Yamanaka's Four Seasons
Kakusenkei Gorge
Yamanaka Onsen District
Area Around the Yamanaka Onsen District
Yamanaka Onsen District
With a history of more than 1,300 years, Yamanaka Onsen boasts a vibrant and beautiful blend of nature and traditional culture. All year round, the streets bustle with tourists visiting the many shops and ryokans (Japanese-style inn) clustered around the onsen district.
Places to See in the Onsen District
Yuge-Kaido Street
Yuge-Kaido Street, the main street of the onsen district, starts from the bath house, "Kiku-no-Yu". Shops and galleries featuring local traditional arts and crafts like Yamanaka Lacquerware and Kutaniyaki Pottery are complemented by a wide range of cafes and restaurants, making for a very enjoyable stroll. In the central area of the street stands Hasebe Shrine, a shrine which commemorates Nobutsura Hasebe, a man who was deeply devoted to the revitalization of Yamanaka Onsen.
Ioji Temple
Ioji temple was built by Gyoki, a monk who lived 1,300 years ago, to protect the onsen town. It is located on a hill that offers a great panoramic view of the entire onsen district, and is home to several cultural assets and artifacts important to the history of Yamanaka Onsen. This temple is open all year long.
Located in the central area of the Yamanaka Onsen District, Kiku-no-Yu is a communal bathhouse that has remained in the same location since its founding 1,300 years ago. The bathhouse features separate baths for men and women, as well as a foot spa (ashiyu), and a hall where one can enjoy "Yamanaka-za", a local traditional performance art.
Furusato Yamanaka Summer Festival
This festival is one of the seasonal traditions of Yamanaka. During the festival, people sing and dance along to the Yamanaka-bushi, a local folk song. A variety of stalls and tents magically appear at night, stretching along the Yuge-Kaido Street from Hasebe Shrine. At the shrine, visitors can participate in a raffle and worshipers can be blessed by maiden priestesses performing the Yudate-Kagura ritual. The powerful taiko drum performances and dances further enhance the energizing atmosphere of the festival, making it truly an experience to remember. There are also a variety of traditional hands-on activities available for visitors, such as spinning Japanese tops and playing with Japanese paper puppet shows.