Naruko may not sound that familiar to you, but it does to the traveler who loves to visit quaint towns for a good reason. This town may sound like a rustic one, but it has much to offer to those who take the time to visit it.
Naruko is a town located in Japan and in the Kurikoma Quasi-Natural Park. It has since been merged with other towns to create one city, which is called Osaki.
Like other places in Japan, Naruko holds its own appeal and natural charm. Tourists are fond of visiting the place specifically to enjoy the wonderful hot spring baths or “onsen.”
Hot springs always draw local and international tourists because of the popular belief that soaking in one has its therapeutic benefits. This is not entirely untrue since the high water temperature makes it possible for the water to contain minerals.
Many rehabilitation centers are located near areas with hot springs and there can be no denying the relief that hot springs bring to the body.
There are many other hot springs all over the world as there are in Naruko. Japan is home to hundreds of hot springs and Naruko offers extra yet still grand sights as well.
The area is known as a volcano-active area and the Naruko Hot Spring Villages is composed of five smaller ones: East Naruko, Naruko, Kawatabi, Nakayamadaira and Onikobe.
The hot springs of Naruko contain many beneficial minerals as well as sulfur. A good soak in sulfuric water can help people relieve arteries that have hardened.
Also found in the hot springs of Naruko are alkaline salts that are often used to treat skin problems like atopic dermatitis and even psoriasis.
After a long soak in a hot bath filled with sulfuric water, you will notice how much smoother your skin feels. The heat and the minerals work well together to release skin impurities.
A trip to Naruko will definitely not be complete without a visit to its famous hot springs.
Japanese men, women and children have enjoyed the hot springs of Naruko for almost a thousand years. The hot springs still exist and still draw tourists from most of Japan and from other places around the world.
They say that the Naruko hot springs have curative qualities and so many flock there for a dip and for some sightseeing.
This brings us to another good reason why people visit Naruko. If you are a true lover of nature, you will be able to appreciate the beauty that this town offers, besides its hot springs.
Naruko is an ideal place for long walks, but there are also taxis and buses that you can take if a long walk is not possible. You can take a stroll at the Naruko Tropical Botanical Gardens or even join a nature trek that allows you to have a view of a geyser at Jigokudani.
Naruko is also beautiful during the fall season because of the color of the leaves of the trees. The “koyo” or leaves create a beautiful photo opportunity for those who love to travel and take photographs.
Imagine viewing a mountain of color with golden and orange leaves and you will easily understand why many people recommend Naruko as a place to visit during the fall season.
Another one of the scenic areas in Naruko is found at the Naruko Valley. At this valley, there is a ravine close to River Oya-gawa. The river had cut its way as it flowed through creating rocks in fantastical shapes and cliffs with sheer drops.
There are commercialized nature treks in Naruko that you can join and you get to walk through the ravine where you can enjoy views of waterfalls while crossing different bridges.
If heights and nature’s shaping do not appeal to you as much as other scenic views, you can prepare to be amazed by Lake Katanuma. This lake was formed from a crater and will change color depending on the sunlight it gets. The lake can be quite a stunning view by itself, but if you combine it with the fall leaves, it will look absolutely fantastic.
Winter season is still a good time to visit Naruko, especially when you love to ski. The Okinobe Ski Resort can take care of your skiing and other winter sports for you if you wish to spend the year-end holiday season there. There are other ski resorts there as well.
Naruko also makes a claim as being the origin of the “kokeshi.” A “kokeshi” is a wooden doll that is cylindrical in shape. The doll is an emblem of the Tohoku and is quite a charming one. The dolls have Japanese design elements and you will be mesmerized by how lovely each one is.
Naruko makes a great home for these dolls and it can be a challenge to find one for yourself as you walk up and down the streets. If you are lucky, you can watch how each one is made.
If you would like to gaze at more of these wooden dolls, you will find exquisite ones at the Japan Kokeshi Center Museum, which is also in Naruko. You will find that a visit to the museum is worth your time as the dolls have bright colors and delicate features.
Naruko also sells a lot of lacquer-painted wares, or “shikki,” since the place has been the center of lacquer production for more than 300 years. You will have an interesting time shopping around for affordable lacquer-painted and traditional utensils. Naruko also has quality lacquer goods as well.
Naruko has much to offer any tourist and a trip to this part of Japan will be a relaxing one. Whether you want to look at the sights or simply have a go at the hot springs, you will find yourself having one refreshing trip. You will feel a lot more rejuvenated, especially when Naruko is such a serene place.
Naruko offers its mountains, lakes and trees to those who would like to find nature at its best during any season.