What You Should not Miss in the City of Nikko

Seasonal excursion information Spring 2011

Spring in Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring: indulge in the local specialty of onsen-manju while you enjoy a tour of the seasonal flowers!

Onsen-manju ('hot spring sweet dumplings') are a highly popular souvenir in Japan's spa towns. There are various different stories concerning these thin-skinned, bite-sized steamed dumplings filled with red bean jam, and it is said that their origin lies in their being made using the steam of the hot springs, as hot spring water is used in the dough. Onsen-manju have spread to spa towns across the entire country, and they make not only a fantastic souvenir, but when freshly baked are also a delicious treat to scoff in front of the store.

Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring is also home to a great many specialty onsen-manju. These are without exception individual creations that adhere strictly to the use of carefully selected ingredients such as adzuki beans and wheat, and unique production methods, shapes, colors and flavors that have been passed down from generation to generation since times of old. We recommend you try a variety of types of onsen-manju to discover your very own favorite.

Savoring delicious onsen-manju while admiring the spring flowers on a leisurely stroll around the spa town is surely one of the joys of this season in Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring. The vapors that rise up when they steam the onsen-manju captures the very spirit of the spa town. Why not enjoy the local specialty of onsen-manju together with the floral beauty of spring in Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring's many locations famed for flowers.

Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring's 'original' local specialty: onsen-manju


The outside is made from wheat produced in Tochigi prefecture, as well as brown sugar syrup is used to create rich flavors.

Store information

Gensen no Yado Ranryo

Brown sugar manju with home-made red bean jam made from Tokachi adzuki beans. No preservatives are used.

Asaya thin-skinned manju

A manju perfectionist, selling only products made that day.

Store information

Black sesame onsen-manju

Produced to commemorate the hotel's renewal. Black sesame and edible charcoal are kneaded into the dough.

Store information

Kinugawa Onsen Hotel
Oami onsen-manju

Soft onsen-manju that are made strictly from domestically-produced ingredients only.

Yunokura manju

These manju are seasoned with salt to exquisitely bring out a sweetness that centers on brown sugar. The store also prides itself on its wrapping paper.

Store information

Hotel Shirakawa Yunokura
Plum and Japanese chestnut manju

Manju covered in honey-soaked plum and Japanese chestnuts, and filled with a red bean jam that contains finely ground Japanese chestnuts.

Kinugawa manju

Additive-free manju given the name of 'Kinugawa', by which they were known in the Edo period.

Onsen-manju parfait

A Marukyoo original menu option that infuses a parfait with onsen-manju.

Store information

Tabinoyado Marukyo
Japanese chestnut manju

Covered with Japanese chestnuts and filled with home-made red bean jam with a light-tasting sweetness, these manju are a delicacy that the store prides itself on.

Freshly made manju

Additive-free manju made with brown sugar. Famed winner of the grand prize at the 20th National Japanese Confectionary Exposition.


The brown sugar in the outside gives it flavor, and it is filled with a strained red bean jam that has a subtly sweet aftertaste.


Kuri-okawa manju

Japanese chestnut-topped red rice wrapped in lightly sweet manju dough.

Deep-fried onsen-manju

Preservative-free onsen-manju deep fried in oil. The filling is strained red bean jam with Japanese chestnuts.

Brown sugar manju

Manju created to commemorate the opening of 'Kinugawa-Tateiwa Suspension Bridge'.

Store information

Hotel Sunshine Kinugawa

Made with carefully selected ingredients such as flour from Tochigi Prefecture, adzuki beans from Hokkaido and brown sugar from Okinawa.

Confectionary Castle Kinugawa
('Kinugawa Dessert City')

Onsen-manju map PDF

Best times to see flowers in Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring

*Flowers bloom at different times depending on the climate.

Sakuramap(Cherry Blossoms map) PDF

Main spring flowers of the spa town area

Rhododendron quinquefolium azaleas in Hirakatayama
Asian skunk cabbage in Ryuou Valley
Rhododendron quinquefolium azaleas in Ryuou Valley
Weeping Japanese Cherry trees in Kinugawa Park
Dogtooth violets in Kinugawa Park
Yoshino cherry trees in Gokoku-jinja Shrine
Moss phlox in Takimi Park
Azaleas in Kinugawa Leisure Park

Click here for the Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring Area Map

Recommended activities for spring! Guided nature experience tours

This period abounds with activities that cannot be experienced at any other time. These include picking wild edible plants that are only found in spring, and rafting and canoeing on the Kinugawa River when its water levels are raised by the thawing snow. Enjoy the rich natural surroundings of Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring to the very fullest with a nature experience tour! Tours are accompanied by a professional in the relevant field, meaning that they are also safe for beginners.


Guided Walking Tour

InquiriesNAOC Kinugawa

Eco-Walk (Kirifuri River basin and terraced rice fields)

Feel soothed by the uninterrupted crystal clear waters of the Kirifuri River and the Takabyaku terraced rice fields in the river basin, an emblem of Tochigi.

