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Kawarage Jigoku
Not to be confused with Yuzawa Town, Niigata (Echigo-Yuzawa), a famous ski resort.

Yuzawa (湯沢市; yuzawa-shi) is a city at the southeastern corner of Akita Prefecture, along the border with Yamagata and Miyagi. It is southeast of Yurihonjo and south of Yokote.



Tourist information site


The local tourist association has a Japanese-only guide site.

Get in


Yuzawa is accessible by train. The main station is Yuzawa Station (湯沢駅). By car, Yuzawa is located on Highway 13, which goes to Yokote and Daisen in the north, and Yamagata in the south. The expressway is free between Yuzawa and Yamagata — however, Yokote is not free.

Get around


Most of the city's attractions are located far away from any stations, so walking is not recommended. There is a bus that runs to Oyasu Gorge from Yuzawa Station, passing Inaniwa Castle.

In order to help tourists who come by train to visit the city's sites, the Komachi Shuttle is a sightseeing taxi service that offers a variety of different travel packages to sights around the city. They have 4 hour and 8 hour taxi tours. Reservations are required. You can reserve one of the shuttle taxi tours on their website.


  • 1 Kawarage Jigoku (川原毛地獄). Closed in winter (Nov to early May). Named as one of Japan's "hells" (jigoku) for its stark-white volcanic rocks and sulfide gases seeping from vents in the rocks, it was a place of ascetic worship long ago. Sanzensoji Temple was built here to worship, and like many places of ancient mountain worship, women were forbidden. Later it became a sulfur mine. Today there are walkways that allow visitors to explore the hell safely. The main walkway leads to the Jizo statue and Oyutaki Waterfall.
  • 2 Oyasu Gorge (小安峡). A scenic gorge with a walking path that winds past 98 degree hot spring waters emitting steam. There is a red bridge overlooking offering a view from above. It's particularly popular in the fall when the autumn foliage is in full effect.
  • 3 Akinomiya Museum (秋乃宮博物館), 字湯ノ岱106 (when coming from the NW, look for a large blue shrine where Route 108 curves left; the small side road branches off to the right in dangerous fashion; follow the side road down the hill, turn right and then left at the only intersections, and park outside the large archway), +81 183 56-2608. 09:00-17:00. This fascinating museum is essentially a collection of historical objects. There are few explanations of what you're seeing, but most of it is rather obvious -- old records, comic books, toys, TVs, pachinko machines, etc. The museum building is an old house, and the owner often serves tea and snacks at no extra charge. There is bath in the basement, right next to the river, which also may be used at no extra charge. ¥500.
  • 4 Inaniwa Castle (稲庭城). A castle ruled by the Onodera Clan until the area was overtaken by the Mogami Clan. The castle has exhibits about the local history and culture.Unique among Japanese castles, you can ride a slopecar to reach the castle. Alternatively there is a walking path.


Takanoyu Onsen
Kawarage Ōyutaki
  • 1 Takanoyu Onsen (鷹の湯温泉), Akinomiya, Denjō 1 (on Highway 108 in Akinomiya, roughly 3 km SE of the Akinomiya Post Office), +81 183 56-2141. 11:00-15:00, last entry 14:00. This onsen, which is particularly pretty in the autumn, is located near a beautiful gorge and a man-made waterfall. There are indoor and outdoor baths for each gender, and a mixed bath (混浴, konyoku) near the gorge and waterfall.
  • 2 Kawarage Oyutaki Falls (川原毛大湯滝) (from Highway 13 in southern Yuzawa City, take Highway 51 SE; after perhaps 3 km, turn right and continue on Highway 51; after perhaps 7 km, turn right onto the narrow Highway 310 and follow the signs). Road closed in winter. This natural outdoor hot spring is a short walk from the road parking lot and Jizo Statue below Kawarage Jigoku. Bring a swimsuit. Free.
  • 3 Kurikoma San Sō (栗駒山荘), 東成瀬村椿川字仁郷山国有林 (Located in Higashinaruse.), +81 182 47-5111, fax: +81 182 47-5300. This hotel and onsen has a wonderful view of Mt. Chokai.


