10 Best Things To Do Around Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, Japan

Things to do around Yuzawa, Akita
| 3 min read

Yuzawa is a place of nature, giving Akita a natural effect. The most recognised location is known as the Kawarage Hell. Its atmosphere and religious history give one the feeling that they’ve entered another dimension - hell! Apart from its unforgettable nature, Yuzawa is also known for its onsens and delicacies. Visit Yuzawa and enter another world with this list of the best things to do.

1. Kawarage Jigoku

Posted by Webの駅ゆざわ(ゆーとぴあネット) on Friday, 14 July 2017

Welcome to hell in Mount Osore, one of Japan’s three biggest hallowed grounds. Called the Kawarage Hell (Jigoku means hell in Japanese), it gives an eerie feeling that one has just visited another dimension. With sulphur and gas spewing out of the ground, it gives a deeper atmosphere towards evening as the colors change with the setting sun. With a white rocky mountain in the backdrop and a hidden spring, Kawarage Jigoku is one of the top spots recommended in Yuzawa by daredevils and locals.

Kawarage Jigoku

Address: Takamatsu Azayujirisawa, Yuzawa 019-0404, Akita Prefecture

Website: Kawarage Jigoku

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2. Sanzugawa Canyon

Welcome to the entrance of Kawarage Hell, where one must pass through the river and valley called Sanzu-no-Kawa, which means, River of the underworld! It is believed in the Japanese Buddhist tradition and religion that one needs to cross a river of Three Crossings on the way to the afterlife. Look down from the Sanzu-no-Kawa bridge to the mountain stream and steep cliffs, not just to enjoy the breath-taking view, but to grasp why it is called the river of the underworld.

Sanzugawa Canyon

Address: Takamatsu, Yuzawa 019-0404, Akita Prefecture

Website: Sanzugawa Canyon (in Japanese)

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3. Kawarage Oyutaki Falls

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ippukucho used under CC BY 3.0

After bracing yourself through hell, find yourself in paradise in the Oyutaki Falls. One can get there by traveling up a mountain and taking a short walk down towards the waterfall. The waterfall acts like an outdoor hot spring during the summer. The otherworldly experience traveling from hell to rejuvenation while enjoying the beautiful waterfall is a perfect retreat in the warm water.

Kawarage Oyutaki Falls

Address: Takamatsu, Yuzawa 019-0404, Akita Prefecture

Website: Kawarage Oyutaki Falls (in Japanese)

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4. Mount Kurikoma

栗駒山 Mt. Kurikoma 1627mH - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 佐藤智史 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mount Kurikoma is a volcano which spans across Miyagi, Akita, and Iwate prefectures. One will be able to see Mt. Chokai-san, Mt. Gassan, the Zao Mountain Range, Komagatake, and the Pacific Ocean from the summit. This mountain is popular with hikers who come to enjoy the autumn colors of the trees and plants. Enjoy Mount Kurikoma over 4 seasons with its amazing scenery and breathtaking mountain plants.

Mount Kurikoma (Japanese)

Address: Kurihara 989-5371, Miyagi Prefecture

Website: Mount Kurikoma (in Japanese)

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5. Oyasukyo Daifunto

Located an hour from Akita Station is Oyasukyo Daifunto. Take a look out over the whole ravine from the Kawarayu Bridge over the Minase River. Experience the rushing hot river with steam covering the gorge. Walk past waterfalls, the steaming river and experience the best that nature has to offer. There are many onsens nearby and the area is closed during winter but enjoyed over all seasons.

Oyasukyo Daifunto

Address: Minase, Yuzawa 012-0183, Akita Prefecture

Website: Oyasukyo Daifunto (in Japanese)

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6. Yuzawa Municipal Inaniwa Castle

Welcome to the castle upon the hill, the Yuzawa Municipal Inaniwa Castle. It was once the base of the Onodera Clan up until the Late Sengoku Period. The castle runs a cable car which is free with the entrance fee. There is a golden tea room with genuine gold leafs and a museum about the locations nearby and of the castle. The view is amazing from the top and worth the visit for admiring the beautiful castle.

Inaniwa Castle

Address: Furudatemaehira, Inaniwacho, Yuzawa, 012-0107 Akita Prefecture

Website: Inaniwa Castle (in Japanese)

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7. Doroyu Onsen

Doroyu Onsen
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user RickardA used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

This natural onsen sits within the mountains with a traditional old school atmosphere and rustic feel. The deep cloudy waters are what makes it known as a “mud hot water bath” or doroyu. Situated in a beautiful wooden building, the sulphur smell hits you as you enter. Enjoy the steam of the hot bath by the wonderful natural surroundings.

Doroyu Onsen

Address: Takamatsu, Yuzawa 019-0404, Akita Prefecture


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8. Takanoyu Onsen

Takanoyu Onsen Rotenburo 157
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user RickardA used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Recognised officially by the Akita Clan during the Edo period, the Takanoyu Onsen is one of the hot spring resorts offered within the Akinomiya Hot Spring Resort. Sitting in a small gorge by the Yakunai River, this resort is said to be the oldest in Akita Prefecture, founded about 1,200 years ago. Takanoyu, or Falcon’s Hot Spring, got its name from a legend of how a Falcon led a hunter to the spring. Due to its secluded location, it is referred to as a Hitou, or hidden hot spring.

Takanoyu Onsen

Address: 1 Denjo Akinomiya, Yuzawa 019-0321, Akita Prefecture

Website: Takanoyu Onsen (in Japanese)

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9. Weeping cherry tree of Oshirasama

Posted by おしら様の枝垂れ桜 on Saturday, 18 April 2015

The tree is located within the Sirayama Shrine, which is the name of the tree. Said to be 210 years old, it is designated by Yuzawa City as a Natural Monument. This huge cherry tree has branches stretching everywhere. Visitors flock to see the tree blossom at the end of April with a light up at night.

Oshirasama sakura

Website: Oshirasama sakura (in Japanese)

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10. Ryozeki Sake Brewery


Posted by Chih-Ping Lee on Saturday, 1 April 2017

With such a tradition and wonderful environment, the Ryozeki Sake Brewery is a place to enjoy, even for someone who is not into sake. Brewed using waters flowing out of Kurikoma mountain stream, the sake has a double gold award winning recognition internationally. The well-maintained building with a beautiful interior adorned with red carpet gives one a luxurious feeling and atmosphere that one is entering an exquisite place.

Ryozeki Sake Brewery

Address: 4-3-18, Maemori, Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture

Website: Ryozeki Sake Brewery (in Japanese)

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Hell in paradise

Despite the name and history of the Kawarage Hell, the beautiful natural environment makes one forget they are in a place called “hell”. With Yuzaway consisting of most of the natural parts of Akita prefecture, it takes you away from the bustles of the city and leaves you rejuvenated. With its natural and beautiful onsens soaking you, leave your troubles behind in beautiful Yuzawa.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Roselle is a 3D Artist originally from Singapore. She is currently living as a Digital Nomad in Bali with her Husband. She plans to continue her journeys to Thailand, Vietnam and more. She has been...Read more

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