Late April - (reservation necessary)
3,150 yen (separate charge of 200 yen as insurance premium)

Inquiries Nature Planet

Spring Edible Wild Plant-Picking Experience in Kawaji Hot Spring

Pick edible wild plants as you enjoy an approx. 1-hour walk with a local guide in the mountains surrounding Kawaji Hot Spring. You can then make tempura from the plants you have picked and enjoy them together with soba.

April 23 - June 12 (reservation necessary)
10:00 - 12:00 (conducted every day)
Adults 3,150 yen, children 2,100 yen
(including lunch/guide/insurance/consumption tax)

Inquiries Nature Planet

Ryuou Valley Hiking (guided tour)

Enjoy a walk around the beautiful fresh verdure of Ryuou Valley while you listen to explanations from a local guide. The course is complete with a recreation trail, so can be enjoyed with peace of mind.

Early March - (reservation necessary)
Mornings 10:00 - , afternoons 13:00 - (conducted every day, minimum number of participants 4 people)
1,500 yen - (hired guide 15,000 yen -)


With thrilling rapids and gently flowing stretches that allow visitors to admire the natural surroundings as they ride downstream, the Kinugawa River is characterized by its richly varied locations. Rental equipment is also available, meaning that it can also be enjoyed by beginners.

Mid April - (reservation necessary)
Adults 7,500 yen, children 6,000 yen (separate charge of 500 yen as insurance premium)
Inquiries Tochigi Kayak Center TEL: 0288-77-2030 (090-7566-6082 at night) e-rafting TEL: 0288-77-4802 (090-6518-9647 at night) NAOC Kinugawa TEL: 0288-70-1181 (090-6497-9888 at night)

InquiriesTochigi Kayak Center

Kinugawa River Canoe Picnic

Kayaks are highly stable, meaning that they can be enjoyed safely even by children, the elderly and beginners.

Conducted twice daily in morning/afternoon (reservation necessary)
6,300 yen (with drink afterward)

InquiriesNature Planet

Canadian Canoe & Dog Canoe

A canoe tour on the gentle stretches of the Kinugawa River that flow through Kawaji Hot spring. Dogs can also ride together with owners in the canoe, making this an activity that is also ideal for dog lovers.

April 16 - (reservation necessary)
Early morning experience 6:00 - 7:00 (adults only), mornings 10:00 -, afternoons 13:00 -
Early morning experience 2,100 yen,
half day tour, junior high school children and older 4,200 yen, elementary school children 3,150 yen, infants/dogs 1,050 yen (guide/insurance/consumption tax)

Inquiries Nikko Strawberry Park

Strawberry-Picking Experience

Allows visitors to sample 'tochiotome', a variety of strawberry produced in Tochigi which has the ideal sweetness and sourness. They are also made hygienic by being suspended in mid air. For details please confirm in advance by telephone.

Mid-December - late June
10:00 - 16:00 (admission ends 15:30)
Eat-as-much-as-you-like for 30 mins,
Tuesdays (except national holidays)
*advance reservation necessary for groups of 20 or more people.

* Changes may be made to the details and prices etc. displayed here. Please check before departing.

A wealth of spring events! Latest Kinugawa-Kawaji Hot Spring information

A newly-planned stamp rally and a wealth of other customary events that bring color to spring in Kinugawa/Kawaji Hot Spring are being held! We are also introducing noteworthy spots that have enjoyed popularity recently. Please be sure to check before departing.

Kawaji Hot Spring Dosojin Tour Stamp Rally
'Dosojin' have long been cherished in Kawaji Hot Spring as the gods of journeys and road safety. Make a wish to these historical gods as you walk around this approx. 1-hour course. You can receive a good-luck charm at the commemorative exchange office by collecting all the stamps on the course.
Period: Late March -
Haru Ichiban Kazekaido 'First Storm of Spring Wind Rush Alley' 2011
With keynotes of pink as well as light blues inspired by the clear waters of the Kinugawa River, a splash of color is given to Kawaji Hot Spring with a total of around 15,000 different-colored pinwheels in every location.
*1 *2
The Tourist Information Center is now a free internet spot
The Kinugawa/Kawaji onsen Tourist Information Center in front of Kinugawa-onsen Station is now a spot where PC and smartphone users can use the internet by wireless LAN free of charge.
Debut of the renovated direct express 'Kinugawa Train' and 'Nikko Train'
Approx. 2 hours from Shinjuku/Ikebukuro in Tokyo. Furnished with spacious seating and a variety of rooms including a powder corner and multipurpose room, these are services that allow the passenger to travel in comfort.
The 1/25 'Tokyo Sky Tree®' proves a popular attraction!
The 1/25 scale model of 'Tokyo Sky Tree®' that has been opened in the Tobu World Square theme park is a highly popular attraction amongst visitors. As the real building's height is 634m, the miniature is also of overwhelming size, standing at around 26m.

*1 0288-77-2052 (Kinugawa/Kawaji-onsen Tourist Association)
*2 The start date is not finalized yet. We will inform you again as soon as it is decided.
*3 0288-77-1055 (Tobu World Square General Reservation Center)
* Changes may be made to the details and prices etc. displayed here. Please check before departing.