualities. Enjoy a relaxing holiday while listening to the gentle sounds of a babbling mountain stream on your next holiday.

Osawa Hotsprings

181 Osawa Yuguchi Hanamaki City Iwate Prefecture

  • There is a scheduled return bus (fee charged) departing from Shin-Hanamaki Station and Hanamaki Station.

** Day Trip/Casual Entry to the baths are from 07:30 till 21:00 (reception closes at 20:30) Adults 600 JPY, Children 300 JPY.

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