Ryujin Onsen | Beautifying Hot Spring 龍神温泉
Ryujin Onsen is a hidden, historical hot spring settlement situated in the mountainous heart of the Kii-hanto Peninsula along the upper reaches of the Hidaka-gawa River, famous for its beautifying mineral waters.
It is located at the southern entrance of the Ryujin-Koya Skyline highway that links Koyasan and the Kumano area and is a perfect place to stop and relax between these two sacred sites. The Skyline offers wonderful panoramic views of the forested peaks, layer upon layer into the horizon.
Beautifying Hot Spring
Ryujin's high quality hot spring waters are clear with a high quantity of sodium bicarbonate and is considered to be the best in Japan.
The smooth and silky waters are well known for making skin beautiful and is one of Japan's three famous Bijin-no-yu or "Beautiful Women Hot Spring".
In ancient times, Ryujin Onsen was discovered by Ennogyoja, the founder of Shugendo, a shamanistic religion of mixed originals focused on mountain worship.
Legend has it that Kobo Daishi, who founded the Shingon esoteric sect of Buddhism and Koyasan, had a divine revelation in his dream from the god of the sea, Nada-ryu-o, which lead him the spot.
In the Edo era, it was used as a resort area for the Tokugawa ruling family of the Kii-shu domain, their castle being in Wakayama City. At present there are still Japanese inns with names such as "Kamigoten" (Royal Palace), and "Shimogoten" (Lower Lodgings), reminding us of the old Japanese feudal system.
Ryujin Onsen has a diversity of accommodations, from small guesthouses, hotel like facilities and history inns. Staying in one of these off-the-beaten-track lodgings is a fun way to experience this natural, rural area of Japan.
Ryujin Onsen accommodations >>
Ryujin Onsen is located in the mountainous heart of the Kii Peninsula
Buses run from Tanabe to Koyasan from April 1st to November 30th.
● ~ 2 hours by bus from Koyasan (bus timetable 7)
● ~ 1.5 hours by bus from Kii-Tanabe (bus timetable 7)
More bus timetables >>
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