Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings


Ginzan Onsen 銀山温泉


Unwind, relax and step back in time

Founded on the site of a former silver mine in rural Yamagata, Ginzan-onsen Hot Spring caters to discerning guests with a taste for old-world atmosphere.

Traditional inns line the river to create picturesque scenes more evocative of a Taisho Period (1912-26) novel than a modern resort. Its a long way from the fuss of big city life and well worth the trip.

Don't Miss

  • Stroll along Ginzan River and the town’s pedestrianized streets in your yukata
  • Visit Shirogane Park and cool yourself by its waterfalls
  • Stay overnight and dine at one of Ginzan-onsen’s many hot spring inns
  • Take an outdoor rotenburo bath or enjoy a private kashikiri soak

How to Get There

The Ginzan-onsen Hot Spring can be accessed by a combination of JR trains and buses.

From Tokyo, take the JR Yamagata Shinkansen to Oishida Station (three hours, 20 minutes, 12,000 yen), then catch a bus to Ginza-onsen (35 minutes, 710 yen). The train is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, but the bus is not. As buses depart Oishida Station every 60-90 minutes, you may wish to plan your train trip to minimize the wait.

Visitors travelling by car are required to park at a designated parking area outside the town center. Many inns offer a shuttle service into town from the lot.

Get to know the onsen-kyo

Popular among Japanese travelers, the term onsen-kyo is associated with small, quaint towns and cozy inns that offer accommodation, food and hot spring bathing. As weekend retreats, they are popular with all age groups, from young families to retirees. This cherished aspect of travel in Japan often goes unnoticed by foreign visitors, so live like a local and dive into onsen-kyo culture.

Ginzan takes the onsen-kyo experience and turns it up to eleven by having a car-free town center with no a modern buildings in sight.

Having checked into one of the town’s many inns, visitors walk the streets without the usual concern of cars zipping past to beat the traffic light.

In the proud tradition of Japanese inns, Ginzan-onsen’s ryokan offer up sumptuous local dishes to meet the standards of their mostly Japanese clientele.

Such stuff as dreams are made of

Beautiful buildings surrounded by an unspoiled rural setting ensure that Ginzan-onsen is easy on the eyes all year round. Long summer days are perfect for lazy strolls down idyllic streets in a borrowed yukata. In winter, the town really works its magic. The sight of the buildings blanketed in snow and illuminated by the soft glow of gaslights leaves a lasting impression.

Many Japanese visitors come to Ginzan-onsen in search of its Taisho Period ambience. Anyone familiar with Mishima Yukio’s novel 'Spring Snow' will delight at how the setting blends traditional Japanese aesthetics with what was once seen as modern sophistication. The gaslights and absence of motor vehicles help maintain the atmosphere and the taste of local rice wine will seal the deal.

The finer points of hot spring bathing

Rotemburo are outdoor baths-usually hidden from outside view- which allow you to take in the surrounding scenery from the comfort of a hot spring. Another attractive option is arranging a kashikiri session in a private bath, whereby you and one (or more!) traveling companions can have a tub all to yourselves for a short time.

Silver everything

Unsurprisingly for a town founded on a silver mine, Ginzan-onsen takes both its name (literally, Silver Mountain) and iconography from the element. The popular Shirogane Park boasts an impressive 22 meter tall waterfall, and you’ll also find an illuminated cave, once part of the mine itself but now a shallow alcove well suited for snapping pictures.

Old meets new meets old

Ginza-onsen’s one notable concession to modernity is the Fujiya ryokan, a striking building designed by famed architect Kuma Kengo. With a blend of modern and traditional elements, including the incorporation of bare timber and white plaster, it stands out from its surroundings while also keeping one foot firmly in the past.