Tohoku Area - 東北地方

Fukushima | Iwate | Miyagi | Yamagata

Fukushima Prefecture - 福島県


Tsuru no Yu

Japanese Name: つるの湯
Prefecture: Fukushima
City: Fukushima
Type: Sento
Price: ¥400
Holiday: Monday
Hours: 15:00-23:00 (Sundays 10:00-12:00 / 15:00-23:00)


Tsuru no Yu is the last sento operating in Fukushima city. This is not uncommon across Japan and I felt lucky and honored that I could try out the waters here. It is a normal modern looking sento from the outside. Inside it is quite small. The baths could fit about 5 people comfortably. There were two baths. First was a deeper mineral bath. The other was divided between bubbles and an electric bath. There also was a cold shower along one of the walls. Places like this might not have the best water or variety of baths, but they do have history and a sense of place that you cannot find at a supersento. I thanked the grandmother who was working the counter for maintaining the sento for so long. A photo of her in her younger days hung in the changing room. The sign with the photo said that this bathhouse had been through three generations of family ownership and 2014 would mark its 100th year in business. I hope they can stay around for another 100 years.

Iwate Prefecture - 岩手県

Minatoshio Yu.jpg

Hotto Yuda

Japanese Name: ほっとゆだ
Prefecture: Iwate
City: Waga
Type: Onsen
Price: ¥300
Holiday: Second Wednesday
Hours: 7:00-21:00


Hotto Yuda is a small hot spring built in to the JR train station with the same name. It’s a unique combination of two of Japan's national hobbies: bathing and trains. The bath is not much to talk about with some nice wood siding on the tubs but there's not much to it. There are three baths going from extra hot to just warm. There's the piping for making the extra hot tub a bubble bath, but it was turned off when I went. The washing areas and spigots have seen better times and have varying pressures. Overall this bath seems very popular with the locals and tourists alike. Worth checking out for the beautiful train ride up to the station, but remember there's not much there and not many trains stop at the station each day so plan appropriately. Thankfully there is a signal light installed along the wall to give you ample warning the train will be there soon. I forgot to mention the water, it's definitely a hot spring and you can tell when getting in after a while I was hard to notice that it was spring water. After getting out it leaves the skin very smooth and soft to the touch. There is also a private family bath here for ¥1,600. The type of spring says it is sulfuric but I did not notice any sulfuric flavor or smell to the water.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Kawajiri Onsen - 川尻温泉
Type: Sodium, Calcium Sulfuric Chloride Spring - ナトリウム、カルシウム-硫酸塩、塩化物温泉
pH: ?
Type: weak alkaline -
Well Temperature: 58
Type: extra hot spring -
Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性

 Miyagi Prefecture - 宮城県

Sarasa no Yu.jpg

Koma no Yu

Japanese Name: 駒の湯
Prefecture: Miyagi
City: Sendai
Type: Sento
Price: ¥400
Holiday: Sunday, Wednesday
Hours: 14:00-22:00


Simple sento located not too far from Sendai station to make it inaccessible. Located in a nondescript street just off of the main bar and nightlife district in town. Two baths are located along the back wall both with about the same temperature. There's a cold shower and a small, very hot, sauna. Pretty basic place but enjoyable. Best two things about it are the tile painting of Matsushima on the back wall and the awesome 70's station that was playing in the lobby and changing room.

Yamagata Prefecture - 山形県



Japanese Name: 太陽館
Prefecture: Yamagata
City: Takahata
Type: Onsen
Price: ¥300
Holiday: Second Sunday
Hours: 7:00-22:00


This is the second station with a bathhouse built into it in Tohoku. The floors are tile and stone. There is a single hot bath, shower, dry sauna and a cold water bath here so there was at least some variety. The cold water bath is in an open air closed off patio that in the winter is extremely cold and refreshing. No need to jump in the water to cool off the air will do that for you. I personally liked the water here more than the water at Hotto Yuda, as it had a smoother silkier feel. The station building itself is beautiful and has a western feel to it.

Hot Spring Data

Well Name: Mahoroba Onsen - まほろば温泉
Type: Alkaline Simple Hot Spring - アルカリ性単純温泉
pH: 8.8
Type: alkaline -
Well Temperature: 41.5
Type: hot spring -
Osmotic Pressure: Low - 低張性