Wakura-onsen Hot Spring
This high-class hot spring resort welcomes the largest number of visitors in the Hokuriku region. Excellent dishes of fresh products from ocean and mountain have earned a high reputation among the guests.
The Wakura-onsen Hot Spring is known as one of the best high-class hot spring resorts in Japan and as the "ocean's hot spring." It is located in Nanao City of Ishikawa, at the central part of the Noto-hanto Peninsula sticking into the Sea of Japan and facing beautiful Nanao Bay. Legend says that the hot springs opened 1,200 years ago, when a fisherman found a wounded white heron curing its body in the ocean's hot water giving off white steam.
The Wakura-onsen hot spring has several reasons to attract over one million visitors from both Japan and overseas every year. Among them, its greatest attraction must be found in its plentiful volume of hot water and excellent location by the sea that allows you to relax and bath in nature's beauty. Moreover, you can enjoy delicious dishes of fresh products from the ocean and mountains.
The Wakura-onsen Hot Spring has over 20 inns. Clear hot waters, filtered by crystals contained in underground granite, never stops flowing. The water is said to have benefits for neuralgia, muscle aches, joint aches, stiff shoulders, chronic digestive diseases, piles, intolerance to cold, chronic skin diseases, frail children, and chronic female disorders, etc. You can also drink the water, which is good for chronic digestive diseases and constipation. You may also want to try gargling with the water for chronic bronchitis and sore throat.
The name of Wakura-onsen became well known as a high-class hot spring resort since it has been ranked top for nearly 30 years in the contest, "Best 100 Japanese hotels and inns selected by professionals." However, another reason that makes Wakura-onsen popular is its many traditional inns that serve fresh seafood. Fresh products such as oysters, crabs, winter yellowtails, deep-water shrimps, and abalones will be offered on your dining table to satisfy your appetite.
In addition, Wakura-onsen Soyu, the only common bath of the area, is found in the center of the town. It is basically a bath for a one-day trip, but has such unique baths as "vibration bath" and "open-air" bath, attracting not only local people but also tourists who want to drop by while strolling through the town. There is a place to drink hot water and you can try making 'onsen-tamago,' a boiled egg in the upwelling hot spring. Outside of the building is a footbath you can try free of charge.
Close to the hot springs town is Nanao Fisherman's Warf facing Nanao Bay, where visitors can buy fresh products and traditional crafts in its Shokusai market. In the Noto-sai Saiji-kan Hall, you can learn about the festivals held in Noto.
From Tokyo:[Air]1h from Haneda to Noto Airport, and 50 min from the airport by Furusato Taxi.[Rail]5h from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa Station by JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line "Toki," and to Wakura-onsen Station by JR Line "Hakutaka" (limited express).
From Osaka:[Rail]3h 30 min from Osaka to Wakura-onsen Station by JR Line "Thunderbird" (limited express).