Hirayu-onsen Hot Spring
The blessings of nature that can be fully received in traditional and primitive-style hot springs
Hirayu Onsen, at 1,250 m above sea level on the northern foot of holy Mount Norikura is a hot spring with the longest and most distinguished history among the Oku-Hida Hot Spring Villages. According to an old legend, an old white monkey appeared before soldiers who became unable to move because of a poisonous fog, and led them to the hot spring of Hirayu; the soldiers who entered the spring instantly recovered. It is said that as this legend spread by word of mouth, more and more people started to arrive at the hot spring through steep mountain paths. Hirayu Onsen, deep in the mountains, used to be difficult to visit, but after a tunnel was opened and transportation improved, it became a popular place as an entrance to sightseeing spots, such as Norikura and Kamikochi.
There are about 40 sources of hot springs scattered throughout the area of Hirayu Onsen, from which as much as 13,000 liters of hot water flow out per minute. In terms of the spring quality, it is a hydrogencarbonate spring containing abundant salt, magnesium and calcium. Because the hot spring is effective for skin diseases and gastrointestinal disorders, the place is also used for hot spring therapy for long-term stays and treatment.
In the mountain slightly away from the center of the hot-spring resort, there is a public bath called "Kami No Yu." This is precisely the birthplace of Hirayu Onsen, where the legend of the white monkey is set. Separate open-air baths for men and women are built on the slope where trees grow thickly, creating an atmosphere of sanctity.
Address: 138 Hirayu, Okuhida-Onsen-Go, Takayama City, Gifu
Phone: 0578-89-2458 (General information Center, Oku-hida Onsen-Go)
Directions: (Train)1 hour 30 minutes from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Line (2 hours 20 minutes from Nagoya) by Nobi Bus; get off at Hirayu Onsen bus stop. (Car)1 hour from Takayama Interchange on the Chubu-Jukan Highway.