The Heart of the Mountain
Forty minutes outside Shinjo, hidden away in the mountains of Yamagata, Hijiori Onsen provides a traditional ryokan experience amidst an extraordinary natural landscape. Far from the crowds, you can enjoy legendary hot springs, exceptional farm-fresh Japanese cuisine, and a romantic stay at one of the many family operated ryokan in town.
Of the thousands of hot springs that cover Japan, few feel quite so remote as Hijiori Onsen. Buried in the mountainous hinterlands of Okura-mura, Hijiori Onsen hot spring resort resides in the heart of a volcanic caldera, from which mineral rich waters feed the innumerable bathhouses and onsen ryokan throughout this tiny hamlet.
Known mainly to locals for its legendary and often-thought miraculous healing waters, a rare few travelers outside of Japan ever set foot inside the village. But residents of Hijiori Onsen, all descendants of the original Edo Period village founders, are eager to share this local secret with far-flung visitors willing to make the trip.
Events and Experiences
An annual festival to pay tribute to the original founders of the hot spring water that this town was built upon.
Harvest wasabi from the village around Hijiori and prepare and sample it together with local farmers.
Work with fresh buckwheat from the small farming villages around Hijiori.
With only one bus transfer from the nearest train station serviced by the Yamagata Bullet Train, Hijiori Onsen is surprisingly easy to access despite its isolated location deep in the mountains of Yamagata.
See a full list of access options below.