Have you ever dreamt of bathing in warm waters amidst a winter wonderland of snow? At Nyuto Hot Springs in Akita Prefecture, a supremely relaxing and beautiful environment awaits you!
This popular hot spring town gained the rather suggestive name of Nyuto (“nipples”) due to their milky white waters and the distinctive shape of Mount Nyuto, at the foot of which it sits.
The springs are surrounded by the spectacular natural splendor of Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Let the beauty of mountains and forests embrace you as you bathe amidst charming rustic architecture, with some buildings preserved from over 300 years ago.
Winter is the season when you can enjoy these famous hot springs to the fullest. Known as Japan’s “snow country”, Akita is famous for its heavy snowfalls, and at Nyuto Hot Springs, you can savor the sensation of soaking in the hot, healing waters of an outdoor spring while feeling snowflakes melt the moment they land on your skin. This unique experience has won the hearts of many, leading Nyuto to be chosen as one of the best hot springs in all of Japan.
After freshening up with a bath, feast on Akita’s specialty cuisine, Kiritanpo hot pot, for a truly delightful dining experience!
The main ingredient of the dish, tanpo (pounded rice) is said to have originated around the mid-Edo period (1603-1868) in the Odate and Hokuroku areas in Akita. During that time, lumberjacks would wrap leftover rice around long sticks, dip them into miso sauce, and grill them with charcoal fire. Later, hunters started to cut up these so-called tanpo into smaller pieces (the name “kiritanpo” means “cut-up tanpo”) and serve them as dumplings in a piping hot chicken broth accented with other seasonal ingredients. The recipe has been passed down to the present day, and it remains one of Akita’s most famous dishes.
At a traditional Akita-style restaurant, you will first be served soup made from an Akita specialty, locally raised Hinai chicken. Vegetables, meat, and kiritanpo will be added to the heavenly soup in front of your eyes forming a savory hot pot that is sure to tantalize your tastebuds and warm your body and soul.
With the divine experience of hot springs in snow and delicious kiritanpo made from with rice freshly harvested in November, winter in Akita is sure to delight one and all.
Address: Surrounding areas of Tazawako, Senboku City, Akita Prefecture
Airport: Akita Airport