Northern Tohoku is one of Japan’s most mountainous areas and an area rich with volcanic hot springs. Nyuto Onsen is an area known for the superb hot spring baths found at its traditional and rustic ryokan (traditional Japanese guesthouses). With a history of over 300 years, Tsurunoyu is Nyuto Onsen’s oldest and most famous inn. It features a collection of dark wooden buildings, which are hidden away at the end of a 2km dirt track with only a small sign on the main road indicating its presence.
Outdoor bathing in nature is an incredible experience in all seasons, but in summer, thousands of flowers blossom around you, whilst in autumn the many colours of the changing leaves make for a stunning natural backdrop. There is a range of both indoor and outdoor baths to enjoy, with the largest outdoor bath being used by both men and women together. Don’t worry due to the volcanic mineral content of the area’s hot spring water, it has a milky/cloudy appearance which makes mixed-gender bathing less intimidating than it would seem.