Naruko Onsen: A Perfect Winter Destination
One of the things we are planning to do this winter is visit at least one onsen or Japanese hot spring bath. Especially in winter sitting in the hot water looking out over the peaceful surroundings sounds like heaven to us. And lucky for us, we have a number of options all not too far away from Sendai. We heard about Naruko Onsen in Osaki City before, and it sounds like the perfect spot. The area is especially scenic in autumn and winter and has an abundance of onsen and nature for hiking and winter sports. So I may even get some skiing in!
Onsen visits are a very popular pastime in the winter in Japan. We were actually invited to join a few friends for a weekend onsen trip recently, but unfortunately, we could not make it. So we definitely have this on our list! A trip to an onsen can be as simple and quick as going for a few hours on an afternoon or spending the night at a traditional onsen Ryokan, or Japanese Inn. The latter usually includes a special kaiseki dinner, and some Ryokans even offer private baths.
Naruko Onsen Village
Naruko Onsen Village features almost 400 different mineral-rich water sources. For onsen enthusiasts, there are many different types of baths to try. But there are other things to do. Aside from the baths, there are dozens of hotels, gift shops, and restaurants. Explore the historic part of Osaki City, sampling some great food and checking out the history of the Kokeshi Dolls. These cute toys have been a tradition since the early 19th century, are still hand-made by craftsmen to this day and make for a great souvenir.
For us, this all sounds like a great place for a little winter getaway, perhaps after the busy New Years’ holiday. We always wanted to explore the area north of Sendai a bit more, especially seeing we have been in Tokyo and Yokohama in recent months. And soaking in one of the hot baths in Naruko Onsen Village looking out over the snowy surroundings while anticipating a delicious kaiseki dinner makes us drool already. Stay tuned, and we will let you know how it went!
If you would like to join us on one of our food tours or get a personal tour of Sendai, please feel free to contact us for rates and availability.