Nyuto Onsen-Kyo (乳頭温泉郷） is known as one of the best hotspring village of Japan. But did you know there is no such onsen inn called Nyuto Onsen?
It is actually a name short for Nyuto-Sanroku-Shukusha-Gyosha Nyuto-Onsen-Kumiai(乳頭山麓宿舎事業 乳頭温泉組合）, which is basically an union of onsen hotels that are on the foothill of Mt. Nyuto. （乳頭山）
Unlike typical onsen-kyo (温泉郷）in Japan where the hotels are sharing one headspring, Nyuto Onsen-kyo is blessed with countless headsprings throughout the area. This is why each Nyuto inn owns its own individual headsprings, which allows you to experience different healing properties in one location!
Nyuto's attraction is not only the water: it is situated in an unspoiled deep forest of beech and birch trees that has been designated as Towada-Hachimantai National Park (十和田八幡平国立公園）. The tradition of toji (湯治), a hot-spring sojourn for therapeutic benefit, had been practiced particularly by farmers. Still, many toji guests from all over Japan seeking for a get-away experience choose Nyuto for the first choice. Nyuto, being in remote location and preserving secluded atmosphere, played a significant role in inspiring the recent boom of hitou（秘湯）.
Getting around in summer and winter:
Nyuto Hot Springs are scattered in a large area, which are often accessed by cars; however this does not mean that you couldn’t access in between the hot springs on foot. Hiking routes (varying 10 to 1 hour; not available in winter) connects to different locations in Nyuto. The courses are relatively mild and can be enjoyed by hikers of all ages and all levels. Do not forget that Nyuto Area is also a popular stop-over for climbers to Mt. Akita Komagatake (秋田駒ケ岳）as well.
Nyuto in winter leaves you an unforgettable impression as well. Just imagine yourself in steamy hot spring bath surrounded by thick layers of snow. Nyuto is famous for the picturesque scenery as well. For overnight guests in Nyuto, Yumeguri-go (湯巡り号） bus service is the most convenient in getting around— a coupon book that includes bus fares and entrance fee to all 7 locations.
!! 7 INNS in NYUTO ONSEN-KYO !!
Tsurunoyu Onsen (鶴の湯温泉）
Ganiba Onsen （蟹場温泉）
Taenoyu Onsen (妙乃湯温泉）
Magoroku Onsen （孫六温泉）
Kuroyu Onsen （黒湯温泉）
Ogama Onsen （大釜温泉）
(All the photos above courtesy of Semboku City)
Kyukamura Nyuto Onsen-kyo （休暇村乳頭温泉郷）
Access to Nyuto Onsen-kyo Area:
Find the bus stop nearest to the destination (e.g. Tsurunoyu Onsen etc.)
BUS: check the time table. Or catch a taxi at JR Tazawako Station.