Healing Hot Spring – Tamagawa Onsen –


thumb_玉川温泉 (1)_1024thumb_玉川温泉_1024thumb_玉川温泉 北投石_1024thumb_玉川温泉 大噴湯_1024thumb_玉川温泉 (2)_1024


Healing hot spring which cures various diseases
In Japan, which has a large number of active volcanos, hot springs bubble up everywhere. From these natural bathtubs, Japanese people have gotten a lot of social and physical benefits for hundreds of years. The different natural environments, such as geography and components of soil, changes the properties of the hot springs—their colors, textures, and efficacies for people. From olden times, hot springs have been used by Japanese people not only for enjoyment and relaxation but also for healing purposes. One of the most famous hot spring in Akita, called Tamagawa Onsen (onsen is hot spring in Japanese), is known as the healing hot spring which cures various diseases due to its rare characteristic of water and surrounding environments. The water of Tamagawa Onsen has the highest acidity out of all the hot springs in Japan. In addition, bedrocks around the hot spring emit a weak radioactivity. Such rocks and water’s unique features have been believed to alleviate cancer and incurable diseases. Therefore, Tamagawa Onsen is always crowded with patients from all over the country who wish to improve their symptoms.

The location of Tamagawa Onsen
The Ōu Mountains is the longest mountain range in Japan, which is about 500km in length and spreads over 6 prefectures in northern Japan. The north end of the Ōu Mountains has been designed as Towada-Hachimantai National Park, a national conservation area. Tamagawa Onsen is located in this national park, which is one of the largest volcanic regions in Japan. The hot spring was discovered in 1680, at the foot of an active volcano called “Yakeyama.” It was originally used as a sulfur mine, but from the beginning of 20th century, it began to develop as a curing hot spring place. The 98℃ of hot water makes a loud sibilant noise and lots of steam, which covers the discolored “Yakeyama.”9,000 liters of hot spring water spouts per minute from the volcano. The scenery is beautiful which powerful mother nature has visitors’ breath taken away.

Onsen (Hot spring)
Tamagawa Onsen has both open-air baths and inner baths inside of the inn. Although there are a few number of hot spring inns in the area of Tamagawa Onsen, many annexes of inns in addition to their main building appears to be like a town at first glance. The ceilings, walls, and bathtubs of gender-segregated public inner bathes are all made of woods. Since the usage of electronic lights is regulated as little as possible, bathrooms are kept dim. Under the natural sunlight, visitors can take a bath in the calm atmosphere. To bring accessories and personal computers around the hot spring is prohibited because the Ph1.2 of strong acidic vapors from the onsen tarnishes noble metals and breakdowns precision machineries. The strong acidity also has several influences on bathing. Taking a bath with a wound or washing one’s face by this hot water inflicts strong pain on wounds and eyes. Besides, the ph1.2 of hot water makes people get dizzy easily. To reduce this risk when taking a bath, the inn has various bathtubs, such as one which remains at a lower temperature or another which reduces the acidity by diluting it with two types of water.

Vapor and Bedrock bath
The water vapors of onsens, which contain a small amount of hydrogen sulfide gas, is said to have a positive impact for the lungs. Just walking around a hot spring and breathing in deeply has a good benefit for bronchi. The inn even has a special room which is specifically for the steam from the hot spring for guests to breathe in.

Marching in procession with mats and reclining on the bedrocks around the outside hot spring is now unique scenery of Tamagawa Onsen. Large bedrocks at the foot of volcano are heated up to 50~60℃. A large number of people lay themselves down on these warmed rocks by spreading mats to enhance their natural healing power. The rocks consist of a rare mineral called “Hokutolite,” which has been found only around Tamagawa Onsen and Beitou District in Taiwan. This mineral is thought to effectively work on curing diseases. Combining these bedrocks with the strong acidity of the hot spring, the reputation of the rare mineral for healing continuously attracts visitors. Inside of the hot spring inn has an indoor bedrock bath where visitors can enjoy the rock bath at a constant temperature and radiation throughout the year regardless of the weather.

The acidic hot spring has little risks, but bathing Tamangawa Onsen will provide great physical benefits and unforgettable experiences.

Senboku city
Parking Fee
4,000 JPY -
Closing day