Tucked away deep in the mountains of northern Japan is Kuroyu Onsen, a secluded hot spring area that’s surrounded by unwavering stillness.
Its location in Towada Hachimantai National Park makes it perfect for adventurers. While Kuroyu is in Akita Prefecture, the park itself rests on an expansive area of forests, mountains and hot springs that encompasses parts of Aomori, Akita, and Iwate prefectures.
Kuroyu Onsen is actually one of seven hot springs of Nyuto Onsen, a remote location which rests above Lake Tazawa, the deepest in Japan and a major attraction in this area of Akita.
These hot springs have been in operation since the Edo Period, and even today visitors come from all over Japan to relax in natural waters.
Hot springs in Japan are usually separated by gender, but what makes Kuroyu stand out from other onsen (hot spring) is that it has a mixed-gender open-air bath (kon yoku rotenburo).
In Japan, these types of onsen baths have an image of being frequented by rural grandmas and grandpas, but they remain an attractive choice for families and couples. This is a Japanese tradition that is fast dying out, so visitors should take the opportunity to experience it while they can.
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