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Wakura Onsen 和倉温泉

Seaside hot spring resort with rich history and a range of accommodation

Wakura Onsen is an easily accessible hot-spring town near the base of the Noto Peninsula. There are 26 lodging options to choose from, 11 of which are large hot-spring hotels. The others are smaller inns, most with between 20 and 40 rooms. Prices at these accommodations vary from mid-range to high-end, and many of the baths have views of the sea.

People have been bathing at Wakura Onsen for 1,200 years. Legend has it that the hot springs’ undersea source—a rarity in Japan—was discovered when a farmer and his wife noticed a heron trying to repair its injured leg in the warm water. Since then, Wakura Onsen owes some of its popularity to Maeda Toshinaga (1562–1614), the second hereditary lord of the Kaga domain (present-day Ishikawa and its surroundings). In 1611, he ordered water from the hot springs to be delivered to Kanazawa Castle to help relieve his swelling. In 1909, Emperor Taisho (1879–1926) visited Wakura Onsen. The temporary palace constructed for his stay at Seirinji Temple is open to visitors.

The town’s public bathhouse, Soyu, is a large, modern facility that uses only pure hot-spring water. Head to Yuttari Park for a free footbath with views of Nanao Bay or to Bentenzaki Gensen Park for a handbath and a bench heated by hot-spring water. Cook your own shio-ontama, salted eggs boiled in the hot springs, at Yumoto no Hiroba and Bentenzaki Gensen Park. Families enjoy Wakura Onsen Seaside Park, a seaside pool complex, for its lazy rivers and waterslides. Rent a bicycle from the Wakura Onsen Tourism Association to get around the atmospheric town.

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