AreaNorthern Miyagi

Yubama Onsen Miura Ryokan

湯浜温泉 三浦旅館 | Yubama Onsen Miura Ryokan

A lamplit onsen inn tucked away in the mountains

Photo by Aimi Bell

Photo by Rebecca Gade

Photo by Rebecca Gade

Photo by Rebecca Gade

  • Hidden in a valley at the base of Mount Kurikoma, Yubama Onsen Miura Ryokan is a ten-minute hike from the nearest road, along a trail that eventually winds its way to to the summit of the mountain. With no electricity or cell phone signal, the inn provides guests an escape from the modern world. A generator provides electricity for the inn’s needs in the morning and evening, but at night there’s only the stars, the moon, and the glow of kerosene lanterns.

Rebecca Gade

Miura Osamu is the fourth-generation owner of the inn. He runs it with the help of his wife and son. Descendants of matagi bear hunters, they are happy to share their knowledge of the mountain delicacies they serve here. Meals include river fish like char and several varieties of wild mushrooms. The menu changes with the seasons. Mushroom season is in autumn here, so those who dislike mushrooms can come in spring instead, when fresh sansai, wild mountain vegetables, are abundant. For a true bear-hunter experience, they also offer a special Matagi Course, for which they’ll prepare a meal of wild bear meat. Their dinners pair well with sake, and their selection features brews sold only in the Kurihara area. From mushrooms foraged in the surrounding woods, to sake brewed with rice dried using the traditional bokake method (棒掛自然乾燥), you can savor many flavors of the natural world here.

 

Rebecca Gade

The inn itself features two indoor, gender-separated baths available for use by guests and day-trippers. The alkaline, slightly sulfuric waters here remove dead skin and oils with a gentle exfoliating effect, so you’ll emerge with smooth skin and a fresh glow. Overnight guests can enjoy the baths at all hours, soaking by lamplight or bathing, literally, in a morning sunbeam. Along the hike to the inn, there’s also a rotemburo open-air bath by the river. It’s perfect for a rejuvenating soak after a day of hiking. For guests who want a little of the onsen to take home with them, the inn also makes bar soap from the sulfuric onsen waters.

After blowing out your lamp for the night, everything goes dark. It’s a time for whispered conversations as you drift off to the sound of a distant waterfall. In the morning you awaken, not to new messages on your phone, but to the chirping of birds or the bell of a passing hiker. Outside the window lies the serenity of a mountain view changing with the seasons—wildflowers in spring, rich green in summer, an explosion of reds and golds in fall.

Aimi Bell

The source spring for the onsen has stopped twice: once in 2008 from the Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake, and again in 2011 from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The number of guests dwindled after the reopening, but that has not caused the family’s determination to waver. “We’d especially like for more tourists from other countries to visit,” Miura says, after commenting that we were likely the first visitors from our respective countries.

 

Rebecca Gade

  • Last Update
    March 17, 2020

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  • The onsen is difficult to access without a car, and even then the hike from the parking lot to the inn could be unfeasible in unfavorable weather or in the dark. As such, it is highly recommended that guests abide by the inn's check-in times. But for those who make the effort to come all the way out to Miura Ryokan, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into your own secret world that blends traditional mountain life with excellent hospitality. So forget the worries of modern life by losing yourself in the middle of nature and enjoying the evening by lamplight.

    WEBSITEhttp://yubama.info/

  • Northern Miyagi

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Details

ADDRESS

Honsawa-dakezan 1-11, Hanayama, Kurihara-shi, Miyagi-ken 987-2511

ADMISSION

Day-trip baths: ¥500

CREDIT CARDS

Not accepted

LANGUAGES

Japanese only

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE

No

HOURS

Day-trip baths: 8:00–19:00

RESERVATION

Required

CLOSED DAYS

Winter season (late November–late April)

PHONE

090-8925-0204 (satellite phone)

TATTOO POLICY

Tattoos OK (no restrictions)

Accommodation Details

ROOMS

6 Japanese-style

ONSEN

Yes

Food & Drink Details

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN

Meat- and seafood-free meals available upon request, but broths and sauces may still contain meat or fish ingredients

HALAL

No

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE MENU

No

NON-SMOKING

No

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