Only 10 minutes by car from the Kaga Onsen station, with regular daytime bus connections, Katayamazu Onsen is set on the shores of a lake that constantly changes colors during the course of the day. Beautifully adorned by an impressive mountain range that rises in the distance from lake’s surface, it is therefore especially delightful to visit on a sunny day. While relaxing and enjoying the great panoramas from different spots of the town, you will have the opportunity to get familiar with Katayamazu’s local folk crafts and culture.
JR Kaga Onsen sta.
Getting off the bus and walking towards the lake, you will find the Katayamazu Onsen public bath; a strikingly modern glass building designed by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi. On the building’s second floor is the Machi Café, a tea salon offering a magnificent view towards the lake and the rising mountain range at the background. No wonder why this place is very popular among both locals and tourists who like to gather and enjoy a relaxing time while gazing at the panorama here.
Besides Italian dishes and sweets, the Machi Café also proposes two original recipes: the café’s own Kaga Parfait and the Katayamazu Hamburger which both highlight locally grown vegetables.
At the end of a wooden pier stretching out from the Yunomoto Park towards the center of the lake is Ukimido; a floating pavilion dedicated to a protective dragon god.Bathing in the lights of dawn and sunset or lighted up at night, it offers stunning scenic views all day-round.
Leisure boats departing from the pier are also available for daytime cruises (from April to October) and nighttime cruises (from May to October). As fireworks are performed every night in August, fireworks cruises proposed by some of the hotels are also very sought after.
Located in the center of Katayamazu Onsen, this open-air footbath adorned by a graceful park is very popular among local people. It makes use of pure hot spring water with a high amount of chloride that is driven directly from the source. Bathing your feet or hands for about 10 to 15 minutes will warm you up to the core of your body, ease weariness and make you feel refreshed and relaxed.
This red lattice-decorated building was built in 1920 and served as an office for geishas who would also practice their many arts there. Renovated, it now serves as a theater and a memorial place, exhibiting wigs and various objects that belonged to geishas.
- Akikozome dyeing
The Akikozome silk dyeing originated in the vicinities of Lake Shibayama and was named after the famous Japanese author Mrs Akiko Yosano, who wrote a poem inspired by the lake. Akikozome involves muds from the bottom of the lake and green tea in the dyeing process. Besides the akikozome hands-on (scarf dyeing/20 minutes), the facility also proposes a tofu making experience using Katayamazu Onsen’s hot spring water.
This museum is dedicated to the memory of Ukichiro Nakaya, a renowned scientist and essayist who was born in Katayamazu Onsen. Specialized in glaciology, he spent his life researching on the formation of natural snowflakes and developed a device to produce artificial snow crystals. A short movie with English subtitles gives precious indications about Nakaya’s achievements as a scientist. As well, besides presenting his life and work, the museum proposes various creative hands-on activities based on Nakaya’s experimentations such as creating diamond dust or making and ice pendant in the shape of a snow crystal. A nice café adjacent to the museum provides another nice view towards the lake. When over with the visit, taking the bus from the stop just out of the museum will take you back to the Kaga Onsen station.
JR Kaga Onsen sta.