About Hot Springs The unique feature of the Naruko-onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village is that visitors can enjoy hot springs with varying characteristics, and which have a reputation for the health benefits to be gained from them.The hot spring village consists of five hot spring areas: “Naruko Hot Spring," “Higashi-Naruko Hot Spring," “Kawatabi Hot Spring," “Nakayamadaira Hot Spring," and “Onikobe Hot Spring," and each of them provides baths of great individuality. If you visit all of them, you can fully enjoy the attractiveness of the hot springs loved by Japanese people. It is also fun to stroll around the hot spring town where many old-style stores and restaurants remain. Why not stroll around the village wearing yukata (informal cotton kimono) and geta (Japanese wooden sandals)?
About Naruko-kyo Gorge The Naruko-kyo Gorge is a large ravine with a depth of about 100 meters that was formed through erosion by the Oya-gawa River. It is also known as one of the best spots for viewing beautiful colored leaves in Miyagi Prefecture. The leaves of the trees in the fields and mountains turn red and yellow before falling in preparation for winter. In Japan, it is called “Momiji-gari” to see colored leaves, and it is one of the typical leisure activities in autumn for Japanese people. The best time for viewing colored leaves in the gorge is from mid-October to early November. We hope that you will visit here to see the beautiful mountainous landscape of Naruko.
About Naruko Kokeshi “Kokeshi” are wooden dolls that have been made since the early 19th century (end of the Edo Period) and known as children's toys in mountain villages in the Tohoku Region. Traditional kokeshi dolls in Naruko, which are known throughout Japan, are still made by hand by about 50 sincere and dedicated craftsmen and have gained in popularity as souvenirs representing this area. Naruko Kokeshi dolls are characterized by their cute girlish figures and the squeaky sound that is made when the head is turned. In Naruko, there are facilities where you can enjoy seeing demonstrations of kokeshi being made and shops where you can experience kokeshi painting. Why not experience the traditional techniques that Naruko is proud of?
History of Naruko-Onsen-Kyo Hot Spring Village The Naruko-onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village, which has a history spanning more than 1,000 years, is one of the largest hot spring villages in Japan. The hot spring was discovered in 837. It is said that it started when a nearby mountain erupted, and hot water gushed out. The hot spring village is also known for the many famous historical personages who visited, for example, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, a tragic general who played an active part in the late Heian Period (late 12th century), and Matsuo Basho, the haiku poet who is well-known for his work Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North). Since many historic sites associated with Yoshitsune and Basho remain in the hot spring town and surrounding area, we would like to recommend you to visit them and learn about Japanese history.