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Takaragawa is the generation of folk story. When Yamato Takerunomikoto was on his Gunmarney to conquer the nation in the east, he visited this region and went up to Hotakayama where he got sick. During his suffering, he sighted a hawk in the lower part of the land where he walked to. He spotted a hot spa and placed his body in it. It is said that his sickness was completely treated and he was able to continue the Gunmarney. For this reason, Takaragawa Onsen was referred to as [Bath of white hawk] in the old days.


It is uncertain historically as to when Takaragawa became a hot spot. However, evidence of ancient people [Jomonjin] proves that it’s been used from those ages. Jomon’s remains are actually found near Kusatsu hot spa as well, but it would not have been a great place for residence in the old days considering its geographic location and altitude above sea level. We could easily think that hot spa must have been an importance place for ancient people from locating their remains and ruins near the hot spa. It probably was difficult to heat the water and nearly impossible to make your entire body warm without the hot spa.
Hot spa is an effective application to treat diseases even for modern people and it must have been precious for the ancient people as well. We could spot monkeys with the learning abilities in the hot spa bath at times and such view overlaps with the ancient people.

Origin of name

The name of Takaragawa Onsen is originated from first-class river separated from the inn. Takaragawa means ‘river acquiring treasure’ and it’s being mined since the beginning of the showa age. It is assumed that it has been mined even before Edo age.

In the recent years

Takaragawa Onsen found its current shape in the Taisyou age when people visited hot spa bath to cure their diseases and accommodation facilities began to be established. However, traffic was bad at the time and only visit was available through roads from Mimakami. Only industry at the time was forestry and truck transporting the woods was the only transportation method. The modern development came near the end of 20 years in the Syowa age when series of dam construction began bringing in electricity through the constructed roads. The main hall was established after 2 years of major construction in 1955 forming the hot spa inn followed by supplementary facilities.

View of Takaragawa Onsen in the latter part of 30 years in the syowa age
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