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Shirahone Onsen

Shirahone Onsen

Shirahone Onsen is located in a steep valley near Mount Norikura in the Northern Japan Alps. It has a history of over 400 years and is known for its healing waters. The name translates to “white bone” because of the milky color of the water, which is due to the high calcium and magnesium components present. By drinking the water it can cure gastrointestinal problems. While soaking in the cloudy hot spring waters enjoy the beautiful scenery. There is only one public bath in Shirahone Onsen, but the ryokans (Japanese traditional inns) open up their baths to the public during the day for a nominal fee.

The most famous hot spring in Shirahone Onsen is the Awanoyu. It is a gender mixed outdoor bath with lukewarm warm water by hot spring standards. There is a women only outdoor bath and gender separated indoor baths. The bath boasts a history of over 100 years and comes with a legend. It is said that if you were to soak in the bath waters for three days you will be free from catching a cold for three years. Depending on the season and outdoor temperature the color of the bath can change from milky white to cobalt blue.