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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
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 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
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
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 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

Relaxation

Shirabu 白布エリア

A trekking, skiing and fishing haven with a rustic onsen resort set on a mountain plateau

If you're into mountains, outdoor sports, and the outback, the Shirabu area in Yamagata Prefecture should appeal to you. For skiers and trekkers, Shirabu is a constant draw, and every season has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts in general.

Shirabu Onsen, a hot spring resort with rustic inns perched on an 850-meter plateau, is considered one of the best three in the region.

At Tengendai Kogen, you can take in some culture or go hiking through the wilderness.

Don't Miss

  • Looking for wildlife like monkeys and antelopes
  • Beautiful hikes and Buddhist works of art in Tengendai Kogen
  • Scenic views along Nishi-Azuma's Sky Valley Road

How to Get There

The Shirabu area is accessible by bus from Yonezawa Station.

To get to Shirabu Hot Springs, which is the best jumping-off point for all you can do in the area, take the bus for Shirabu Hot Springs from JR Yonezawa Station on the Yamagata Shinkansen Line. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes.

Natural beauty all year round

The name Shirabu means "white cloth," taken from the vast blanket of snow that covers the valley in winter. Shirabu is considered one of the best three plateau hot spring resorts in Yamagata along with Zao Onsen and Takayu Onsen. Along the Otaru River is a 50-meter high waterfall that looks like drapes of sheer white cloth. If you like fishing, the river is full of mountain trout.

Relaxing in healing, invigorating hot springs

Shirabu is most famous for its hot springs. The area is dotted with traditional Japanese inns with thatched roofs and rustic cottages that bear witness to the area's 700-year history. The inns and onsen are great places for solo travelers, couples, families or groups of friends to relax and unwind at any time during the year.

Views of the valley at Tendengai Kogen

Only a few bus stops away from Shirabu Onsen you'll find Tendengai Kogen. Tendengai Kogen offers some of the best views of the surrounding area. It is part of the Azuma mountain range and offers excellent hiking.

From its lookout points, you can take in a sea of stunning foliage in autumn and a pure white blanket of snow covering the alpine forests in winter.

The hike to the highlands offers a number of things to see along the way such as falls, shrines, and marshes. There is a ropeway that takes you to and from the highlands and the onsen area below. During the winter, Tendengai Kogen is the location of a world-class ski resort halfway up Mt. Nishi-Azuma.

Hiking the Azuma Mountains

Only 50 minutes away by bus from JR Yonezawa Station is the Azuma mountain range, one of the best hiking spots in the area. This popular destination welcomes hikers from early May to late October. Ascend the green coniferous forest to arrive on the 2,000-meter-high peak of Nishi-Azuma. There are equally spectacular views to be seen from neighboring Mount Issaikyo in Higashi-Azuma.

A great outdoor playground

From grass skiing and mountain biking in summer to skiing and snowboarding during the long winter season, the Shirabu area is a playground for outdoor sports enthusiasts.

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