Yamashiro Onsen 山代温泉
Majestic onsen village with high-end ryokan and a historic public bath
Yamashiro Onsen is a traditional hot-spring resort town nestled in the foothills of Mt. Hakusan. It is one of the four hot-spring towns of the Kaga Onsen area. First discovered over 1,300 years ago, Yamashiro Onsen gradually grew into a hot-spring village around the Ko-Soyu public bathhouse in the center of town. Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of old Japan through a stay in a ryokan inn and a soak in Soyu (“public bath”) or Ko-Soyu (“old public bath”).
The Soyu bathhouse offers all the trimmings of a modern hot spring, including several baths. The Ko-Soyu bathhouse, however, recreates the architecture and bathhouse culture of hundreds of years ago. It has one bath each for men and women, decorated with local Kutani porcelain tile. There are no showers, so bathers must pour bathwater on themselves to get clean before taking a dip.
Yamashiro Onsen is home to several lavish hotels and ryokan inns as well as a few choices at more diverse price points. Most offer day-bathing options to visitors who are not staying at the hotel. The location of the town makes it a great base from which to explore the surrounding Kaga region.