Matsukawa Onsen (쉷) is a small, remote hot spring town on the Iwate side of Mount Hachimantai within Towada-Hachimantai National Park. It consists of just a handful of ryokan along a river with baths fed by the local, sulfurous and slightly cloudy hot spring water. All ryokan open up their baths to non-staying guests during the day for a small fee.

A little upriver from the hot springs stands the Matsukawa Geothermal Power Station. Built in 1966, this was the first geothermal power plant in Japan, and it supplies both clean energy and hot water to the region. The plant and its 45 meter high cooling tower cannot be entered; however, there is a small visitor center with a video and displays about the plant's construction and operation.

Getting there and around

Matsukawa Onsen can be reached by car from the north (via a direct road from near the summit of Mount Hachimantai), or by bus or car from the east. During the winter, access is possible only from the east.

Around the year, Iwate Kenpoku Bus operates infrequent buses between Morioka and Matsukawa Onsen. The one way trip takes about two hours and costs 1160 yen. There are three departures per day in either direction.

How to get to and around Hachimantai

Hours and Fees

Matsukawa Geothermal Powerplant Center


9:00 to 16:00


Tuesdays, and from mid November to mid April