Urban sprawl in Gero Onsen

Gero (下呂市) is a hot spring town in Gifu prefecture, Japan.


One of Japan's Three Famous Springs (日本三名泉 Nihon Sanmeisen), not to be confused with Japan's Three Great Springs and several other competing variants, The town's hot springs made their first appearance in print in the Engi Era (901-923). The present incarnation is packed full of colossal concrete hotels and bars advertising nude shows.

Get in

By train

Gero Onsen's train station, Gero, is located on the JR Takayama Line.

The easiest method of reaching Gero Onsen is to take a shinkansen bullet train to Nagoya and transfer there to the Wide View Hida limited express train. From Tokyo the run takes about 3 1/2 hours via Nozomi at a cost of ¥13500. The Japan Rail Pass is NOT valid for Nozomi trains; using the Hikari service will take about four hours, including transfer time.

Gero is a 2 1/2 hour ride from Kyoto using the Nozomi to Nagoya (¥8880).

If you take local trains from Nagoya, the ride will take approximately three hours, with transfers required at Gifu and Mino-Ota, at a cost of ¥2210.

If you decide to take all local trains from Tokyo (i.e. while using a Seishun 18 Ticket), you will need to depart Tokyo very early in the morning, or stay over at an intermediate stop, since the ride to Gero will take about nine hours. A 7:00 departure from Tokyo will have you arriving in Gero after 16:00. (Without the Seishun 18 ticket this will cost ¥7670.)

Whatever method you choose, the views of the valley and the Hida River below as you approach Gero station are spectacular.

Get around

Gero Onsen can be covered on foot, although if you have much luggage you'll want a taxi or arrange a pickup with your lodgings the train station lies on the south side of the river, while most hotels are across the long bridge to the north.


There are nice mountain views on the way in to Gero, a few distinctly ordinary temples, and one attraction:


As you'd expect in a hot spring town, the major attraction in Gero is to soak in hot springs. An easy way to sample a number of them is to buy the Yu-meguri Tegata (湯めぐり手形) pass, a wooden amulet sold all over Gero. This will get you into 3 hot springs of your choice from a choice of over 20 for the flat price of ¥1200, which can be used up at your own pace as you'll get a stamp each time you visit.

Gero is also quite popular for sightseeing of seasonal cherry blossoms and fall leave colors due to its mountainous location.


The most popular souvenir from Gero (and the Hida region in general) is the sarubobo, a small hooded red baby monkey.


The tomato bowl is a known favorite in several eating establishments throughout the town.


Gero has a number of high-class inns where you can soak in luxury on a mountainside without ever trudging through town going from bath to bath.


Go next

Routes through Gero

Toyama Hida-Takayama  N  S  Gifu

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, February 24, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.