Tsuru no Yu Onsen

Tsuru no Yu Onsen, Semboku: Address, Phone Number, Tsuru no Yu Onsen Reviews: 4.5/5

Tsuru no Yu Onsen
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164 reviews
Very good

London, UK35 contributions
Dec 2020 • Family
Our first trip to Akita. We have an Akita inu/dog so this trip was special from the word go to us. And it did not disappoint. It was magical. On our visit it snowed non stop and it must have had about 2m snow. The ryokan itself is very rustic. One should be familiar with the onsen etiquette or the visit could become a bit of a struggle as for most onsens. Food was fantastic, a big stew with grilled fish. Rooms were on the basic side but we spent most the time in the hot water anyway.
One must appreciate and love the old, original and rustic to enjoy this stay.
As I said, we loved it and I am hoping to go in spring time sometime.
Thank you for a very special time.
Written January 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore166 contributions
Dec 2019 • Friends
When yuh u search for nyutoonsen, this one is the first to appear. It’s definitely beautiful and breathtaking.

There is a public bath for all (men and women at all times) and women only onsen both outdoor and indoor. The public bath for all is too exposed, curious tourists can walk in and out freely. Although it was breathtaking but it is too open, glad we still managed to onsen in the women onsen.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sunil Setpaul
Singapore, Singapore17 contributions
Jan 2014 • Couples
I'd read bits about Tsurunoyu Onsen on the net and whatever I read about this one was very positive. Infact I'd also read that one needs to make bookings 6 months in advance. But that did not deter me, nor the fact that I do not speak Japanese. So around 10 days before our trip I called them and I did manage to get a booking for 2 days, albeit in a room without a bathroom. This was going to be a surprise for my wife who had been wanting to be experience snow for some years now. So I was obviously happy when I did manage a booking.

We'd purchased a 7 day JR railway pass. I'd recommend that to anybody traveling to Japan and wanting to see places beyond Tokyo. The trip was a 3 hours, extremely comfortable, train travel from Tokyo to Tazawako. We went there mid week which I assume is less crowded. About an hour before reaching Tazawako, the landscape was covered in snow. The sight was jaw dropping beautiful. At Tazawako station, you buy a ticket and take a 40 minute bus ride (bus stop to the right of the station exit) to a stop called Arupa Komakusa. The Onsen sends a shuttle bus to pick you up from there to the onsen which is about a 10 minutes drive away.

The Onsen is a destination by itself. In terms of beauty, winter is the month to go. I'm sure autumn too would good but just the idea of sitting in a warm pool of water surrounded by snow is amazing. The rooms are the typical Japanese type interiors, sparse and zen like. Our room had tatami mats on the floor and quite adequate. We were served dinner in our room which consisted of mountains vegetables, miso soup, rice and so many tiny dishes. Usually its a good idea to go into the spring before dinner. And some people even go after dinner. The springs are open 24/7 and can be accessed anytime by people staying at the onsen. The following morning we woke at 5.30 and wanted to see the day break from the hot springs. One only wears a yukata and a woolen kimono which is warm enough. As we stepped out, fresh snow had fallen through the night and was a sight to behold. We walked to the changing room and undressed. For someone doing it for the first time, its a bit disconcerting. However seeing everyone do it changes things and one just falls into line. You move to the next room where you shower/wash up with a small wash cloth provided by the onsen. One usually uses it to cover the unseeables. Gently I walked through the cold and snow and tip toed into the spring. AAAhhh….what a feeling!! I could have stayed in there all day. But after day break and watching the snow fall on our shoulders, we both got out, dressed and went back to our room. Breakfast was served between 7.00-8.30am. Again it was pretty similar to dinner with fewer dishes.

Normally for about 1500 yen one can but a pass that permits entry into the 6 different onsets in the area. So thats what we did but only managed to visit Taionoyu Onsen. We had lunch there and left by bus to see Tazawako lake. Its the deepest lake in Japan and worth a visit. However with the winter weather well and truly on, it was just too cold and we left quickly.

The best part of Tsurunoyu is location and the milky white hot springs. The part that takes some getting used to is the food. I could best enjoy it once or at best twice. I found it a bit bland for my liking. However they did accommodate our special request because my wife is vegetarian i.e. even no fish. But again the taste is quite bland unlike some other kinds of Japanese food. But the place is a must visit for any lover of nature and someone wanting to experience a Japanese kind accommodation.
Written January 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore1,084 contributions
Oct 2015 • Solo
My Japanese friend highly recommended staying at Tsurunoyu Onsen when visiting Nyuto Onsen but it was fully booked. Nonetheless, I booked one of the other onsens to stay (Ogama Onsen, awful. I wrote it in another review).

I bought the Onsen Hopping Passport which gave me access to all 7 onsens in the Nyuto Onsen region for 1550 yen. Otherwise you had to pay 510 yen per entry. As this was highly recommended, I made Tsurunoyu my first stop, taking the shuttle bus from Ogama Onsen.
Shuttle bus timings are in one of the pictures.
You need to ask the onsen reception to help you make a reservation at least one hour before your bus timing.

Like all the other onsens, not much English was spoken. The lady stamped my Onsen Passport and pointed in the direction of the indoor onsens. As it was a Monday, the outdoor onsens were closed for cleaning.

The onsens were very traditional and this was the first time I've been to an onsen without shower facility. I was observing how a group of old ladies did it. So instead of the usual strip, shower then enter the onsen, they stripped, went to the side of the onsen and used a wooden basin to scoop out the onsen water and poured over themselves, presumably to 'wash' themselves before going into the onsen. It felt really good and the temperature of the water was comfortable.

