Yumura Onsen

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Like many other mountainous regions in Japan, Yamanashi Prefecture has several natural hot springs that have been popular with travelers for hundreds of years. Kofu’s Yumura Onsen is famous for the sheer number of different hot-spring (onsen) resorts located on and around Onsen Alley, a narrow, winding street at the foot of Mount Yumura, just a 10-minute drive from Kofu Station. Some are full-service hot-spring hotels, while others are more casual Japanese-style inns. Simply exploring the area is a great way to wind down, but the hot springs are the best place to relax.

The area’s history goes back to the year 808, when the hot spring that feeds the local spas was reputedly discovered by Kukai (774-835), the famous priest who established the Shingon school of Buddhism. The legend goes that there was a large boulder blocking the road, so Kukai used a walking stick to move the rock while chanting a spell and the hot spring gushed from the ground.

By the sixteenth century, Yumura Onsen was a well-established part of the prosperous city of Kofu. It was even popular with the warlord Takeda Shingen, who ruled Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi) from 1540 to 1573. It is said that Shingen would visit the hot springs to hasten his recovery from battle wounds.

Over the years, Yumura Onsen has been popular with artists such as woodblock printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), who depicted the area in his work, and visited by other prominent people, including the writer Osamu Dazai (1909-1948). Today, the area maintains an old-fashioned aesthetic, with onsen hotels, inns, and noodle shops and local izakaya pubs. The 10 hot-spring venues in Yumura together form the Yumura Hot Spring Union. Most venues accept visitors who want to enjoy the baths even without booking a room. The spring water has an average temperature of 40 degrees Celsius and is weakly alkaline.



Venue Address

400-0073 3-10-5 Yumura, Kofu-shi

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