If you have read the story of “Spirited Away”, you would be certainly familiar with the bathhouse run by Yubaba! It is said that the source of this bathhouse is located in Ginzan Onsen, Yamagata, Japan. The quaint bathhouse building, coupled with the steaming hot spring water flowing continuously, makes people seem to have come to the mysterious world in “Spirited Away”.
Ginzan Onsen, located in the countryside of Hokuriku, Japan, has a history of 500 years. Although the hot spring street with a century-old building is spread only around 100 meters, it has a strong antiquity around its existence.
This hot spring town is a natural paradise. Even if you just enjoy the free services here, you can feel the incomparable relaxation.
In the hot spring town, there is a very conspicuous red-arch bridge, which is the legendary “Spirited Away” Hot Spring Hotel. This three-floor wooden pavilion was built in the 10th year of Taisho (1921), and it has been listed as a national tangible cultural property and has become a popular tourist spot.
The sky starts to turn dark, and the scenery here is more romantic. To get an experience of the authentic feeling, you must change into kimonos if you get a chance to visit here. Take a walk on the quaint wooden bridge and feel the elegance an authenticity.
In addition to feeling the local ancient customs, there are three major must-try food items in Obanazawa City, Yamagata, namely Obanazawa beef, watermelon and soba. There are many authentic soba restaurants here, among which the editor strongly recommends the soba shop “Izu no Hua” (伊豆の華), the cool noodles here are refreshing and appetizing. You will definitely relish the refreshing taste!
Soba shop – 伊豆の華
Location: 383 Shinbata, Ginzan, Ohanazawa City, Yamagata
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 11:00-14:30 (buckwheat carving), 14:40-18:00 (tea carving), 18:00-22:30 (sake carving)
Ginzan Onsen, Yamagata
Location: Ginzan Hot Spring in Ginzan Shinbata, Ohanazawa City, Yamagata
How to get there: Get off at Oishida Station on the JR Ou Main Line and take the Ohanazawa City bus for about 40 minutes