In the middle of winter, what could be more perfect than traveling north to Japan’s off-the-beaten path Tohoku region in order to experience some of the country’s best hidden onsen (hot springs) gems?
Luckily, if you’re having trouble deciding exactly where to go, onsen information website Nifty Onsen just recently released its 2022 ranking of 16,293 onsen facilities across the country using data collected between December 1, 2021 and November 30, 2022. Within the northern category encompassing the northern island-prefecture of Hokkaido and the six prefectures that make up the Tohoku region, there was one undisputed user-selected winner for the fourth year in a row: Kimori no Yu (喜盛の湯) onsen in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture.
▼ Kimori no Yu
Located just one stop away from Morioka Station on the Tohoku Main Line, Kimori no Yu is a large “super-style” bathhouse with a variety of services. Its main draw, however, is the 11 kinds of onsen and sauna on its premises, which are filled using natural hot spring water pumped from 1,352 meters below the ground. Among the onsen are a supposedly figure-enhancing bath and an electric denkiburo bath.
▼ Some of the outdoor baths at Kimori no Yu
Another highlight is two types of carbonated baths that result in particularly soft skin: one of the mostly highly concentrated carbon springs in the entire Tohoku region, and another slightly luxurious one in which you can lie down and relax in the carbonated water.
▼ A carbonated spring
Meanwhile, visitors can also soak in Tohoku’s first “beauty bubble basins,” made from traditional Shigaraki ware in southern Japan.
▼ Bubbling baths of bliss
Finally, Kimori no Yu offers five types of aroma stone saunas, each with a different appearance and natural scents, including one for female guests only. A special resting space within the stone sauna area features about 5,000 volumes of manga and reclining beds with a TV for even more ways to relax.
▼ Heated stones warm your body to its core.
With all of the above, it’s no wonder that Kimori no Yu is Nifty Onsen’s most popular user-selected onsen in all of northern Japan. It also took the top spot in the Overall Iwate Prefecture Onsen Ranking for the fifth year in a row, dominating other prefectural categories such as the Word-of-Mouth division, Stone Sauna division, Comprehensive Facilities division, and the Special Prize as well.
Source, images: PR Times
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