Few days ago I had the chance to visit for the first time this lovely mountain onsen town, and I have been very surprised with the appeal this place has.
Tsuchiyu Onsen is known as the birthplace for the "Tsuchiyu Kokeshi" — a unique type of wooden doll that originated from the Tohoku region during the late Edo period. Take a 25-minute bus ride from Fukushima to reach the charming hot spring village of Tsuchiyu Onsen.
Nestled in between Mount Audatara and Azuma-Kofuji is the small hot spring town of Tsuchiyu Onsen. Although less famous than its neighbouring onsen towns, Tsuchiyu is equally fascinating and rich in history. During the late Edo period (1603 - 1868), master artisans in Tsuchiyu developed a unique type of wooden kokeshi doll. Today, this kokeshi doll is the proud symbol of the town, along with the natural hot spring waters that flow down from picturesque snowy mountain peaks.
For nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, the area also offers great views and multiple trekking paths. Take a walk along the lakes of Onuma and Menuma, or try a hike up the Tsutsujiyama (Azalea Hill) during spring or autumn. Tsuchiyu Onsen has beautiful sights to offer in all four distinct seasons, allowing visitors to enjoy their visit during any time of the year.
The area is home to several ryokans and hotels, catering to guests of all needs and budget ranges. Many of these establishments also offer public and private bathhouses, in addition to the free foot baths in town. Drop by one of the local kokeshi artisan shops to take a look or even try making your own.
Tsuchiyu Onsen is not short of local delicacies — such as Onsen Tamago (eggs cooked directly by hot spring water) and award-winning Fukushima sake. The village is dotted with restaurants offering local cuisine to accompany your exploration of this charming onsen town.
My reccomandation is to go there for a week-end of relaxation and discovery of this untouched piece of japanese hot spring culture, for nature lovers, any season here will definitively offer plenty of chances for gret views and great experiences, while for the history and culture oriented, you will not be disappointed by the strong kokeshi dolls Heritage firmly embroided here in Tsuchiyu Onsen !