fbpx
    • Spring
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.

        Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
    • Summer
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
    • Winter
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
    • River and Lake
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kan...

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Abov...

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.

        Solace and Giant Salamand...

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
    • Travel
    • Food and Drinks
    • Races and Events

Episode 9: A Winter Ode to L’eau Chaude

Hot water is good. I love it. But not like that comfortable, homey love affair I have with my slippers. And not like that sneaky, guilty love I feel for hot chips with gravy. I’m talking real slappin’-your-pants hot, hot love. Like my love for Natalie Portman and that funny thing she does with her lip when she smiles. Ah, l’eau chaude, it even sounds better in French.

Hot water has many practical uses as well. You can use it to clear ice off your windshield on a winter morning or sterilize your surgical instruments. Put it in jelly crystals, and it goes hard. It is efficacious and mysterious and, if you take the bidet option on the Japanese toilet, your world will change forever. Hot water is what separates us from other hominids. Turn on the tap, and there it is. It is a testament to our ancestors’ struggle against nature, and we reap the rewards.

But in winter after a day on the slopes, the majesty of hot water is taken to an even higher plane. Stick a room temperature, warm toe in hot water and it feels pleasant. Stick a foot that has been wedged in a ski boot for six hours in sub-zero temperatures, and joy turns to rapture. It is better than that Natalie Portman smile. It is banging on the table, hooting, tooting ecstasy. So, do yourself a favor this winter and reignite your romance with l’eau chaude.

Yutaki Onsen, Nozawa Onsen

  • Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Address: Oaza Ichiyama Aza Kawaoshi 1898 Iiyama-shi, Nagano
  • Cost: ¥400 (adults)
  • Tel: (0269) 65-3454
  • Web: www.yutakionsen.net
  • The Upside: The rotenburo is beautifully designed. The onsen water cascades four feet down a stone wall to the bath through ornate timber work that would be of interest to anyone with an appreciation of traditional carpentry techniques. Watch the river flow slowly by from the rotenburo.
  • The Downside: It is difficult to access without a car.

The Bare Facts

Yutaki Onsen sits beside the Chikuma River, the longest river in Japan. It is a quick 10-minute drive down the hill from Nozawa Onsen and a nice change from the many free onsen in the village.

Yutaki was a popular place during the Edo Period, but the 1849 earthquake in Nagano caused the water to stop flowing in the area. Luckily, it was re-established in 1987 at the current location.

Food: Sasazushi (vegetarian sushi in bamboo leaf) is a specialty of the Iiyama area.

Nearby Attractions: Nozawa Onsen ski area, Togari Onsen ski area and Oku-shinano or “Little Kyoto.”

Access: Take the Joshinetsu Expressway toward Iiyama and then the Toyoda-Iiyama exit, then onto Rt. 117 toward Yutaki Onsen. It’s about 20 minutes by car from Iiyama Station or 10 minutes from Nozawa Onsen.

[novo-map id=2 individual=”yes”]

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories