Largest City

Naruko Onsen

With hot springs galore and autumn colors, it's Naruko Gorge-ous.

To relax in an onsen (hot spring bath) among breathtaking nature, the northern Tohoku region is the ideal getaway for locals and tourists alike.

Especially scenic in autumn and winter is Naruko Onsen Village in Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. Not too far from Sendai City, the area has an abundance of onsen and nature for hiking and winter sports.

Geographically, the area was formed from a volcano over 1,000 years ago, so the hot spring water is said to have healing properties. But, before travelers soak in healing waters, they can discover local nature gems.

Take a hike

There are numerous hiking paths that lead you through canyons and forests. In fact, the beauty of these trails helped inspire the famous poet Basho, who was struck by the scenery.

Japan's Scenic Northeastern Region

Yamadera temple in Yamagata Prefecture in the Tohoku region
Located about 2KM from Naruko Onsen is Naruko Gorge, an ideal hiking experience for autumn koyo, a Japanese tradition of viewing the autumn colors. There are several parking areas near the path, but the Narukokyo Resthouse has (paid) parking and is the best spot to view Ofukazawa Bridge (seen in the photo above) among the changing colors of the leaves.

Another great hike is along the Hosomichi trail, approximately 9KM of road which goes up through the mountains into Yamagata Prefecture, and overlooks the flowing rivers below. Naruko is also an ideal place for winter sports. Onikobe Ski Resort is a hotspot for skiing and other snow activities.

Onsen it up

Photo by: ©Miyagi Prefecture/©JNTO Higashi-Naruko Hot Springs.

Naruko features almost 400 different mineral-rich water sources. For onsen enthusiasts, there are many different types of hot-water baths to try. Popular area hot spring locales are:

  • Naruko onsen
  • Higashi-Naruko onsen
  • Kawatabi onsen
  • Nakayamadaira onsen
  • Onikobe onsen

Aside from the baths, there are dozens of hotels, gift shops, and restaurants.  If you’d like, many hotels in the area can provide a yukata (a casual, light-weight kimono) for you to wear. Weather permitting, stroll the grounds of Naruko in style.

At the gift shops, you can buy Kokeshi Dolls, wooden crafts that are specialty of the region. The 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. Head up to Miyagi for incredible views by day that are rewarded with relaxing hot spring baths by night.


Are you an onsen lover? Discover more hot spring getaways.

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Yamadera temple in Yamagata Prefecture in the Tohoku region

Japan's Scenic Northeastern Region

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How To Get There


Kawarayu-55 Narukoonsen, Ōsaki-shi, Miyagi-ken 989-6100, Japan

By train

Access Naruko Onsen via Naruko Onsen station on the Rikyuu East line. It is about 45 minutes from Furukawa station, which is connected to the Tohoku Shinkansen.

Naruko can be accessed while using the Japan Rail Pass or JR East Pass.

By car

From the Tohoku Expressway, take Route 47 to Naruko Onsen.

Where To Stay

Yoshitsune Yukarinoyu Ubanoyu
  • Naruko Onsen Kawarayu 65 Osaki-Shi, Miyagi 989-6824
  • 5.4/10
  • 0.1 km
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Yumoto Kissho
  • Naruko Onsen Yumoto58-10 Osaki-Shi, Miyagi 989-6823
  • 8.8/10
  • 0.4 km
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  • Naruko-onsen Shinyashiki Osaki-Shi, Miyagi 989-6822
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.4 km
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Hotel Kameya
  • Naruko Onsen Kurumayu 54-6 Osaki-Shi, Miyagi 989-6821
  • 7.5/10
  • 1.1 km
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