Like the north shore of Hawaii, the north shore of Kyoto Prefecture is one little known to tourists and locals alike. Its quiet alternative lifestyle attracts those marching to a different drum. Like its namesake in Hawaii, its deserted beaches are calm in summer, yet in winter surfers come out to try out some of the best surfing beaches in the area.
Travelers coming from the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe area enter into the Awara Onsen ryokan and pass through a room with a view of the beautiful garden. The hot springs of Yaora have wonderful spring quality water for bathing.
At an altitude of 700 meters, you won't find many hot spring baths in Japan so far above sea level, and few will offer the breathtaking scenery to be had at Maguse Onsen, in Nagano Prefecture's Kijimadaira Village.