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Togatta Onsen, a town sitting at the foot of Mt Zao in Miyagi, has long been known as a base for pilgrimages to Mt Zao and for its therapeutic baths. It's about an hour and a half by bus from Sendai, and there's a bus stop conveniently located in the center of town.
Established about 400 years ago, Togatta Onsen has two public bathhouses in the town center. One of them, the popular Kami no Yu, is situated in a charming building right behind the tourist information center. This onsen (hot spring) allows day visitors to take a bath for just 330 yen. The temperature of the source of Togatta Onsen is said to be 70 degrees Celsius. Although the temperature of bath water depends on the hotel, the water in the “scalding” bath, which Kami no Yu provides along with a “lukewarm” one, is very hot, at 44 degrees Celsius. It's a good idea to pour lukewarm water over your body several times to get used to the temperature, and soak in the lukewarm bath first. Legend has it that Togatta Onsen is effective against diseases of the legs.
There is also a free foot bath outside the Kami no Yu building. Hot water comes from the spout at a temperature as high as that of the source, which is dangerous. The best place to sit is on the tourist information center side, which is far enough from the spout for the water to cool to a comfortable temperature. No towels are available at the foot bath, so you'll need to bring your own.
Although the onsen resort area is not very large, there are some eating establishments. Among them is Ban’ya, an izakaya pub about three minutes by foot from the tourist information center recommended for its enjoyable local food and drinks. The pub is popular among locals as well as tourists.
A variety of home-style dishes called obanzai are displayed on the pub’s counter, helping you to know what kinds of dishes they are. All of them look delicious, it's difficult to make a choice!
A fresh oyster collected in Miyagi Prefecture.
Try delicacies such as sea squirts.
Water dropworts are a perennial plant that can be collected from winter to spring. Miyagi Prefecture is the largest producer of the plant in Japan. While they aren't very familiar to the rest of the country, in Miyagi it's no exaggeration to say that water dropworts are now more popular than grilled cow tongue, a famous Sendai favorite. Water dropworts are a very popular item at izakaya.
This hotpot dish contains chicken soup stock and whole water dropworts from root to leaf tips, whose crunchy texture is addictive. This is a must-eat food for visitors to Miyagi.
The pub also offers a variety of local alcohol.
Try comparing some alcoholic beverages, which is something irresistible to drinkers. It's also nice to consult the knowledgeable staff about a suitable drink for your food.
●Access to Togatta Onsen:
[By bus]
About 1 hour by expressway bus bound for Togatta Onsen from Sakurano Mae No. 33 at Sendai station, Tohoku Shinkansen
[By car]
On the Tohoku Expressway: about 25 minutes from Shiroishi IC, and about 20 minutes from Murata IC
photo & text : Megumi Ueda

Facility Information

Togatta Onsen Kami no Yu

Address
32 Togatta Onsen, Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi 989-0916

Togatta Onsen Kotobuki no Yu

Address
Asahi-machi, Togatta Onsen, Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi 989-0914

Ban’ya

Address
2 Kotobuki-machi, Togatta Onsen, Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi 989-0915

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