What better way to spend a relaxing day than to soak in hot water in one of Japan’s great hot spring spas?
Wakura Hot Spring Resort is one of Japan’s long-established hot springs with a history of 1,200 years. According to legend, a local couple saw a white heron healing its injured body in the hot stream of onsen water. This was the spot where later Wakura Onsen was be established.
At first glance Wakura is a modern town with large accommodations lined up along the sea front. If you take time for a stroll around the backstreets however, you will discover the old charm of this historic onsen. There are a number of historical sites to visit, including Seirin Temple and Shingyo Temple, Sukuna Hikona Shrine and Benten Shrine, Yumoto-no-hiroba Square as well as Togetsu Bridge by Togetsu-an. These sights are illuminated in the evening and hence offer interesting views for an after-dinner walk.
If you want to improve your good fortune, then visitors can do a mini-pilgrimage visiting the 7 Lucky Gods of Wakura. While these seven are not unique to Wakura but are part of Japanese culture, in Wakura they are located at seven places that they have an historical connection with. A visit to the 7 Lucky Gods is a popular tradition around New Year. So, why not come to Wakura for a good start into the new year.
If you come with kids, or you enjoy Japan’s cute mascots, then Wakatama-kun, Wakura’s onsen egg mascot is waiting for you everywhere: at the station, in Yuttari Park, at the public onsen, and even by the roadside.
There are 26 accommodations, including ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and hotels. Most of them offer hot spring baths in-house. The large establishments can accommodate several hundred people while the smaller inns offer lodging for about 20 guests.
The majority of these accommodations have rooms in Japanese-style and the accommodation package includes room rent, dinner and breakfast. Meals are largely based on delicious seafood and fish.
While you can enjoy onsen at your accommodation, there are a number of places for a public hot spring experience: dip your feet into an ashi-yu (foot bath) at Tsumakoibune-no-yu, or visit the Wakura Onsen Soyu (public bath), which also has an ashi-yu, as well as a pool to boil eggs.
Last but not least, check out the hot spring heated bench at the Benten Park where you will find a number of spots that relate to the historical development of this onsen.