In inner Sendai are famous hot springs - Akiu and Sakunami
Sendai City’s Akiu Hot Spring and Sakunami Hot Spring are famous not only within Sendai, but throughout the Tohoku region. Here, we introduce you to the fascination of them, and how to enjoy two very different hot springs though they are both located in Sendai City.
“Akiu Hot Spring” has many day-trip spa and hands-on facilities
The coloring leaves of Rairaikyo Gorge
Akiu Otaki Waterfall
Akiu Onsen is a hot spring area boasting a history of over 1,400 years. Lining along the clear stream of the Natori River are mostly traditional Japanese style inns, but in 2017, an affordable hotel you can stay without meals has opened. The Akiu area has many hands-on facilities, allowing you to enjoy your trip in various ways. During the autumn season, you can have the magnificent view of the coloring leaves in Rairaikyo Gorge that faces the hot spring area, or the Akiu Otaki Waterfall which is a 20-minute drive from the hot spring area.
“Akiu Sato Center”
A hot spring facility great for a day-trip is “Tennen Onsen Ichitaro no Yu” located inside the Tenshukaku Shizen Koen Park. They have an open-air bath where you can enjoy the different seasons of the park, and they also have an indoor bath with a high ceiling which has an open and free atmosphere.
"Tennen Onsen Ichitaro no Yu"
●10, Genbeehara, Yumoto Aza, Akiumachi, Taihaku-Ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
●Weekdays: 10:00-17:30; Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays: 10:00-18:00 (Last admission: 45 minutes before closing time) *Business hours may vary depending on the season
●Closed on every third Friday (except August and October), December 31st, January 1st
●Admission: 800 yen for high schoolers and up, 730 yen for junior high schoolers, 400 yen for 4 years old to grade schoolers, 200 yen for 1 to 3 years olds
You can enjoy a day-trip bath facility at some hotels. “Hotel New Mitoya” has three large public baths, each having open-air baths, and each having different types of bath tubs, such as those made from white cedar or china. They also have reserved baths, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful bath time.
“Hotel New Mitoya”
●102 Yakushi, Yumoto Aza, Akiumachi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
●11:00-15:00 (Last admission 14:30)
●Day-trip bath admissions: junior high schoolers and up: 1,080 yen; 3 years old to grade schoolers: 540 yen; reserved baths, an additional 3,240 yen and up (45 minutes)
Various experiences such as traditional Kokeshi doll painting and lacquering of chopsticks are possible at “Akiu Kogei no Sato” (Akiu Traditional Crafts Village). Craftsmen that create traditional crafts, glass crafts, etc. have a house that is also their workshop, and you can watch them create at a close up. You can also experience making your own handicraft. Each workshop accepts visitors, so check their websites for more information.
“Akiu Kogei no Sato”
●022-398-2673 (contact of representative: Ganguan Koeshi)
●54 Uehara, Yumoto Aza, Akiumachi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
Anko Ohagi (2 in a pack: 216 yen)
For souvenirs, we recommend the “Saichi” ohagi (ohagi is a Japanese confectionery, sweet rice ball made with glutinous rice, covered with jam). Their ohagi are not too sweet, hand-made, with 4 types of jam to choose from—sweet red bean paste, sesame, kinako (soy bean powder), and natto (fermented soy beans; the natto type is available for a limited time from Oct 1st to early May). Visitors to the hot spring spread how good the ohagi are by word-of-mouth, and become quite popular. Even on weekdays, 5,000 of them are sold every day. A limited number is sold at Sendai Station, but they become sold out very quickly, so buying them in Akiu is recommended.
●27, Yakushi, Yumoto Aza, Akuimachi, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
●Closed 2nd and 4th Wednesdays (if it falls on a holiday, they are open; 2nd Wednesdays of August and 4th Wednesdays of December are open)
Loved by writers and artists for its tranquility - “Sakunami Onsen”
Homei Shiju-hachi Falls
Sakunami hot spring is 40 minutes by train from Sendai Station using the JR Senzan Line. You will find 5 hot spring hotels in this hot spring area, located near the upper stream of Hirose River. This hot spring is loved by visitors who want to take a bath in a quiet atmosphere. During the fall season, on your way to the hot spring, you can enjoy the coloring leaves of “Homei Shiju-hachi Falls,” and the different shades of trees you can see from the hotel open-air baths are spectacular.
One of the hotels that allow visitors of one-day trips to take a bath is “Yunohara Hotel.” You can just take a bath only, but we recommend you also have lunch there (bath and lunch 2,500 yen and up). You will enjoy their Japanese food that has the taste of the four seasons, and you will also enjoy the soft slightly alkaline simple hot spring.
“Tenboburo no Yado Yunohara Hotel”
●1 Motoki, Sakunami Aza, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
●11:00-16:00 (Last admission 15:00)
●Day-trip bath admissions for weekdays (1 hour only): junior high schoolers and up: 700 yen; 3 years old to grade schoolers: 400 yen; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (no time limit): junior high schoolers and up: 1,100 yen; 3 years old to grade schoolers: 550 yen * different types of bath tubs depending on the day of the week
Boasting an approximately 150 years tradition, “Sakunami Kokeshi Dolls” have a unique characteristic of having a skinny body so that children can easily play with them. At “Hiraga Kokeshi Shop,” you can watch the craftsmen making the dolls, and you can also experience painting them yourself.
“Hiraga Kokeshi Shop”
●13, Motoki, Sakunami Aza, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
●Experience painting on a plain wooden kokeshi doll, 700 yen per doll (book for a reservation 3 days or more in advance)
Tsutsumi Age (103 yen each)
If you are looking for a souvenir, “Tsutsumiya Sakunami Store’s” Tsutsumiage is highly recommended. It is a kind of bun made from sweet strained bean paste wrapped in a dough made from kneaded eggs, butter, milk, and flour, then deep fried. The crushed walnuts inside give the bun a bit of kick.
“Tsutsumiya Sakunami Store”
●32-7, Ainosawa, Sakunami Aza, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
*In Japan, grade schoolers are between ages 7 to 12, junior high schoolers are 13 to 15, and high schoolers are 16 to 18. (The ages are those that are reached during the academic year which is from April 1st to March 31st of the following year)
*The above information was last updated July 31, 2017. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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