Kaminoyama city in Yamagata Prefecture is repositioning it as a destination for spa therapy (Kurort), offering walking sessions in semi-natural areas close to the spa resort quarter or Zaobodaira of 1,000 meter above sea level, based on German method called Climatherapy.
I visited Kaminoyama-onsen hot spring over a long weekend in July.
On the 15th, I stayed in Kaminoyama-onsen famous for Samurai houses and old-fashioned atmosphere.
What I experienced is not only Japanese-style inns, but also communal bath and foot bath in the resort area and fully enjoyed Yamagata’s local cuisine for dinner!
The next day, I joined the group of “daily walking course” (no reservation required), one of healthy walking sessions. Guided by professionally trained staff in Germany where the method originated from, this session is on everyday and open for everyone.
To its meeting spot, free shuttle service is available from Kaminoyama-onsen station of JR Yamagata Shinkansen. Before walking, participants, about 10 people, checked blood pressure and pulse, and warmed up. It was a hot day of the highest temperature of 35 degrees C in many places throughout Japan, but it was nice and cool in the Zao Heights, 1000 meter above sea level, the temperature was about 27 degrees C. We observed alpine plants and enjoyed an echo while walking for one and a half hours. It was such a pleasant experience.
In addition to the course I joined, variety of programs including one comes with lunch are available. For more details, please visit the website below.
■Kaminoyama-onsen Hot Spring website (managed by Kaminoyama Tourism and Product Association)