Ginzan Onsen in Obanazawa City is a hot spring town with its century-old inns clustered along both sides of a steaming river. Each inn is a wooden establishment of three or four stories with balconies and ornamented stucco walls. Cobblestoned alleys, old-fashioned bridges and Victorian-style gas lamps add a dreamy touch to the resort, especially during the winter months when the wooden eaves are coated with white snow.
The hot spring dates back to the 16th century when a silver mine was discovered, thus earning the name Ginzan ('Silver Mine') for the river and the resort. This spot became known nation-wide in the 1980s when Oshin, an enormously popular drama, was set in this area. The drama also has been broadcast overseas in 63 nations.
Besides hot springs inns, there are two public bath houses and some foot baths. Among other attractions are a 22m-high waterfall and souvenir shops selling kokeshi wooden dolls.
Purposecouple,elderly,surreal&cool,that you'll never forget,health,brag,night view,nature,women,family,Japanese resort,winter in Japan,hot springs,art,sightseeing
Airport/Sta.Sendai Airport (about 59.4km) Google Transit
5.02 months ago
Very nice place ,must be more Beautiful for a winter day, should check the bus time before you go. Hotel there are a little bit expensive than Yamagata citys . Worth living there when snowing. 5 mins front head to end . Fried Tofu in the head is good. Curry bread in the end great even is always cold
4.0a week ago
Driving to this "in the middle of nowhere hot spring" during winters is an experience in itself and definitely not for novice drivers. But once you get here, you will pat yourself on your back for reaching this destination with some out of this world views.
I spent one hour in this place including 30 minutes in a cafe. The place looks stunning in the falling snow with heavy snow piled up on the roofs of the buildings and long icicles hanging from the bridges.
To truly enjoy the hot spring you need to book a room at the ryokans and be prepared to shell out a lot of money. I am assuming the good places sell out fast.
The parking lot can be a problem for day tourists because nobody bothers to clear the heavy snow in the only parking lot for day trippers.
There are some unofficial parking areas on the way and I parked my car and walked for 15 minutes or so in deep snow. If driving in heavy snow is not your cup of tea, get off the train at Oishida station and take a Bus to the Ginzan springs.
3.0a week ago
One of the most famous location for onsens, but most of the shops and onsens for public close down early unless your staying at one of the ryokans. Not much else to do apart from onsen. Not a lot of restaurants and activities to do apart from onsen if your going there for a day trip.
5.0in the last week
ABSOLUTELY STUNNING town/area. steam from onsen water river fog up the whole area, and the whole scene is surreal!
However, I would not suggest going there in Feb (especially if you are planning to drive there). there are WAAAAAAAAY too much snow fall on the way there.. our car got stuck in snow for good 15 mins with less then 2 meters visibility. it was a scary experience for driving there during this time (the hotel staff in Tendo told us that Ginzan onsen has the most amount of snowfall in Yamagata prefecture (which yamagata has one of most snowfall in Japan.)
we parked the car, went for photo and walk around, grab some lunch.. came back in 1.5 hrs, and it was covered with almost 2 inches of snow!
So .. definitely go there.. just avoid February
Having said that .. it was totally worth the scary drive (would NOT do it again tho)
5.05 months ago
No doubts why it’s rated as one of the best in Japan. So many Japanese style buildings, hotels may be. You can walk to the silver mine it takes 30 mins. Lovely hot water. But good to visit before 2pm because after guest houses getting full you one day visitors can’t get in to bath tubs.