The Japan Times, the most widely read source of English-language news in Japan, recently published an article by contributing writer, Cassandra Lord, on her visit to Yonezawa’s Ubayu Onsen Masugataya.
Situated some 1,300 meters above sea level and deep in the Azuma mountains, Ubayu Onsen is one of the most renowned ‘hitō (secret)’ onsen hot springs in the whole of Yamagata Prefecture. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the beautiful valley from the hot waters of the secluded open-air baths, as well as sample local seasonal cuisine such as Yonezawa carp, Yonezawa beef, or vegan dishes made with local produce.
Part of what makes hitō so desirable is the rest and relaxation they provide. They are the perfect place for people who want to reexamine themselves in a quiet environment and those seeking nostalgia in the place of a lost hometown.
The short walk up to the entrance of Ubayu Onsen gave me a taste of what was to come. The waters of a stream next to the walkway splashed down over rocks in a series of mini waterfalls, creating misty blue pools along the way. This same misty blue awaited me at the top, in a warm set of rotenburo (outdoor baths).
On entering, the staff were ready and waiting to greet me, carefully placing slippers at my feet and taking my shoes and bags. They guided me to a room: a cozy, Japanese-style space with no frills or extravagant decor — just a window onto the sufficiently extravagant autumn colors.
Before even dipping a toe into the baths, Ubayu Onsen had covered some of the core values of a true hitō.
-Cassandra Lord (The Japan Times)
Read the full article HERE to learn more about Cassandra’s visit to Ubayu Onsen.
As an avid supporter and partner to Yonezawa, we hope it inspires international residents and visitors looking to experience a different side of Japan to choose Ubayu Onsen as a destination for their next trip!