Old picture of the town Nozawa OnsenOld bird's eye view picture of Nozawa Onsen

The Story

Kawamotoya’s historic journey

Kawamotoya has welcomed guests for over 100 years

Woman washing clothes at the onsen

A villager washing her vegetables
Source: Sumoyosiya Nozawaonsen

A certified national natural monument, Ogama has 5 hot-water mineral pools with different temperatures for different purposes - boiling vegetables, soaking bamboo strips, sanitising silk-making tools and more.

Old picture of onsen

Kumanotearai no Yu 熊の手洗いの湯 - first onsen in Nozawa Onsen

In this onsen town of all onsen towns, Kawamotoya was famous for having a mixed onsen, where male and female guests would enjoy their naked soak together. Today's Kawamotoya continues this tradition with the two “kashikiri” baths, where you and your family and guests can bathe together in private.

Built by Tamon Kono, whose descendants still live and work in the village, Kawamotoya has welcomed guests for over 100 years as the premier ryokan in Tera-yu, one of the oldest areas of the village.

Old picture of two men walking up the mountain while carrying skiing equipment

Skiers of the past walking up to the ski resort. Today, it has been replaced by the Moving Walk Yu-Road, a modern day escalator.
Source: Sumiyosiya Nozawaonsen

Nozawa Onsen is Japan's oldest ski resort and has hosted winter sports since 1918.

Footprint of a bear

Bear pawprint

Legend has it that the first onsen in the village was found by a bear trying to soothe an injured paw, in the ancient Tera-yu district. Nestled immediately beside that historic onsen is Kawamotoya!