Naruko Onsen hot spring village, located in the north-west of Miyagi Prefecture and near the border of Yamagata, Akita and Iwate prefectures, is well known for Naruko kokeshi, or traditional wooden dolls, and is surrounded by the majestic Kurikoma mountain ranges. Since ancient times, Naruko has been one of the Tohoku area’s popular spas. There are about 400 water sources here, as well as eight of the 11 types of water that are found in Japan. Naruko Onsen hot spring village includes Naruko Onsen, Higashi-Naruko Onsen, Kawatabi Onsen, Nakayamadaira Onsen and Onikobe Onsen. It is said that a major eruption of volcano Mount Naruko occurred in 837AD and hot water gushed forth with a roar. Naruko Onsen, which is the center of the Naruko Onsen hot spring village, is one of the three most famous hot springs in the Tohoku area (along with the Iizaka and Akiu hot springs). It is a lively hot spring town with modern hotels and large ryokan. Public baths such as Taki no Yu, which has a 1,000-year history, and Waseda Sajiki Yu can be toured. Geyser eruptions can be seen in the geysers at Onikobe Onsen.
During the Edo period, Naruko was a strategic junction between Dewa and Ugo streets. Matsuo Basho, a haiku poet of the day, who was famous for his “Oku no Hosomichi” (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), visited Naruko. The nearby Naruko gorge is an attraction for sightseers. Created by the Otani River, this gorge is 100 meters high and three kilometers long, and it offers a picturesque landscape. You might enjoy seeing the picturesque landscape – the autumn leaves are breathtaking from late October to early November. There are also ruins of a checking station from the Edo period, as well as Nihon Kokeshi Museum and a tropical botanical garden that uses hot springs and geothermal heat. Caldera lake Katanuma at the volcano’s crater is one of the most acidic lakes in Japan, and the smell of sulfur can be sensed around the lake. Visitors can enjoy fresh greenery in spring, cool weather in summertime, colored leaves in autumn and skiing in winter.
Inquiries: Naruko Spa Tourist Association, 0229-83-3441, http://www.naruko.gr.jp/
Access: Naruko Onsen Station on the JR Rikuuto Line
[googlemap lat=”38.74325584897305″ lng=”140.71563720703125″ width=”300px” height=”150px” zoom=”6″ type=”G_NORMAL_MAP”]鳴子温泉駅（宮城）[/googlemap]
|Efficacy||Cuts, burns, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and others|
|Address||Naruko-onsen Yumoto, Osaki-shi, Miyagi|
|Link||Naruko Spa Tourist Association|