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Japan Travel Guide - Tourist Information - Hot Springs - Isawa Onsen
att. Hot Springs - Isawa Onsen
You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Isawa Onsen
att.JAPAN Issue 45, March 2009

Isawa Onsen

Yamanashi Prefecture is well known for its fruits and also is home to Isawa Onsen. In spring the land is clothed in pink and the soft scent of peach blossoms is in the air. Though Isawa Onsen’s history is not so long, it is the largest hot spring resort in Yamanashi Prefecture and famous throughout the country. In 1961, when people dug in a vineyard here, 60-degree-temperature water gushed forth. They threw the water away, diverting it to a nearby river, and children who played in the river were pleased because the water was warm and comfortable. Seeing that, people thought only throwing away this hot water was a waste and made a pool, which became a kind of openair bath and drew a lot of attention. Since that humble start, Isawa Onsen has been developing and now more than 3.5 million tourists visit this area annually.

Close to Tokyo, it is said to be the second largest hot spring resort in Japan next to Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, and has about 100 accommodations ranging from small inns for families to expensive Japanese ryokan to large-scale hotels for large group holiday-makers. The quality of the spring water is alkaline simple spring, and is good for treatment of neuralgia, bruises, chronic gastroenteropathy, and poor blood circulation. Though the town was once well known as a nightlife resort for large parties, recently the number of individual tourists has been increasing and Kurhaus (spas) catering to them are popular.

Fruit picking can be enjoyed around the town. Seeing cormorant fi shing on the Fuefuki River and touring nearby wineries are also interesting. Regarding sightseeing, Shosenkyo gorge, Nishizawa Keikoku valley, Kiyosato and Yatsugatake are accessible within one hour by car. It takes 90 minutes to the fi fth station of Mt. Fuji via Lake Kawaguchi. An event, the Battle of Kawanakajima, is annually held in April. About 900 warriors who are dressed in armor reenact the battle of Kawanakajima, Nagano Prefecture. As part of the event, some 60 amateur swordfi ght buff s demonstrate swordfi ghts.

Access
90 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Isawa Onsen Station on the JR Chuo Line.

How to bathe in an Onsen

You are here: att.JAPAN > Travel Guide > Isawa Onsen

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