There are many hot springs in the area spanning across prefectures and I hope you have the chance to experience them all, but for the article I’d like to focus on the different ways to experience the special water in the Sukawa area of southern Iwate. The hot springs at Sukawa well up huge amounts of water – 6000L every minute!

Sukawa Onsen

There are two lodgings at Sukawa Onsen; one being the Sukawa Kogen Onsen Hotel (Iwate’s border) and the other, Kurikoma Sanso (Akita’s border). You may utilize their hot springs even if you aren’t staying at the lodgings. Both hot springs have incredible views and share unique water properties.

Sukawa Onsen has been popular since the Edo times, and attracted many for their therapeutic properties. Fishermen would come to heal their tired bodies from months at sea, the sick would come in hopes to cure themselves – many would stay for months to access the hot springs every day. Sukawa Onsen is known to aid with skin diseases, blood circulation, gastrointestinal diseases and gynecological diseases.

Although the most common types of hot springs in Japan are neutral (pH 6 to 7.5) to weak alkaline (pH 7.5 to 8.5), Sukawa Onsen is highly acidic with a pH of 2.2 and contains iron(II), sulfur-sodium and calcium chloride. The hot spring is antibacterial therefore helps with variety of skin problems including eczema. The chloride in the spring allows the body to sweat but still retain heat. Sulfuric acid stimulate the process that oxygenates the blood. Calcium calms the body. The temperature is on the hotter side, and you may experience a slight tingling of the skin due to the acidity (although it’s a bath, it smells like egg…so don’t expect to come out smelling rosy).

Vibrant foliage during spring and summer – you may be able to see some wildflowers

From the hot spring, you can see Dainichiiwa, a prominent rock formation. In autumn, the rock is decorated with spectacular red, yellow and green foliage – a beautiful contrast with the bright blue of the hot spring.

What to bring

– Two towels (one to wash yourself and one to dry yourself)

– Cash for the entrance fee

*make sure to take off any jewelry

Sukawa Kougen Onsen has basic amenities such as a shower, shampoo/hair conditioner and hair dryers.

(General hot spring rules: shower before entering the bath. You may bring a towel into the general showering area to cover yourself and wash yourself, but you must bathe naked – don’t bring the towel into the bath with you. You can either fold and put the towel on your head or leave it on the edge of the bath)

Sukawa Onsen Map

足湯 (Foot bath, or “ashiyu”)

If you don’t feel like hopping into the hot spring, how about dipping your feet in some hot Sukawa water (~50℃)! As it’s at the foot of Mount Kurikoma, Sukawa Course hiking trail, I like to save this part for when I finish the hike – give your feet a good wash and feel your toxins melt away.

ふかし湯 (Steam hot spring, or “fukashiyu”)

If you head a little up the mountain trail, you will find a steam bath called ‘oiranburo’. There are three rooms with steam blowing out of a hole.

You’ll need to get yourself a ‘goza’ (like a tatami sheet) at Sukawa Kogen Onsen to spread over the steam hole. Bring a towel to cover yourself (you can wear clothes, just underwear or go nude), it also helps trap the steam. Lay down on the goza and have the steam hole blowing out under your back.

The recommended time is around 20mins and make sure to have water at hand.   *This space is utilized by both men and women.

ブナの恵み (Bunanomegumi Spring Water)

After your healthy, relaxing time at the hot springs, why not make the most of the water in the area and head down to this beautiful little stop to get pure, crystal clear spring water with a pH of 7. ‘Bunanomegumi’ water is recognized as one of Japan’s 100 selected water spots. Its most fascinating and rarest quality is that there is 0.00 general bacteria (一般細菌, ippan baikin) in the water.

You are able to fill up your water bottles and tanks here. Ours is 20L, we use it as our drinking and cooking water at home.

Lastly, when planning your trip to the Sukawa Kogen Onsen area, be sure to keep in mind that the road up closes during late November to late May!





江戸時代から人気があり、治癒効果があるということで有名な温泉です。漁師が数ヶ月の労働などで疲れた体を癒すために来たり、持病がある方は 治療するために訪れたりもします。 湯治のために長く滞在する人も多くいます。 須川温泉は皮膚、胃腸疾患、婦人病などに効果的と知られています。

日本で最も多い温泉は中性(PH 6-7.5)から弱アルカリ(pH 7.5〜8.5)ですが、須川温泉はpH2.2と強酸性の硫酸塩泉で、含鉄(Ⅱ)・硫黄-ナトリウム・カルシウム-塩化物・ (硫化水素型)が含まれています。温泉は抗菌性があり、湿疹などのさまざまな肌の問題に効果があるそうです。塩化物は汗を流しますが、熱を保温します。硫酸は血液を酸素化するプロセスを刺激します。カルシウムは体を落ち着かせる効果があります。温度はやや熱く、酸性のため皮膚が敏感な方は少しぴりぴり感じるかもしれません。

タオル×2(洗身用、清拭用) 入場料 *強酸性泉のためジュエリーは必ず外してください。

シャワーがあります。 シャンプー、コンディショナー、ヘアドライヤーなどの基本的なアメニティも備わっています。 (一般的な温泉規則:入浴前にシャワーを浴びてください。 温泉の中にタオルを持ち込まないでください。 タオルは頭の上や、お風呂の端に置いてください。)

温泉からは、特徴的な大日岩を見ることができます。 秋には、岩は鮮やかな赤色、黄色、緑色の葉で飾られています。 春や夏は鮮やかな緑や花を見ることができます。

温泉に入る時間が無い方は、温泉水(~50℃)に足を浸すのはいかがですか? 栗駒山の須川コースのふもとに足湯が設置してあり、ハイキング後の楽しみの一つです。

登山道を少し行くと、「おいらん風呂」と呼ばれるものがあります。穴から蒸気が噴出する3つの部屋があります。 湯気の穴の上に広げる「ござ」が必要ですが、それは須川高原温泉で購入できます。 体をカバーするためにタオルを持参してください(服装は自由です)。 ゴザの上に横になって、湯気を背中あたりに当てます。お勧めの時間は約20分です。手元に飲み水があるといいですね。 *このスペースは男女で利用されています。

温泉でリラックスした後に、PH7の澄んだ湧き水をお勧めします。「ぶなの恵み」は平成の名水百選の1つであります。その最も魅力的で珍しい特徴は、水中に一般細菌が0という事です。 ペットボトル等に入れて持って帰ることができます。私たちは20Lのポリタンクをいっぱいにして、自宅の飲料水と調理用の水として使用しています。