The Hanamaki Onsen is situated in the Grand Resort Hanamaki (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com). If you choose to stay in the onsen resort, you can take an onsen bath anytime, but it will cost you about 3-4 times higher per night than staying at the hotel that we did.
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At Shin-hanamaki Station, there is a tourist information desk where you can ask the staff for detailed instructions on how to get to the onsen along with the map and travel duration.
You can take the JR Kamaishi Line from Shin-hanamaki to Hanamaki Station, then catch the bus number 4 to The Grand Resort Hanamaki. The bus stops right at the resort gate and the bus ticket costs you 230 yen per trip. Another option is catching a taxi. You should note that the last bus to return on the same day is at 4:00 P.M.
Inside the resort, there are 3 hotels near the entrance, Senshukaku, Hanamaki and Koyokan, respectively.
After taking a tour around the resort (in spring, you can see cherry blossoms while in fall, the road is filled with red leaves), we turned around to get out of the hotel areas and head to the onsen baths. There are onsen baths available in the hotel areas as well.
We chose Senshukaku Hotel (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com) because it was actually 11 A.M. and Senshukaku Hotel is the only one offers onsen service while the other two were being cleaned.
Onsen tickets are available for purchase at the reception with the price of 400 yen/person (the average price at other popular onsen places is about 1,500 – 2,000 yen/person. The onsen area is located on floor B1 of the hotel.
Similar to other places, the onsen here is divided into two areas for Men and Women (the reason for separation is that you have to be completely nude to take onsen bath). Leaving your shoes outside, you will need to remove everything on you before coming into the bath so remember where you keep your stuff.
Besides a small towel, you are not allowed to bring anything with you, especially cellphones. Luckily for us, we only encountered two Japanese elders that day so it was not too awkward.
Before enjoying yourself in the onsen bath, you have to take a shower first. The shower room is serviced with shampoo and shower gel for your convenience. There are four herbal onsen baths with a temperature of 40 – 45 degrees Celsius. After the shower, let’s try the four of them eventually.
You should only bath from the neck down and the time spent for each bath must be between 1 to 100 counts. After the counted time, step up slowly. Remember to enter or leave the water slowly and you can take a shower afterwards to regain your balanced body temperature.
Very important things to note are that you must not take onsen bath after meals and people with hypertension should not take part in this experience.
After onsen bath, we went out to a café opposite to the hotel with cute white exterior called Café De.
Let’s enjoy the sweet sakura jam cake with deliciously soft and silky smooth texture before taking off from this place.
Coming to Kitakami in spring, you can combine onsen bath and sakura sightseeing where you are able to see a row of sakura of over 2 km long with 10,000 sakura trees along the Kitakami River – one of the most beautiful cherry blossom viewing sites in Japan.
During fall, this place is definitely an ideal destination to visit as you can see beautiful red leaves and have exciting experience with onsen baths. To conclude, if you are planning on travelling to Japan on your own, don’t forget Kitakami!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Tokyo you can refer to
- Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Airport Limousine Bus Transfers from/to Narita and Haneda International Airport (Free Wifi Onboard)
- Tokyo Amazing Sightseeing Bus Day Tour
- Tokyo Highlights Private Day Tour
- Nikko Day Tour from Tokyo
- Mt Fuji & Hakone Day Tour: Lake Ashi & Ropeway Day Trip from Tokyo
- Nikko Cultural Day Tour from Tokyo
- Tokyo Subway Ticket (24, 48, or 72 Hours)
- Tokyo Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket
- Shuttle Bus Transfers (One Way/Round Trip) from Shinjuku/Ikebukuro to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea
- Sky Hop-on and Hop-off Bus Pass
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (JP Airports Pick Up) for Japan
- 4G WiFi (Japan Pick Up) for Japan
- JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)
Are you finding more top things to do in Japan: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.