There were at least 2 indoor onsens and the outdoor onsens that were closed. I heard one of them is a mixed onsen but did not have a chance to try it.

After that I had lunch at the 'restaurant'. You placed the order at the reception and they will bring the food to you at another building. The food was so-so and the grilled fish I ordered was tiny.

Thereafter it was on to Kuroyu Onsen for the next onsen-hopping stop.

Tips for Onsen Hopping
1. Bring your own towel. Otherwise you have to buy one there and it’s kinda tiny for 210 yen.
2. You probably would want to try all the onsens in the establishment and will end up stripping, soaking for less than 10 minutes and then drying yourself, putting back all your clothes on and then moving on to the next onsen 10 steps away next door. It gets tiresome after a while so if the temperature permits, wear lesser articles of clothing (so it’s easier to strip and clothe yourself). Or if you came from your accommodation you can wear the yukata robe they provide.
3. If you have many articles of clothing (I had jeans, sweater, trenchcoat), they are sufficient to cover your handbag or valuables in the changing room basket so I saved on putting my stuff in the locker that cost at least 100 -200 yen. Japan is kinda safe and it wasn’t that crowded when I went. when I went. The other visitors are also Japanese people and no foreigners except myself.
Written October 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brisbane179 contributions
Oct 2012 • Couples
Our first experience with an onset and we choose this one as it had a mixed one, so we could experience it together. Not a lot of English spoken so a bit confusing at first but we got through.
They send a shuttle to pick up and drop off patrons from the bus stop so check with the information people at Tazawako Train Station for the correct times to travel by bus to meet up with the shuttle.
Pay at the last building on the left (up the stairs by the running water keeping the bottles of drink cold) at the end of the path before going over the bridge. Remember to hire a towel if you didn't bring on. Then walk over the bridge, turn right, past the onsen and to the end into the womens changing room. The mens is just before.
Put your clothes into a basket and proceed into next room to soap up and wash down with ladels of water mixed from the hot tub and cold tub. Head out to the first onset which is womens only and either stay there or continue past to the doorframe into the mixed onset. You start to lower yourself into the water behind a huge rock placed for your modesty so you should be covered by the time you get into the main area. You will need to bob down and sort of waddle of bended knees but the water is an opaque blue cover and nothing can be seen.
Water wasnt as hot as i expected but there were bubbles on the surface showing you where the hot spring was entering so you could make your way over to one of them.
Written October 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andrew Grimm
Hornsby, Australia27 contributions
Feb 2012 • Solo
I haven't been to many onsens, but this is the most traditional onsen I've been to so far.

It's in the middle of nowhere (that's not a bug, that's a feature), so you can see the snowy landscape around you while you're in the onsen.

The staff provide a sheet with information in Korean and English on where to get changed, for those who can't distinguish between 女 (female) and 男 (male).

Only regret is not getting there earlier so I could spend more time there.
Written December 29, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chiang Mai, Thailand39 contributions
Dec 2013 • Friends
I visited here in December 2013 with my friend. Snow was all around and it made our trip more wonderful. Although the manager and staff can't speak English and so do my poor Japanese, everything was great !!! I did love the simplified dinner and the way of slow life there. Very silent that you can hear the snow dropped on your head while you were in the onsen.
Written July 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

8 contributions
Jan 2017
My brother and I stayed one night just after new year. I wanted to go there and try the milky onsen, and we were not let down. Tsuru-no-yu is set in a beach forest away from any town and at that time of the year, in the snow. The feature is a shared outdoor bath (konyoku), so it's a nice spot for couples. The milky water and secluded entrance to the bath affords women some privacy.
Written January 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cheryl C
Melbourne, Australia236 contributions
Dec 2018 • Family
Booked Tsurunoyu Onsen through Japanese guest houses months ahead as it was only opened for bookings 6 months in advance. The wait and anxiety to visit this hidden treasure was worth every while. It was well guided by the booking agents how to get here and we had a really good meal at one of the two restaurants opposite the Tazawako station. Took a taxi instead of the bus as it was only 7000+ yen. This place looked much more prettier than the photos on all websites. Even though it is very old, it’s pretty well maintained and clean. We were sent to a waiting room cos we were too early for the 3 pm checkin time. The operators spoke very little English and nothing was in English. The map of the development was totally in Japanese and one could feel pretty lost and hopeless at the start. Before they took us to our room, a quick orientation of the whereabouts on the amenities was helpful yet confusing. Luckily, our room has a toilet and basin area which was a real plus!!! A towel plus small white towel, kimono is provided for the entire stay which they replace daily. Do not bring all yr luggage just a change of clothes will do. The water is milky and silky.... so relaxing. There is one all female only open air Onsen plus the main unisex Onsen. At this time of the year with snow flakes falling from the sky, it’s heavenly!!!! Kaiseki meals are very healthy, interesting and appetising. Lots to eat both at breakfast and dinner but nothing for lunch! It’s definitely a visit to remember and good for family bonding!!!
Written December 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bangkok, Thailand39 contributions
Mar 2016 • Couples
This Onsen is located deep in the mountains of the Tohoku region. and you will appreciate its quiet atmosphere. The spacious outdoor hot spring is surrounded by nature. Enjoy the gorgeous snow view.
I traveled to this onsen on Friday 10/03/2016
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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