Find out more



[Feature] Day-trip Hot Springs at Zao Onsen! Shinzaemon-no-Yu


Zao Onsen is said to have been opened for more than 1900 years and as such is known as the oldest hot spring resort in Yamagata Prefecture.
The spring water is acidic / sulfur-containing-aluminum-sulfate/chloride. It is said to be the second highest acidic content hot spring in Japan.

Strongly acidic sulfur springs are said to be effective against cuts, burns, chronic skin diseases, weak children, chronic gynecological diseases, diabetes, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, etc. As such, Zao Onsen has been popular as a beautifying spa resort.

In this third article of our feature on day-trip hot springs facilities in Zao Onsen we introduce Yunohana Chaya Shinzaemon-no-Yu. It is a facility with baths, a restaurant and a souvenir shop.

It is located opposite the Chuo Ropeway, which many people use for trekking in summer and skiing in winter, a convenient location in Zao Onsen.

This time, we will introduce the full appeal of Shinzaemon-no-Yu!


For a nice day trip...

A day trip facility where you can spend a relaxing time


The facilities include the men’s bath called Shinzaemon-no-Yu and the women’s bath Aratama-no-Yu, the lounge Komakusa, the restaurant Yuhana Chaya, the hall Hanazashiki, the rest areas Yama Momiji-no-Ma and Yama Boshi-no-Ma, the massage room Kawasemi, the souvenir shop Iseya, and a foot bath.

By the way, in the lower right corner of the upper information board is the grandfather Shinzaemon who guides you wherever you go inside the building.

If you find the Shinzaemon Grandpa illustrations in the baths and corridors it will make you kind of happy.

Clean hall


Once you pass through the automatic door at the entrance, you will find a wonderful space.

Shinzaemon-no-Yu is clean everywhere throughout the facility.
Once you pass the entrance, you will feel that you are on a nice day trip.

Shoe locker & ticket vending machine


After taking off your shoes at the entrance, go place them in the lockers on your left.
Since it has a key, it is safe.
*100 yen (returnable)

Currently there are restrictions on the number of lockers that can be used due to COVID-19.


After putting your shoes in, buy a bathing ticket at the ticket vending machine in the foreground.
When you want to rent or buy amenity, please purchase the appropriate ticket(s) here along with the bath ticket.

[Bath fee] Adult: 800 yen (tax included)
Child: 400 yen (tax included)
Infant: 200 yen (tax included)
            *3 years old or older
Coupons: 8,000 yen (tax included)
       *Includes 12 tickets
[Other] Towel: 200 yen (tax included)
Bath towel: 900 yen (tax included)
*800 yen for rental (including 500 yen deposit)
Soba set: 1,500 yen (tax included)
          *Bath + soba (cold/hot)
Yukata to rent: 1,000 yen (tax included)
       *Includes a deposit of 500 yen
Nylon towel: 200 yen (tax included), etc.
[Business Hours] 10:00~18:00 (last reception 17:30)
[Closed] Wednesday
*Open on 8/19 (Wed.)
*The above business hours and closed day information is for the time being (as of August 2020)
For more information, please contact Shinzaemon-no-Yu directly




Once you have your ticket, go to this counter.


The staff will kindly inform you the location of the baths and the other aspects of the facility
*The photo is of Yamaguchi-san working here.

Stairs & Elevator


The baths are located on the lower floor of the front desk, so you will need to walk down the stairs.

There is also an elevator, great for people with bad legs.

To the public baths


At the front is Shinzaemon-no-Yu, the men’s bath, while Arata-no-Yu, the women’s bath, is at the back.

A large public bath where you can enjoy four types of baths

Now let me introduce you to the hot springs!

Changing room


There is a bench in the middle of both the men’s and women’s changing areas, so you can relax when changing clothes or after taking your bath. (⬆︎ Men’s bath ⬇︎ Women’s bath)..

Now, like the shoe lockers, the clothes lockers in these areas can only be used in restricted numbers.


All lockers operate with a key.
*100 yen (returnable)


There is also a money changer inside the dressing rooms, so you don’t have to go back to the front desk to ask for change.


Disinfection and cleaning is done regularly in the rooms as measures against COVID-19.

The staff will also regularly disinfect the room, but hypochlorous acid water is also available for cleaning the lockers so those who are worried can use the locker after cleaning it themselves.

Wash area


This is the wash area (⬆︎ men’s bath ⬇︎ women’s bath).
There are 11 spots in the men’s baths and 10 in the women’s baths.



Indoor bath


This is the indoor bath where you can relax.
Since it is entirely glassed, it takes in the bright sunshine and gives a feeling of openness indoors (⬆︎ men’s bath ⬇︎ women’s bath).


The indoor bath is also called “Magma Onsen Yugensen Kiiki Bath”.
*Not a natural hot spring

Spring water at Zao Onsen has a strong acidity, but the indoor bath here is a mineral-rich weak alkaline spring.
It is gentle on the skin and warm to the skin.

Open-air bath


And here is the real open-air bath (⬆︎ men’s bath ⬇︎ women’s bath).


Surrounded by five baths, you will be wondering where to go first.

At Shinzaemon-no-Yu you can enjoy three types of baths: ❶ Mogami Takayu ❷ Shi-roku-no-Yu ❸ Kameyu:​ ​Okama-no-Yu (men’s ) & Dokko-no-Yu (women’s)

❶ Mogami Takayu


If you want to enjoy one of the most strongly acidic hot springs in Japan, head straight to Mogami Takayu, which has 100% source water.
This is the genuine Zao Onsen.


❷ Shi-roku-no-Yu


For those with delicate skin and who want to enjoy hot springs, head to the mixed bath of hot spring water and hot water, Shiroku-no-Yu.

There are many hot springs at Zao Onsen, but most of them are 100% sourced water.
If you want to take a bath in Zao’s hot spring, but worry about the water effect on your skin, try this Shiroku-no-Yu bath with 60% spring water and 40% hot water.



❸ Kameyu


These three Kameyu (Okama-no-Yu on the men’s side and Dokko-no-Yu on the women’s) are what intrigued me.

These three hot water baths have different temperatures.
Enter the tub of your favorite temperature and enjoy the overflowing hot spring bath alone ^ ^




There are 4 washbasins for both men and women (with 5 dryers).



There are toilets near the restaurant (basement), the rest areas (1st floor) and in the dressing rooms.

Take a bath slowly

Lounge Komakusa


This lounge is in front of the public bath area after you enter the building and go downstairs to the basement.



There are chairs, tables and a TV, making it convenient for meetings.
In the vending machine, there are soft drinks, ice cream and milk.

Yunohana Tea House


Signs for beer and 100% buckwheat soba catch the eye in this relaxed lounge.


Next to the lounge and across the elevator is the Yunohana Chaya restaurant.

[Business Hours] 10:00~18:00 (LO 17:30)
[Closed] Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
*In August it is closed on the 19 (Wed.) and 26 (Wed.) only
*The above business hours and closed day information is for the time being (as of August 2020)
For more information, please contact Shinzaemon-no-Yu directly



There are table seats, tatami mats, and sunken kotatsu tables inside.



This ☝️ is the recommended set of 100% buckwheat soba + mini beef bowl (1,150 yen excluding tax).


Takeaway dishes are also available.

The two dishes on the menu are Yamagata’s specialty chilled niku-soba and the Zao Beef bowl that uses branded beef raised in Zao. Both are perfect for the coming season.

Why not enjoy the unique flavor of Yamagata in the fresh air of the mountains of Zao?

Large hall Hanazashiki


This is 20 tatami mat-wide room Hanazashiki.


It’s great to be able to lie down on a tatami mat and take a quick rest after taking a bath.

[Fee] free

Rest areas Yama Momiji-no-Ma & Yama Boshi-no-Ma


The two rooms Yama Momiji-no-Ma and  Yama Boshi-no-Ma can be used for a fee.

It is ideal for relaxing after taking a hot spring without worrying about others customers.

[Fee] Yama Momiji-no-Ma (12 tatami mats for 6 people)
3,000 yen for 2 hours (tax included)
Yama Boshi-no-Ma (15 tatami mats for 8 people)
4,000 yen for 2 hours (tax included)
*The “One-day plan with meals”, which includes the use of the break room and meals, is currently unavailable.

Massage room Kawasemi


Here, a practitioner with skillful hands will further unwind your softened body warmed in the hot spring.

Why don’t you make your relaxing time richer?

[Fee] 10 minutes: 1,000 yen (tax included)
20 minutes: 2,000 yen (tax included)
40 minutes: 4,000 yen (tax included)
60 minutes: 6,000 yen (tax included)
[Business Hours] Weekdays: 12:00~18:30
Weekend and holidays: 12:00~19:00
[Closed] Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday


A lineup of Yamagata and Zao special products


Attached to the Shinzaemon no Yu is the souvenir shop Iseya.

Iseya is a store with a much older history than Shinzaemon-no-Yu. It used to brew sake and shochu until 1868, and since then it has been a retailer of alcoholic beverages.



Wooden signboards such as “Iseya Liquor Store” and “Sakura beer” hung on the wall of the cash register are the remnants of that history.



It is a Japanese-style antique-shop with a lineup of unique local products that represent Zao and Yamagata Prefecture.

It will be fun just looking at the atmosphere of Showa.


There is also a specialty of Zao, tama konnyaku, konjac balls on a skewer.

[Business Hours] 10:00~18:00
[Closed] Wednesday
     *Open on 8/19 (Wed.)
*The above business hours and closed information are for the time being (as of August 2020)
For more information, please contact Shinzaemon-no-Yu directly

Feel free to use the hot water of Zao Onsen


Next to Iseya, there is a footbath with 100% source water, the same as the hot spring water in the bath areas.
Please feel free to enjoy the high quality Zao hot springs.

Please pay the foot bathing fee at the souvenir shop Iseya.

[Usage fee] 100 yen (tax included)
*Free for elementary school students and infants
*Closed in winter (December to March)

In conclusion...

Message from the president


* The photo shows the staff member Yamaguchi-san (left) and the manager Shinseki-san (right).

“A facility with hot spring spa, a restaurant, and a souvenir shop.
Please come by all means. “

Said Mr. Sato, the president.

Whether you live in Yamagata or are just visiting, why not come to Shinzaemon-no-Yu to have a nice time?

Onsen information

Facility name Open-air bath Mogami Takayu
Source name Hebiarakawa Origuchi source
Water qualities Acid / sulfur-containing-aluminum-sulfate / chloride
Source temperature 51.9 ℃
Bath temperature 42.0 ℃
Added water None
Heating None
Overflow & filtration The hot spring water is all flowing (released)
Hot spring water is discharged from two locations, the top of the bathtub and the bottom of the bath.
Additives No bath salts or disinfectants are added

Facility name 露天風呂 四・六の湯
Source name 高見屋1号源泉、近江屋1号源泉、海老屋・山形屋源泉、海老屋源泉、松金屋源泉、川原屋源泉
Water qualities 酸性・含硫黄−アルミニウム−硫酸塩・塩化物温泉
Source temperature 51.6 ℃
Bath temperature 42.0 ℃
Added water The acidity of the hot spring is extremely high, so tap water is added to dilute and soften it.
Heating Tap water is added to the hot spring water and heated to keep it at a temperature suitable for bathing.
Overflow & filtration The hot spring water is circulated to keep it at a temperature suitable for bathing (constantly flowing).
Additives No bath salts or disinfectants are added

施設名 Open-air bath Kame-no-yu
源泉名 Takamiya No. 1 source, Omiya No. 1 source, Ebiya & Yamagataya source, Ebiya source, Matsukaneya source, Kawaharaya source
泉質 Acid / sulfur-containing-aluminum-sulfate / chloride
源泉の温度 51.6 ℃
供用場所での温度 42.0 ℃
加水 None
加温 None
かけ流し・循環濾過 The hot spring water is flowing at all time.
Hot spring water is discharged from the top of the bathtub
入浴剤・消毒 No bath salts or disinfectants are added

Detailed information

Yunohana Chaya Shinzaemon no Yu

Yunohana Chaya Shinzaemon no Yu



Read together

Events in the area