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Aoni Onsen at Kuroishi Onsen


Local Train Station: Kuroishi
From Tokyo: Take the shinkansen to Morioka, then transfer to the JR express train, Hatsukari, to Aomori. From Aomori, take a local express train, Inaho, to Hirosaki. Then get the local train to Kuroishi.
Travel Time: Tokyo to Morioka, 3 hrs, 30 min. Morioka to Hirosaki, 35 min. Hirosaki to Kuroishi, 30 min. Total travel time approx. 4 hrsss. and 35 minutes.

Location/Contact Info

Address: Aoni, Ooji Okiura, Kuroishi City
Tel: 0172-54--8588
Fax: 0172-52-2655
Web: www.yo.rim.or.jp/~ao... (Japanese only)


Price: April through November, Y8,500. From December through March, Y10,000 (including a snow mobile shuttle from and then back to Hirosaki Station). Rates include dinner and breakfast. The ryokan has 30 Japanese-style rooms.
Days Closed: None
Day Visit Option: Y500 from April through November, Y2,500 from December through March (including a snow mobile shuttle from and returning to Hirosaki Station, and a lunch). 10:00am - 2:30pm.
Credit Cards: None accepted

The Water

Onsen Specifics: One outdoor bath (mixed). Five indoor baths (two for men and two for women, and one mixed).
Water Good For: Stomach problems, nervous disorders, fatigue, muscle pain, and joint pain.
Water Composition: Carbonate hydrogen springs

In the foothills of Mt. Hakkoda, Aoni Onsen has kept its charm as the "oil lamp ryokan."

In Japan, due to their remote locations, most onsens used oil lamp rather than electric lamps. Over time, almost all converted to electric light. Although Aoni ryokan has been updated and is now fully wired, is has wisely chosen to maintain oil as the sole means of lighting. There are no light bulbs in this ryokan (no TV or radio for that matter). When it gets dark outside, the glowing lamps light the way. The payoff is a unique experience at one of Japan's most unusual ryokan.

The ryokan was originally started in 1931 by the poet Youga Niwa to cure his own illness. In its early days, the ryokan received very few visitors, mostly artists and poets when it did. Today, Aoni is is a popular destination, but it still attracts a clientele with certain artistic tendencies. The ryokan reflects the artistic and peaceful mindset of it poet founder.

Deep in a snow mountain
Moonlight is shinning
Dreaming of a skipping rabbit
I suddenly wake up

The Buzz

Says an onsen enthusiast on his web site: "I felt some kind of nostragic feeling walking on the footbridge to get to the onsen, especially with the oil lamps burning at night. Each onsen was full of light, and through the windows we could still see the surrounding vegetation. Listening to the sound of a small stream nearby, my mind and body were calm and relaxed.

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Onsen in Northern Tohoku

Aomori Prefecture

Aoni Onsen $$ 

Yachi Onsen $ 

Sukayu Onsen Ryokan $ 

Akita Prefecture

Kawarage Ooyutaki 

Turunoyu Onsen $$ 

Taenoyu Onsen $$ 

Magoroku Onsen $

Goshougake Onsen $

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