Kinugawa Onsen Area
Located along the forested banks of Kinugawa River, Kinugawa Onsen is around 20km from the World Heritage shrine and temple complex of Nikko. The surrounding area is beautiful with the river offering some truly beautiful scenery as it forges its way through the forested landscape and rugged gorges. River cruises are available from April to mid-November, a great way to enjoy the river and especially during autumn.
Visitors to Kinugawa have plenty of accommodation to choose from ranging for large hot spring hotels to small, family-run guesthouses. There’s a variety of mid-range to budget options dotted throughout the town with a couple of high-end hotels including Hoshino Resort KAI Kinugawa. Recent years have seen the town commit to a revitalisation program after many large hotels have failed – a common trend in hot spring towns across Japan since the 1990s onward – including development of walking trails, parks and outdoor footbaths.
Local attractions including the popular Edo Wonderland theme park speak to the reliance of large-scale tourism venues that continues to be seen in the town, however the signs are positive that it’s on track to develop activities and overall atmosphere more-suited to the beautiful landscape in which it sits. For tips and suggestions of what’s on offer in the wider region, see our ’20 Things to Do Around Nikko & Where to Stay’ page.