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Masugataya at Ubayu Onsen


Local Train Station: Touge
From Tokyo: From Tokyo Station take the Joetsu shinkansen (Yamabiko is the fasted shinkansen on this line) to Fukushima station. Then, transfer to an express train on the JR Ouuhonsen line to Touge. The ryokan's shuttle will pick you up at Touge.
Travel Time: Tokyo to Fukushima, 1hr 50 min. Fukushima to Touge, 30 min. From the Touge station, 45 min. Total travel time approx. 3 hrs.

Location/Contact Info

Address: Touge-Ubayu, Yonezawa City
Tel: 0238-35-2157


Because the ryokan is open so few months, reservations are at a premium and should be made before the season starts. The Endou family can be reached at 0238-35-2633 during the winter.
Price: Rates start at Y9,500, including dinner and breakfast.
Days Closed: Closed from the beginning of November through April.
Day Visit Option: Y400 (9:00am - 3:00 pm)
Credit Cards: None accepted

The Water

Onsen Specifics: Two outdoor bathing locations (one mixed, one for women). Two indoor baths (one for men and one for women).
Water Good For: Stomach problems, nervous disorders, high blood pressure.
Water Composition: Acid-ferrous sulfate water

The ryokan's history goes back to 1533 when legend claims _____ Endou was exploring the area on foot, in search of gold. Endou, the legend continues, encountered a woman in a natural hot springs washing her baby. She advised Endou to quit looking for a gold and instead take care of this onsen. The women then put the onsen in the hands of Endou-san, who promptly began to administer the onsen by building a small hut to welcome bathers.

The Endou family now counts 17 generations of family members who have taken care of the springs -- the current generation has been at the helm for 50 years.

Today, Masugataya is still popular among hikers who walk the nearby trails. And for good reason. The main bath is located directly under shear rock cliffs with the hot water flowing down from the cliffs. Looking up from the hot springs, the wild rock skin of the mountain puts you in touch with nature. During the Fall, when the leaves change their color, the ryokan and onsen are especially beautiful, and as a result, visitors often pack the ryokan to capcity.

During the Winter months, the snow is too deep to reach to the ryokan, so it closes at the end of October and does not reopen until April. In fact, it wasn't until 1965 that a road was built to reach the onsen.

The Buzz

One web report states, "Getting to the ryokan is not an easy task. Going up on the small foot-bridge was fun. The two-story, wood building and all rooms are spacious. Some rooms are separated only by thin rice paper doors! There wasn't much privacy, but it was cozy."

You should note that during the Fall, when the leaves change their color, the ryokan and onsen get especially crowded.

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Onsen in Southern Tohoku

Yamagata Prefecture

Azumaya Ryokan $$ 

Masugataya $$ 

$ = under Y8,000 per person
$$ = between Y8,000 and Y14,500
$$$ = above Y14,500
= mixed-bathing onsen
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