Old and Artistic Lanterns Warm Up a Spa Resort in Hijiori

Hijiori hot spring in Okuramura, Yamagata Prefecture, is a well-known spa for years.
Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the spa town is another world far from our daily life.

Facilities including three public baths, spa water drinking fountains, and a recuperate information center are well maintained so visitors can fully focus on spa treatment, strolling small lanes lines by old Japanese inns, chatting with local people while enjoying foot bath in front of inns, or simply drinking beer, depending on their purposes.
The time here goes slowly and calmly.

Chatting with local women at a market selling freshly picked vegetables, tasty mushrooms or hand-made pickles is so fun that people tend to purchase more or taste some food on the spot.

Mountain priests used to visit this spa to purify them before going into the three mountains called Dewasanzan where they practiced asceticism. In 2007, students of Tohoku University of Arts & Design in Yamagata City came to the spa with a history, coinciding the 1200th anniversary of Hijiori hot spring’s opening. Since then, students have painted Hijiori caldera, magnificent view of Mt. Gakkan, rampant flora and fauna or local people co-existing with hot spring on the shade of lanterns while staying in town for communicating closely with local people as an annual event.

In the evening, lanterns hung at the eaves of inns and stores in the spa town create rich atmosphere by warm light coming through locally made Japanese paper.
Patterns on some lanterns appear only when it’s lit, so they look different in the evening. They all soothe the soul of viewers.

Art exhibition “Hijirio no Hi (Light of Hijirio)”, a collaboration of the spa and young students will be on until September 17
Visit and feel the passion of local people in the spa and art & design students at the event.


*For details about Hijiori Onsen Spa including access, please visit the website of “Hijiori NEWS” (Japanese only).
*For more information about “Hijiori no Hi”, please refer to its website. (Japanese only)