Source: @0lovepeacecrew0

Spirited Away In Winter: A Japanese Hot Spring Town That Feels Frozen In A Bygone Era

Many of Japan's more traditional travel spots gain an extra level of beauty when coated under a blanket of snow, as some recent breathtaking scenes in the-always-gorgeous Kyoto will show. Perhaps one of the most natural fits for the aesthetic of a Winter wonderland is one of Japan's most iconic hot springs. Recent photographs of Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture by Japanese Twitter user and photographer @0lovepeacecrew0(Yuta.H) are showing us that a visit to this onsen in the snow is just like a trip back in time.

Ginzan Onsen (銀山温泉, Silver Mountain Hot Spring) is a fairly isolated hot spring town located in the mountains of Japan's northern Yamagata Prefecture. With a history of roughly 400 years and named after an accidental discovery by silver miners, the hot spring town provides not only a multitude of healing baths, but also majestic scenery, particularly in the Winter. Better yet, the pedestrian-only nature of the town prevents it from feeling like a total tourist magnet, even when booming in popularity.

As can be seen in Yuta.H's photographs, snowfall clings to the rooftops of traditional style ryokan (Japanese inn) buildings, some built in Japan's Taisho era, as well as the river banks which are lit only by gaslamps and the stars above. Many who have seen these pictures comment that they are feeling nostalgic pangs for a long-gone era, and some that have actually visited claim its as if being spirited away into another world.

A variety of public bathhouses, some of which are open even to non-staying guests, are sure to warm up Winter visitors with therapeutic and stress-relieving waters. Although the opportunity to stay the night at ryokan in a town that feels secluded in a time capsule from early Japan may be too enticing to pass up.

While many will note that Yubaba’s hot spring ryokan in Spirited Away are said to be inspired by the Dogo Onsen Honkan in Matsuyama and Sekizenkan Ryokan in Gunma, there is a mysterious and fantastical quality to the town that serves as a preservation of Japan's early cultural charm, and an opportunity to be taken away to an entirely different world.

While the area's tranquil beauty isn't limited by the seasons by any means, those who hope to bundle away in the Winter can find travel and access routes here, and find lodging options here.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.

Source:
@0lovepeacecrew0 / Yamagata Kanko / Japanese Guesthouses
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