Local Train Station: Kuroiso From Tokyo: From Tokyo's Ueno station, take the JR Tohoku line and get off at Kuroiso station. Then take a local bus to Kita Onsen Iriguchi. From there, walk to Kita onsen (about 450 yards). Travel Time: Ueno to Kuroiso, 2 hrs 40 minutes. Kuroshio to Kita Onsen Iriguchi, 1 hr 20 minutes. Hike to Kita Onsen, 30 minutes. Total travel time approx. 4 hrs 30 minutes.
Price: Rates range from Y7,500 to Y9,500 (including breakfast and dinner). The roykan has 45 Japanese-style rooms. Days Closed: None Day Visit Option: Y700 (8:00am to 5:00pm) Credit Cards: None accepted
Onsen Specifics: One large outdoor bath (mixed) and two smaller-sized outdoor baths (one for men, one for women). Six indoor baths (three for men, three for women). Water Good For: Neuralgia, rheumatism, stomach problems, and women's problems
The huge mixed outdoor bath, measuring 49 by 33 feet, is the main symbol of this onsen -- a little too small for swimming, but great for relaxation.
The ryokan is located the foot of Mt. Asahidake and is the only accommodation nearby. The ryokan's wooden structure and terra cotta roof create a feeling of being in old Japan. Large, long-nosed goblins, called Tengu, are displayed in one of the indoor baths. You'll find that each bath has a unique motief.
Getting to the ryokan is also sweet. You pass small waterfalls on the way. Then you start to see several wooden buildings. The architecture of them is beautiful and elegant.
[Thanks to JAMA for use of the above photos.]
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