Okunikko Yumoto-onsen Hot Springs
A tranquil, simple and warm town of an onsen (hot spring) resort, where the hot spring water is even tapped into temples
Nikko is a sightseeing area in Tochigi Prefecture that attracts many tourists from abroad in addition to domestic tourists due to its numerous must-see spots, such as Lake Chuzenji, Toshogu, Mount Nantai, and Kegon Falls. Yumoto Onsen is by Yunoko Lake in Okunikko, which is a few kilometers north of the main area of Nikko. In contrast to the bustle of Nikko, this place is a simple tranquil town of a hot springs resort nestling by a forest and lake. The town has a long history of about 1200 years. A Buddhist monk named Shodo Shonin, who founded Nikko, discovered the hot spring in this place, and named it Yakushi-yu, which is said to be the origin of the place.
The mountain behind the town is Yusengatake (mountain of hot spring), the lake in front is Yunoko Lake (lake of hot water), to which Yutaki Falls (falls of hot water) descends. There is also a shrine named Yusen Shrine (shrine of hot spring). As these names show, hot springs can be found literally in every corner of the town. Among them, the most symbolic is Onsen-ji, a temple that taps into the source of the hot spring. Although it is a prestigious branch temple of Rinno-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it also has a unique characteristic in that tourists can enjoy hot springs without needing to stay overnight.
The water has the strong scent of sulfur and is milky white, feeling tender on your skin. It is said to have a superior effect to make skin beautiful. A hot bath in the distinguished atmosphere of a temple, with its red carpets, should make you feel purified both physically and mentally.
Address: Yumoto, Nikko City, Tochigi
Phone: 0288-62-2570 (Oku-Nikko Yumoto Hot Spring Hotels Cooperative)
Directions: Train: 1 hour 20 minutes from Nikko Station, which is on the JR Nikko Line (1 hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Station) by Tobu Bus to Oku-Nikko Yumoto-Onsen
Car: 20 minutes from Kiyotaki Interchange on the Nikko-Utsunomiya Highway