  • 1 Caffe Gita, Aikawa, Nakayama 26 (in southern Yuzawa City, go east from Sukawa Elementary School, cross the train tracks and expressway, and follow signs up the hill), +81 183 79-3260. 10:00-18:00. This shop has a good selection of coffee, by the bean or by the cup. They also have a small cake selection.
  • 2 Nakano Shoten (中野商店), Ōmachi 2 Chōme 1-1 (at the intersection of Highway 277 and San Road, the road to Yuzawa Station), +81 183 78-1136. This is a general store with various kitchen, gardening, and household goods, but it also has a large tobacco selection, including cigarettes, fancy lighters, pipes, and imported cigars in a humidor. There is a small smoking area, as well.


  • 1 Daigen (大元), Zaimoku 1, Chōme 3-46 (from Gusto on Highway 13, go a block east; the shop is on the south side of the road before the drainage ditch), +81 183 73-9737. F-Tu 11:30-17:00. The best miso ramen in Yuzawa. There's only counter seating, and the decor is eclectic. A side of chili paste is available on request, as is kimuchi. ¥500-900.
  • 2 Ramen Pleco (ラーメンプレコ), Aikawa, Kaidōhigashi 1-5 (on the east side of Highway 13, about 1 km north of Sukawa Elementary School), +81 183 79-3456. Tu W F Sa Su 11:00-15:00, 17:00-20:45PM; Th 11:00-15:00. A small shop with a wide selection of ramen. This shop stays open later than most other ramen shops in southern Yuzawa, making it a convenient stop. ¥500-1000.
  • 3 Kikuchi Ryokan (菊地旅館), Kami-Innai, Kozawa 112-10 (on Highway 13, directly behind Innai Station in southern Yuzawa City), +81 183 52-2329. This restaurant serves Japanese food in large portions, and often serves local mountain vegetables (sansai). It is part of a ryokan. ¥500-1,500.


  • 1 Beer Bar Rosso Corsa (ロッソコルサ), Omotemachi 2 Chōme 1-23 (in front of Yuzawa Station across from Marvi), +81 183 72-3661. Closed Sundays, unless the following Monday is a national holiday. This bar has a wide selection of beers from Japan and abroad, including Belgian Trappist brews. Obscure beers are more expensive, with prices varying depending on the master's mood.
  • 2 Kushigoro (串ごろう), Omotemachi 4 Chōme 1-1 (on Highway 13, a traffic light north from Yuzawa Station), +81 183 72-2288. A small jazz bar with great music.
  • 3 Pocket Bar (ポケット), Omotemachi 2 Chōme 1-23 (in front of Yuzawa Station), +81 183 73-0200. This bar has a great scotch selection. Some of their more obscure (expensive) scotch is not listed on the menu — ask a waiter.



Some travelers sleep in their cars, which is typically not a problem. However, if you drink in the evening and sleep in your car, it is a good to use a personal breathalyzer before driving the next morning — even a small amount of alcohol in your system makes driving illegal, and the police are known to watch for this.

  • 1 Kikuchi Ryokan (菊地旅館), Kozawa 112-10, Kami-Innai (on Highway 13 directly behind Innai Station in southern Yuzawa City), +81 183 52-2329. Check-in: 15:00. This ryokan has rooms for sleeping and a restaurant for meals. It's on the highway and by the train station, which may be convenient for people on the move. ¥5250 without meals; discounts for groups.
  • 2 Akinomiya Sanso (秋ノ宮山荘), Denjō 1-1, Akinomiya (on the north side of Highway 108 in central Akinomiya), +81 183 56-2400. This is a ryokan and onsen complex. It's quite large and can be reserved for private parties, though individuals are welcome, as well.



Go next


Routes through Yuzawa
AkitaOmagari  N  S  ShinjoYamagata
AkitaYokote  N  E  ShinjoYamagata
YurihonjoUgo  W  E  → Onagawa → Ishinomaki

This city travel guide to Yuzawa is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.