Yamagata – Obanazawa – Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen, Obanazawa, Yamagata

While it looks a little like the majestic bathhouse of Ghibli’s Spirited Away, the history of the Ginzan Onsen (銀山温泉) area and its hot springs might be a little closer to something from Princess Mononoke. The historic area was originally a silver mine that operated from 1456 to the end of the 1600s, and the hot spring waters were apparently discovered by chance. Thanks to the coal mine workers who just happened the hot water that now makes Ginzan Onsen so beloved, the town flourished and became a popular onsen resort by 1741. These days, it still receives plenty of visitors there to soak away, and the elegant buildings often end up being used as locations in Japanese TV series.