Yagen Valley

Ohata River in the valley

The Yagen Valley (薬研渓谷, Yagen-keikoku) is a remote mountain valley in the middle of the Shimokita Peninsula, on the Japanese island of Honshu.

Understand

There are only two tiny settlements in the entire valley: Yagen Onsen (薬研温泉), a tiny hot-spring hamlet, and Oku-Yagen (奥薬研), population zero but featuring some more hot springs.

Get in

There are two paved roads into the valley. The main route from Ohata (15 km away) and Mutsu has one (1) bus per day at 8:40 in the morning, while the shortcut connecting to Mount Osore has none. A dirt trail, navigable by 4x4 in summer, traverses through the valley to the remote west coast.

Get around

Oku-Yagen and Yagen Onsen are just two kilometers apart and connected by a paved road and a forest trail. Most of the time it will be faster to walk than wait for the bus.

See & Do

Oku-Yagen spa

Oku-Yagen has no less than three excellent open-air hot springs, all offering views of the Ohata River rushing through the valley:

Pretty much the only other form of entertainment is hiking. A very picturesque forest trail runs along the side of the river between the two hamlets, partly on the tracks of an old mining railroad. The fall colors in the valley are particularly famous.

Eat, Drink and Buy

The local speciality is wild boar (inoshishi). There are precisely three (3) places to eat, drink or shop in the entire valley:

Most visitors eat and drink at their own lodgings. If you're camping, bring your own supplies.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Yagen Onsen has several midrange minshuku/ryokan, offering a tatami for the night and two meals for ¥8000 plus. Many close for the winter season.

Splurge

There is precisely one larger hotel in Yagen.

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, November 04, 2013. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.