The high altitude and clear air make you feel close to the sky in this small onsen town. Arriving by bus from Shimoichiguchi Station, Dorogawa Onsen is the last stop, and you only have to cross the red bridge behind the tiny bus station to reach the middle of town. The two main streets that flank each side of the river are lined with traditional shops and ryokan, many managed by the same family for 400 years or more. Even at the height of summer, this mountain town is calm and cool, making it a popular local escape.
The alkaline hot spring water comes from sacred Mt. Omine, which draws hundreds of Shugendo pilgrims in white robes to start their journey up the mountain here every August. The streets are strung with paper lanterns, lending the town a romantic, old time atmosphere after dark, when the stars seem impossibly bright. The many red bridges traversing the river make ideal photo spots. Stay at a local ryokan, enjoy a relaxing bath, then stroll the neighbourhood in a cotton yukata for an authentic spa town experience. From Dorogawa Onsen, you can hike down to Mitarai Valley and the village of Tenkawa, or try the challenging Shugendo paths of Mt Omine (open to men only). Don’t miss Ryusenji Temple right in town, and the Goyomatsu Limestone Caves.
- Venue Details & Access Info
Dorogawa, Tenkawa, Yoshino
From Kintetsu Shimoichiguchi Station:
- Take the bus bound for Dorogawa Onsen and alight at the last stop (Dorogawa Onsen).
- 洞川温泉 Dorogawa Onsen Townscape
- address 吉野郡天川村洞川 Dorogawa, Tenkawa, Yoshino