Aoni Onsen, also known as “Lamp-no-yado,” is a hot spring resort located in a remote area east of Hirosaki in Aomori prefecture, japan. This hidden gem offers a unique and tranquil experience, far away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The resort is famous for its serene atmosphere, stunning natural views, simple yet delicious food, and the fact that it is lit only by lamplight.
To reach Aoni Onsen, visitors must embark on a journey that involves a combination of train and bus travel with multiple changes. The journey begins at the Konan Railway Hirosaki Station, not to be confused with the JR station of the same name. From there, travelers take the train to Kuroishi Station and then the Konan Bus bound for Nurukawa. The final leg of the journey involves taking the Aoni shuttle bus to Aoni Onsen. The entire journey takes approximately two hours.
Upon arriving at Aoni Onsen, visitors will immediately notice the unique ambiance of the resort. The only ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, in the area is appropriately named “Lamp-no-yado” due to the fact that the entire facility, including the hot springs, is lit only by oil lamps. This lack of electricity is a testament to the resort’s remote location and adds to its charm and tranquility. The guest rooms do not have TVs, fridges, or electrical outlets, ensuring that guests are completely disconnected from the outside world. There is no phone service or internet access, allowing visitors to truly escape and unwind.
The resort is surrounded by virgin forest and a mountain stream that flows from the Minami Hakkoda mountain range. The lush greenery and fresh air create a soothing and rejuvenating environment. Aoni Onsen is the perfect place to rediscover the value of doing nothing and simply enjoying the present moment. The meals served at the resort are made with fresh local vegetables, wild mountain vegetables, and seafood, all prepared with mineral-rich spring water. The simplicity and quality of the food further enhance the overall experience of relaxation and understated luxury.
One of the highlights of Aoni Onsen is its hot springs, which are known for their healing properties. There are four baths with differing characteristics. Kenroku-no-yu is an indoor bath with a sunken tub made of hiba wood, a conifer native to Japan known for its antibacterial properties and therapeutic aroma. Takimi-no-yu, also indoor, offers a splendid view of a waterfall. Uchiyu is the newest addition to the baths and also features a hiba wood tub and building. The fourth onsen is an open-air bath, or rotenburo, located in a traditional garden setting. While the three indoor baths are segregated, the outdoor spring is for mixed bathing, with separate one-hour slots reserved exclusively for women.
Aoni Onsen offers a variety of rooms, all designed in the traditional Japanese style. Each room is equipped with futon bedding, zabuton floor cushions, and other traditional touches. The inn can accommodate up to 100 guests at a time, making it surprisingly spacious despite its remote location. While basic amenities such as yukata (Japanese robes), towels, and toothbrushes are provided, there is no shampoo or conditioner, and guests are advised to bring their own. Additionally, there are no outlets for hair dryers, and guests must rely on towel drying.
For those who are not staying at the inn, Aoni Onsen offers the opportunity to use the baths for a small fee. The resort also offers day-trip packages that include lunch, allowing visitors to experience the tranquility and relaxation of the hot springs without staying overnight. However, for those who have the time, it is recommended to stay for two nights to fully immerse themselves in the peaceful atmosphere and take advantage of the uncrowded baths during the day.
Aoni Onsen is truly a hidden treasure in the heart of Aomori prefecture. Its remote location, lack of modern amenities, and serene environment make it the perfect destination for those seeking a true escape from the demands of everyday life. Whether you are looking to disconnect from technology, reconnect with nature, or simply relax and rejuvenate, Aoni Onsen offers an unforgettable experience in a truly unique setting. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this hot spring resort lit only by lamplight and discover the true meaning of tranquility.
Address And Maps Location: