Yamashiro Onsen

Traditional Bathhouses: A Glimpse into the Past


japan is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditions, and one aspect that stands out is the country’s bathing culture. Bathhouses, or onsen in Japanese, have been an integral part of Japanese society for centuries. These traditional bathhouses not only provide relaxation and rejuvenation but also offer a glimpse into Japan’s history and craftsmanship. In this article, we will explore the quaint village of Yamashiro Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture and delve into the history of traditional bathhouses and the renowned Kutani earthenware.

Yamashiro Onsen: A Historical Gem

Located inland from Kaga Onsen Station in Ishikawa Prefecture, Yamashiro Onsen is a charming village that is home to several historical bathhouses. Stepping into this village is like stepping back in time, as the traditional architecture and serene atmosphere transport you to a bygone era. The town center is adorned with beautiful bathhouses that have stood the test of time and continue to attract visitors from near and far.

The Oldest Kutani Kiln in the World

One of the highlights of Yamashiro Onsen is the Ancient Kutani Kiln Exhibition Center. Here, you can witness the ruins of the oldest Kutani bank kiln in the world. Kutani ware is a type of Japanese porcelain that originated in the Kutani region during the Edo period (1603-1868). The Yoshidaya kiln, which operated during the late Meiji era (1868-1912), was instrumental in the production of Kutani ware. At the exhibition center, you can learn about the fascinating history of Kutani ware and even try your hand at creating your own unique piece using an old-fashioned kick wheel.

Immerse Yourself in Bathing Culture

At the heart of Yamashiro Onsen lies the Yunogawa district, where you can find two atmospheric bathhouses: Kosoyu and Yamashiro Soyu. Kosoyu is a faithful reproduction of a Meiji era public bathhouse and is adorned with kutaniyaki tiles. The second floor of Kosoyu features a bright relaxation area, where visitors can unwind and soak in the tranquil ambiance. Yamashiro Soyu, on the other hand, boasts baths made from local stone and also showcases the exquisite kutaniyaki tiles. These bathhouses not only offer a blissful bathing experience but also provide a glimpse into the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into their construction.

Try Your Hand at Pottery

In addition to exploring the history of Kutani ware at the Ancient Kutani Kiln Exhibition Center, visitors can also try their hand at pottery. The center offers workshops where you can learn the art of Kutani ware and create your own masterpiece. Under the guidance of skilled artisans, you can experience the joy of molding clay and witnessing it transform into a beautiful piece of pottery. This hands-on experience allows you to appreciate the intricate techniques and craftsmanship that have been passed down through generations.

Enjoy an Elegant Meal

After indulging in the therapeutic baths and immersing yourself in the world of pottery, it’s time to satisfy your taste buds with the local delicacies. Yamashiro Onsen is home to a plethora of restaurants that serve a range of delectable dishes. Savor the flavors of soba noodles, made from locally sourced ingredients, or indulge in organic produce that showcases the region’s agricultural heritage. To add a touch of elegance to your dining experience, these dishes are often presented on colorful Kutani ware dishes, further highlighting the connection between food and art in Japanese culture.

More Bathhouses to Explore

If you’re looking for further immersion into the world of Japanese bathhouses, the neighboring resort town of Yamanaka Onsen is a must-visit. Just a stone’s throw away from Yamashiro Onsen, Yamanaka Onsen offers a variety of bathhouses where you can relax and unwind. Each bathhouse has its own unique charm and atmosphere, allowing you to experience different aspects of Japanese bathing culture. Whether you choose to stay overnight at one of Yamanaka’s traditional Japanese inns or simply visit for the day, the town promises a rejuvenating and unforgettable experience.


Yamashiro Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture is a destination that beautifully combines history, craftsmanship, and relaxation. The traditional bathhouses, with their intricate designs and soothing baths, offer a glimpse into Japan’s bathing culture and provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Additionally, the Ancient Kutani Kiln Exhibition Center allows visitors to delve into the world of Kutani ware and try their hand at pottery, further enriching their understanding of Japanese craftsmanship. With its rich cultural heritage and tranquil ambiance, Yamashiro Onsen is a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Japan’s traditions.

Address And Maps Location:

3-70 Yamashiro Onsen Hokubu, Kaga-shi, Ishikawa-ken

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