Atami Onsen

Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu loved this hot spring resort’s waters so much he took them back to Edo Castle

The town of Atami, located in the Shizuoka Prefecture of japan, has been a popular destination for hot spring enthusiasts for centuries. The healing properties of the town’s natural hot springs have attracted visitors from all walks of life, including the powerful Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

During the Nara period (710–794), bathers were already being drawn to the waters of Atami for their therapeutic benefits. However, it was the love and admiration of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu that truly put Atami on the map as a renowned hot spring resort.

Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who reigned from 1543 to 1616, was so enamored with the healing properties of the hot springs in Atami that he decided to recreate them back in Edo (now Tokyo). He brought the waters of Atami back to Edo Castle, where he could enjoy their rejuvenating effects whenever he desired.

The waters of Atami have long been known for their high salt content and high temperature, making them particularly effective in treating conditions such as neuralgia and excessive sensitivity to cold. In addition, the hot springs have been said to tighten the skin and tone the body, making them a favorite destination for those seeking not only relaxation but also beauty treatments.

Atami is not just a place for historical figures like Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu to enjoy. It has also become a popular destination for the rich and famous of the modern era. The town boasts a variety of onsen, or hot spring baths, each with its own unique features and offerings.

One of the must-try experiences in Atami is to visit both the open-air and indoor baths. The open-air baths allow visitors to soak in the hot springs while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty, while the indoor baths offer a more private and secluded experience.

In addition to the hot springs, Atami is also known for its fresh seafood. As a fishing town, Atami offers an abundance of delicious seafood options, ranging from sushi and sashimi to grilled fish and seafood hot pots. Visitors to Atami should not miss the opportunity to indulge in the local culinary delights.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to Atami Castle is highly recommended. The castle offers stunning views of the town and the Pacific Ocean, providing a glimpse into the rich history of the region. The castle grounds also house a museum that showcases various artifacts and exhibits related to the history of Atami and its surrounding areas.

Getting to Atami is relatively easy. The town is accessible by the Tokaido Shinkansen, as well as the Tokaido and Ito lines. Additionally, there are many buses that go to Atami Station, making it convenient for travelers coming from Tokyo and other nearby cities.

From Tokyo, there are several transportation options available. The fastest way to reach Atami is by taking the Kodama Tokaido Shinkansen, which takes approximately 50 minutes. Alternatively, travelers can opt for the limited express Odoriko train, regular Tokaido trains, or the bus. While the highway bus is a more affordable option, it takes around two and a half to three hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Once in Atami, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained. In addition to exploring the various onsen and indulging in the local cuisine, visitors can also take a stroll along the Atami waterfront and enjoy the romantic evening views.

For those with a sweet tooth, Atami offers a unique treat known as onsen manju. These sweet dumplings are a popular souvenir item and are made with a core ingredient of sweet bean paste. There are many variations to choose from, including flavors such as bitter orange peel, barley flour, Japanese yams, brown sugar, tea, and even perilla leaves.

After a relaxing soak in the hot springs and a satisfying meal, visitors can explore the other attractions that Atami has to offer. Atami Castle, mentioned earlier, is a must-visit for its panoramic views and historical significance. Another notable attraction is the MOA Museum of Art, which houses a collection of magnificent works of art and offers breathtaking views of the ocean from its hill-top location.

Nature enthusiasts will also enjoy a visit to the Acao Forest, which features 12 themed gardens and a DIY workshop where visitors can make flower-themed items. The forest provides a tranquil and serene environment, perfect for those looking to reconnect with nature.

In conclusion, Atami is a hot spring resort town that has been attracting visitors for centuries. From its historical significance as a favorite destination of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu to its modern-day appeal as a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation, Atami offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers. Whether it’s soaking in the healing waters of the hot springs, indulging in delicious seafood, exploring the rich history and culture, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the town, Atami has something to offer for everyone. So, why not plan your next getaway to Atami and immerse yourself in the wonders of this charming hot spring resort town?

Address And Maps Location:

11 Taharahon-cho, Atami-shi, Shizuoka-ken

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