Ginzan Onsen – Yamagata | Travel Information

Ginzan Onsen Village is among the best views in Japan

Ginzan Onsen is a calming hot spring or ‘onsen’ town located in the mountains of Obanazawa, Yamagata Prefecture.  Due to the mountainous and geothermal nature of the Yamagata prefecture, hot springs and onsens are quite common, but Ginzan Onsen without a doubt the most popular onsen destination in the prefecture. Ginzan Onsen literally translates to Silver Mountain Hot Spring, taken from the fact that silver was often mined several hundred years ago in the nearby mountains when the town was founded back in the 1400’s.

However, silver is no longer the leading cause of travelers to this picturesque mountain town. Ginzan Onsen is now more famously known for the many hot spring ryokans which line the river which passes through the downtown sector of the town. Many of these ryokans have traditional or historic baths which date back several centuries.

Among the ryokans, you can also find a couple of public bath houses which you can go into to warmup and relax for a small price, typically between 200-2000JPY depending on the bathhouse. Some ryokans do offer the option to visit their bath house even if you aren’t staying at their ryokan, but these will usually be closer to the 2000JPY price point for about an hour of use. For those of you who are unaware, Onsens will require you to be naked (genders are split up, don’t worry), but if you are a little shy or don’t want to be seen naked by a couple of strangers, then there is a foot bath area that is free for everyone.

Accessing Ginzan Onsen

Probaby the best thing to do to get to Ginzan Onsen is to rent a car from one of the nearby larger cities. This is because Ginzan Onsen village is about 30 minutes drive from the nearest train station. There are also buses which run from the nearby Oishida Shikansen Station along the Yamagata line and Yamagata Airport, which will be about 75 minutes on the bus. From Oishida Station, it will cost 710JPY, and from Yamagata Airport it will cost 1500JPY one way.

Where To Stay Near Ginzan Onsen

Kosekiya Bekkan

If you are wanting to stay at a traditional ryokan in the heart of this historic town, then the Kosekiya Bekkan hotel is the place you are looking for.

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