Kaga Onsen is a the name given to an area comprising four small hot spring towns about an hour south of Kanazawa. These hot springs have been popular onsen destinations since their discovery over 1300 years ago and are and remain popular onsen towns to this day.
One notable aspect of Kaga Onsen’s hot spring towns are their public bath houses, which are found in the centre of each town. In days gone by, when not every ryokan had its own baths, guests would visit these bath houses instead and these communal baths remain popular among visitors and residents alike, and can give a unique, local bathing experience.
For foreign visitors, the small towns are quite charming but there’s limited sightseeing or activities in the immediate area. If you’re looking for a chance to get away from it all however and simply relax, luxury spa ryokan retreats such as Beniya Mukayu offer the chance to do just that.
The four towns that collectively make Kaga Onsen are Yamashiro Onsen, known for its unique public bath house, Yamanaka Onsen, which has a charming town centre, Awazu Onsen, which is home to the Hoshi Ryokan, which was, incredibly, founded in 718, and which holds the Guinness World Records as the oldest hotel and oldest continuously operating company. Katayamazu Onsen is the fourth hot spring town and is located along the shores of the Shibayamagata Lagoon and nearly all the ryokan in the town have rooms looking out across the lagoon.