About the charm of Ginzan Onsen with its nostalgic Japanese wooden hot spring town scenery, access from Tokyo and the townscape

About the charm of Ginzan Onsen with its nostalgic Japanese wooden hot spring town scenery, access from Tokyo and the townscape

About Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen is a charming hot spring resort town lined along the river with nostalgic wooden buildings reminiscent of the Taisho era.


Strolling through the hot spring resort during the daytime is enjoyable just to look at the rows of classic wooden buildings and the plaster reliefs on the buildings that look like works of art.


Because Ginzan Onsen is a popular tourist destination, it is very crowded during the daytime with many day-trippers strolling around.


The scenery during the day is good, but the night view of the hot spring resort at night, with its rows of gas lamps, is very wonderful.


The nostalgic night view at night can be enjoyed in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere only by those staying at the inn, as there are almost no tourists.


It is recommended to stay at a hot spring hotel in Ginzan Onsen and enjoy the night view as well.


A video of the view of Ginzan Onsen can be seen here.



Many of the onsen ryokans in Ginzan Onsen have been designated as national tangible cultural properties, and many of the inns' exteriors show signs of the Taisho Era (1912-1926).


It would be nice to enjoy the classic interior of these classic onsen ryokan as well, but unfortunately, you cannot see the interior unless you stay at the ryokan.


Therefore, if you wish to experience the atmosphere of a classic Japanese onsen ryokan, please do some research on the ryokan you wish to stay at.


However, no matter which onsen ryokan you stay at, a walk around Ginzan Onsen will be enough to enjoy the fascinating scenery.








If you stay at Ginzan Onsen, you can change into yukata (light cotton kimono) and stroll around the hot spring resort town from spring to fall.


In winter, it is also wonderful to put on warm clothes and stroll through the snow-covered hot spring resort area.


There are some points to keep in mind when choosing an inn in Ginzan Onsen.


Classic onsen ryokans do not have elevators, so even if they are three stories high, you will have to climb stairs to get to your room.


In addition, wooden ryokans are not soundproof, so you may hear noises from the rooms on the floor above, in the room next door, or in the hallway.


If you stay in a Japanese-style room with tatami mats, you will sleep on a futon, which is very thin compared to a bed, on the tatami.


If you do not like futons laid on the tatami floor, you should choose a ryokan that has beds in the room.


Most ryokans have washrooms and toilets in their rooms, but some do not, and if they do not, you will have to use the public restroom.


In addition, meals at onsen ryokans are generally Japanese, with kaiseki meals for dinner and Japanese-style breakfast.


Please refer to the website of each onsen ryokan for details.


Onsen ryokans have separate men's and women's baths, but if you are not comfortable bathing with others, you can choose a ryokan with private baths.

About Access

There are three ways to get to Ginzan Onsen from Tokyo: by Shinkansen, by plane, or by highway bus.


To get there by Shinkansen, take the Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa from Tokyo Station to Oshida Station.


The ride from Tokyo Station takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes.


Some hotels offer a shuttle service to and from Oshida Station, in which case it is recommended to make a reservation to use the shuttle service.


If no pick-up service is available, you can take the “Hanagasa Bus” to Ginzan Onsen from in front of Oshida Station.


The bus ride will take about 36 minutes.


If you are flying, take a JAL flight from Haneda Airport to Yamagata Airport.


The boarding market value from Haneda to Yamagata Airport will be about 1 hour.


There is a direct bus service from Yamagata Airport to Ginzan Onsen.


The direct bus ride takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.


Also, the Yamagata Airport Kanko Liner, a shared-ride cab service that requires advance reservations, runs from Yamagata Airport to Ginzan Onsen.


If you want to go to Ginzan Onsen at a reasonable price, you can take an express bus, but there is no direct bus service, so you will need to transfer to another bus.


Express buses are available from Tokyo via Yamagata Station or Sendai Station.


From Yamagata Station, take the JR Yamagata Line from Yamagata Station to Oishida Station, and from Oishida Station, take the “Hanagasa Bus” to Ginzan Onsen.


From Tokyo to Yamagata Station, the JR Yamagata Line takes about 6 hours, the JR Yamagata Line takes about 51 minutes, and the local bus from Oishida Station takes about 36 minutes.


From Sendai Station, take an express bus from Sendai Station to Obanazawa Waiting Area, and from Obanazawa Waiting Area, take a “Hanagasa Bus” to Ginzan Onsen.


It takes about 5 hours and 50 minutes from Tokyo to Sendai Station, 1 hour and 46 minutes from Sendai Station to Obanazawa Station by highway bus, and 27 minutes from Obanazawa Station to Ginzan Onsen.


We recommend that you take the Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa to Oshida Station and use the pick-up service of the inn where you will be staying.

Parking for Rental Car

Some people may rent a car to go to Ginzan Onsen. From Tokyo, take the Tohoku Expressway, Yamagata Expressway, and then the Tohoku Chuo Expressway from Yamagata Junction to Obanazawa Interchange to get off the public road to Ginza Onsen.


From Tokyo, the ride will take about 6 hours.


If you are staying at Ginzan Onsen, each inn has its own parking lot, but cars are not allowed in the hot spring resort area, so you will have to park in the parking lot of each inn in front of Ginzan Onsen and walk to the inn.


It is advisable to check the location of the parking lot on each inn's website in advance.


Each ryokan's parking lot is marked only in Japanese.


Only Sengyo-no-Yado Ginzanso and Takimikan, an inn with a waterfall and soba noodles, allow cars to park in front of their inns.

About Ginzan Onsen Town

Ginzan Onsen is not a large hot spring resort, and a stroll through the hot spring resort is only about 200 meters long, so a five-minute walk is sufficient.


Although the image of the hot spring resort of Ginzan Onsen is one of a series of retro wooden inn buildings, in reality the buildings are only densely packed together in the central part of the resort.


Although it is not a very large hot spring resort, the nostalgic scenery and night views of the central area are excellent.


銀山温泉 和楽足湯 (トリップアドバイザー提供)


銀山温泉 和楽足湯 (トリップアドバイザー提供)


銀山温泉 和楽足湯 (トリップアドバイザー提供)


銀山温泉 和楽足湯 (トリップアドバイザー提供)


We visited in summer, but I think Ginzan Onsen with snow in winter is also wonderful.



We visited in summer, but I would like to see Ginzan Onsen in winter with snow on the ground.