Ginzan Onsen

Take a trip back in time in this beautiful onsen town

銀山温泉 | Ginzan Onsen

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

Photo by Nishant Annu

The name “Ginzan” means “silver mine,” reflecting the onsen town’s historical connection the silver mines located in the nearby mountains. As mining in the area began to decline in the 17th century, Ginzan Onsen flourished as a health resort, a place where guests would stay for many weeks at a time to cure any aches and pains. The popularity of Ginzan Onsen saw a resurgence after it was featured on the popular TV drama, “Oshin.”

Today, Ginzan remains a beautifully preserved onsen town; the absence of modern architecture (you won’t find a 7-Eleven, or a Starbucks around here) allows visitors to slip back in time as they stroll along snow-capped bridges. Cars must be parked outside the town, further adding to the historical atmosphere of the place. In the evenings, soft light from the ryokans along the riverbank paints the town in romantic colors that seem to be taken straight from a period drama.

Visitors to Ginzan Onsen have a choice at staying at one of the cozy ryokans in the town or one of the larger hotels that lie just outside it. Visitors hoping to stay within the town should plan well in advance though, especially if they’re arriving in the winter, as the popular ryokans at Ginzan are often booked up months in advance.

Reviews from Google Maps

Hidden in a corner of a mountain, this very small village of wooden buildings (and some more recent constructions) is lining up around a small transparent river, so clear that you can actually see trouts swimming in it. It's the perfect postcard onsen place

Xavier Gaubert-Amy ★★★★★

Very beautiful small town. You can get totally different views in summer and winter. It takes much time to travel but it’s worth.

Shao-Lun Huang ★★★★★



Ginzanshinhata, Obanazawa, Yamagata 999-4333


Free to enter town, various hot spring baths available for paid entry


Depends on establishment


Depends on establishment


Recommended to stay at ryokan in Ginzan Onsen town