[Feature] Day-trip Hot Springs at Zao Onsen! Genshichi Roten-no-Yu
VISIT YAMAGATA Editorial Staff
Hello! This is the VISIT YAMAGATA editorial department. We regularly publish summary articles about event information and sightseeing spots in each Yamagata area. We also introduce detailed information about Yamagata!
Zao Onsen has a history of over 1900 years.
It is the largest and oldest hot spring area in Tohoku.
The springs here are known for their strongly acidic and sulfuric water.
When you come to Zao Onsen, its unique scent will instantly enhance your travel feeling.
Since it is said to be effective against skin diseases, Zao Onsen has had for a long time many visitors. In addition to baths in accommodation facilities, there are also five day-trip bathing facilities and three communal baths, so it is easy to come experience the baths.
In a series of articles we will introduce the day-trip bathing facilities of Zao Onsen.
The first of these is about Genshichi Roten-no-Yu.
If you climb up the slope from the center of hot spring town and turn right just before Zao’s Large Open-Air Bath, you can see a building with a triangular roof at the back of a large parking lot.
This Genshichi Roten-no-Yu, a famous hot spring facility that boasts a location surrounded by beautiful nature, and above all, an abundant amount of flowing hot water.
This time I will introduce this popular day trip facility in Zao Onsen where you can soak in fresh spring water in one of the best location surrounded by nature.
Overflowing hot spring water
The most distinctive feature of Genshichi Roten-no-Yu is the amount of hot water.
It’s a luxury to have so much hot water sprouting and wrapping the whole body while overflowing from a large bathtub.
The Genshichi Roten-no-Yu has its own source.
The picture above shows the river stream with 100% hot spring water flowing from the source.
*This area is not open to the public
At Genshichi Roten-no-Yu, the hot spring bath is located right next to the source spring, so fresh water can always be supplied.
Now, let’s take a peek inside.
Ticket vending machines and counters
When you pass the entrance, you will find a ticket machine on your left.
After buying a bathing ticket here please hand it to the staff at reception counter.
[Bath fee] Adult: 550 yen (tax included)
* Junior high school students and above
Child: 300 yen (tax included)
* 3 years old or older
Coupon tickets: 5,500 yen (tax included)
This is Sato-san of the staff.
Bath area entrance
The entrance to the bath area is right next to the reception.
Normally, both men’s and women’s baths entrance are decorated with noren banners but they were removed for COVID-19 prevention measures.
There are coin lockers in front of the entrance to the bath areas.
There are no coin lockers inside the dressing rooms, so if you have valuables, please put them in these lockers beforehand.
*Coin locker: fees apply (50 yen, not returned)
Men's bath area is spacious and noted for being surrounded by beautiful nature
First of all, let me introduce the men’s side
When you open the door to the men’s bath, a staircase leads to the bath area and beyond that there is a second door!
Every time I go down the stairs, I get excited.
By the way, the men’s restroom is on the right hand side just before opening the first door, before going down the stairs.
When you go down the stairs and open the second door, you can see the shoe shelves in front of you.
Put your shoes here and go inside.
The dressing room is spacious and you can change clothes at your own pace.
The long-awaited baths are here!
There are quite a few facilities that do not use hot spring water for their inside baths, but at Genshichi Roten-no-Yu they are of course 100% straight from the source!
It is a relaxing bath with a scent of cypress.
And here is the open-air bath for which Genshichi Roten-no-Yu is famous.
The men’s bath is larger than the women’s bath and has two rock baths in a row.
It’s very spacious and has a great sense of openness! !
There are three showers next to the indoor bath, and a rinse-in shampoo and body soap are also provided.
There are two washbasins. No hairdryer is provided, but you can rent one at reception.
*For more details, please see the women’s bath section.
Women's baths have 100% hot spring water that spouts luxuriously directly from the source.
Next, I would like to introduce ladies’ bath.
There are no stairs on the women’s side and the shoe shelves are found immediately after passing through the noren banner.
The undressing baskets are well placed so you can change clothes with plenty of space even when it is crowded.
The door on the right leads to the bath area.
The restroom is accessed by the door on the left side.
This is the indoor bath for women.
You can see the open-air bath even from the inside and feel a sense of openness.
Depending on the season, the open-air bath has a water temperature lower than the indoor bath’s one, so it is recommended that you slowly warm up indoor before going outside.
This is the women’s open-air bath.
Hot water springs from the stone faucet…
Zao Onsen is known for its skin beautifying hot spring water, and when you look at your skin after the bath, it feels whiter and clearer than before entering.
The open-air bath of Genshichi Roten-no-Yu is surrounded by trees and it is as if you were in the forest.
Green summers are wonderful, and autumn leaves are also recommended!
But… the bath in the snow is nice and really something.
Also, the lights are lit at night, creating a very fantastic atmosphere.
The showers are of the standing type.
Each is separated by a shower curtain.
Shampoo is provided but it seems that many people bring their own.
There are two washbasins as well just as in the men’s bath area.
There are two washbasins as well just as in the men’s bath area.
There is no hair dryer in the dressing room, but you can rent one if you ask the front desk.
It is said that the number is limited, so if you need one, please ask the front desk after bathing.
* Zao Onsen is a hot spring area where the spring water contains a large amount of acidic substances such as sulfuric acid and hydrogen sulfide.
Due to the hydrogen sulfide, electrical appliances are easily corroded at Zao Onsen, and TVs and microwave will often not last for many years depending on their location.
Even at Genshichi Roten-no-Yu, where the source is near, if you put a dryer in a dressing room near the bathtub, it may short circuit or even take fire. This is the reason there are no hair dryer in the dressing room. Please rent one at the front desk when needed.
After taking a bath, you can relax in this lobby.
There is also a vending machine for soft drinks and ice cream, and other drinks unique to Yamagata, such as pineapple cider and juice.
The parking lot is spacious, so you don’t have to worry.
If you are lucky, a serow may appear (it is a kind of like an antelope and one of Japan’s National Monument).
Let's enjoy nature from time to time at Genshichi Roten-no-Yu
Message from the owner
Genshichi Roten-no-Yu is a well-known spot in Zao Onsen.
Please come by all means to enjoy this open-air bath that boasts a large amount of water.”
Said Saito-san, the owner.
Genshichi Roten-no-Yu is where you can enjoy the scenery changing from season to season.
It is normally open until 21:00*, so you can come here from Yamagata City or Kaminoyama City after work.
*Open until 19:00 for the time being
Why don’t you come visit to heal your fatigue?
|Facility name||Genshichi Roten-no-Yu|
|Source name||Kagebata, Domon source|
|Water qualities||Acid / sulfur-containing-aluminum-sulfate / chloride|
|Source temperature||49.6 °C|
|Bath temperature||42.0 °C|
|Added water||No water added|
|Heating||Only warmed when the temperature is low|
|Overflow & filtration||The hot spring water is flowing freely directly from the source|
|Additives||No bath salts or disinfectants are used|
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