(Photo credit ©石川県観光連盟)
One of the four hot spring towns in the Kaga area, Awazu Onsen is a quaint hot spring town a short distance from Komatsu city. The natural hot spring waters coming from the sacred mountain Hakusan – said to have properties beneficial for the circulatory system, chronic diseases, and the skin – were discovered by the monk Taicho around 1300 years ago when Nata Temple was founded. Awazu Onsen is also said to be the home of the oldest hot spring and longest running company in the world, Hoshi Ryokan, that was founded in 718.
As you meander through the old streets of Awazu, you can enjoy shopping, grabbing a snack at the little French bakery Metissage, and soaking your toes in the free foot bath. You can also swing by the public bath house for a soak (you must bring your own toiletries and towel to public baths) or enjoy a 日帰り(hi-gaeri, day-trip) soak at one of the resorts. A very short distance from the town’s center, you can also check out Yunokuni no Mori and let your inner artist out or visit Nata Temple for a peaceful stroll through the grounds.
Awazu Onsen resorts offering day-trips:
Awazu Onsen resorts with private bath options:
A note on tattoos: Tattoos are still generally forbidden in hot springs in this part of Japan, but if you have small ones that can easily be covered, then you’ll have no problems. Those with large, extravagant tattoos may be refused entry to the hot springs.