Offering visitors a unique rotenburo (outdoor onsen) experience in the heart of Akakura Onsen, Taki no Yu is one of the most popular bathing spots in the area. With outdoor waterslides that are active during the warmer months and its swimsuit-friendly attitude (most onsen expect you to bathe naked) this is a rare family-friendly onsen. There are also spacious individual male and female bathing areas which feature relaxing waterfalls. The natural spring water that flows into this onsen contains many minerals that are said to help regulate blood circulation and relieve dry skin. Do note that the facility closes during the winter, usually from early November until the middle of April.
Myoko is home to seven natural onsen, or hot springs, all of which have unique colors and qualities. Consisting of Akakura, Shin Akakura, Ikenotaira, Suginohara, Myoko, Tsubame and Seki onsen, the seven onsen have nurtured a rich bathing culture which visitors can enjoy during their stay. The onsen are located in close proximity to each other, making them ideal for a day’s onsen hopping — with just a quick five- to ten-minute drive between each of them.
With such a variety of onsen available, guests can learn to appreciate their differences. The easiest way to differentiate between them is to look at the water’s color as well as the health properties and benefits each one claims.
Akakura, Shin Akakura, Suginohara and Myoko onsen are all characterized by their clear water, which is said to aid everything from regulation of blood circulation to healing cuts and wounds, thanks to the presence of minerals and sulphates including calcium and magnesium. Ikenotaira onsen features two types of water, both clear and black, the black water minerals known for soothing dry skin problems like eczema. All the way up at Tsubame onsen you’ll find cloudy white water, which is rich in sulphates, sulfur and bicarbonate, and said to prevent high blood pressure. Lastly, Seki onsen is known for its red water, which is given its rusty-brown tinge by a high concentration of iron.
It’s rare to see so many different types of onsen located in one convenient location, making Myoko a major draw for avid fans of onsen bathing. The scenery around Myoko is another reason to come — these onsen are located amidst the gorgeous natural scenery of Niigata. The magic peaks during autumn when the leaves turn color and the mountains are filled with a rainbow of hues, and during the summer, when the sun is shining and everything turns a lush, vibrant green.