Mineral-rich hot springs famous for their healing properties. Naruko's giant ravine was formed by torrents from the spring.
Naruko-onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village, located in the northwest of Miyagi, has been a major attraction for over 1,000 years. It consists of five hot springs areas; Naruko, Higashi-Naruko, Kawatabi, Nakayamadaira, and Onikobe. Its waters are plentiful and contain all sorts of different, beneficial minerals: sulfur, which relieves hardened arteries and high blood pressure and leaves the skin feeling smooth, and alkaline salts that help remedy skin diseases.
Naruko Valley is a large ravine formed by the Oya-gawa River, a tributary of the Eai-gawa River that flows through Naruko-onsen. The river's torrents have formed fantastically shaped rocks and sheer cliffs. Nearby is Lake Kata-numa, a crater lake which changes color with the sunlight. It is particularly stunning in autumn when the leaves turn golden and orange. In winter, Onikobe Ski Resort provides ample opportunities for people to enjoy a number of popular winter sports.
Naruko-onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village is also the place of origin of the traditional 'kokeshi' doll, a simple wooden doll. The Japan Kokeshi Center Museum (Nihon Kokeshi-kan) displays about 5,000 'kokeshi' dolls, which are notable for their elegant features and bright colors. This area has also been the production center for Naruko lacquerware for over 350 years. Naruko lacquerware shops sell a wide variety of lacquer-painted goods, from affordable items such as traditional eating utensils and modern-looking coffee cups, to high-class lacquerware.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 2h 20 min from Tokyo to Furukawa Station by JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line, and 40 min to Naruko-onsen Station by JR Rikuu-to Line.