Oku-Hida Onsen Villages

Hot springs in the Oku-Hida Onsen Villages

The Oku-Hida Onsen Villages (奥飛騨温泉郷 Oku-Hida Onsengō, ) are a group of 5 remote hot spring (Jp. onsen) villages, nestled deep in the Japan Alps of Gifu prefecture.

From north to south, the five villages are Shin-Hotaka (新穂高), Tochio (栃尾), Shin-Hirayu (新平湯), Fukuchi (福地) and Hirayu (平湯).

Get in

The easiest option is a direct bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo (4.5h, ¥5700). Alternatively, take a train to the nearest stations Matsumoto (if coming from the east) or Hida-Takayama (if coming from the west), then hop on a bus for the final leg (1.5h and ¥2300-2800 from Matsumoto, 50 min from Takayama).

Get around

Infrequent bus services connect the villages, but to free yourself from limited bus schedules, this is one of those few places in Japan where renting a car may be a good option. Note that the mountain roads, while often scenic, are slow, twisty and tiring to drive, and are not a good place to learn to drive on the left.

See

Do

View towards the Northern Japan Alps, near Shin-Hotaka

Being located in the heart of the northern Japan Alps, there are copious opportunities for hiking in the area, but do your research beforehand as many of the mountains are quite tough and the climbing season is very short many peaks will still be covered in snow in June. A popular, if fairly challenging, three-day course is to scale all three peaks listed below in a row, crossing over from Oku-Hida to Kamikochi (or vice versa).

Eat

The Hida region is well known for its fatty, well marbled beef and you are practically guaranteed to get a taste of it at dinner. Prices tend to be fairly stratospheric though.

Sleep

There are plentiful accommodation options in the villages, but most of it is distinctly high-end. Pretty much the only budget option is camping... but, then again, if you're going to splurge one on your Japan trip this is quite possibly the best place to do it. Unless otherwise noted, all prices listed below are per person with two meals included.

Budget

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.