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The Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival: Video Introduction

This video, titled "Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival" (湯西川温泉 かまくら祭 Kamakura Festival), was uploaded by "Nikko Walking" (日光を歩く Nikko Walking).
The video introduces the Yunishikawa Onsen Kamakura Festival, an event held in Nikko, Tochigi, in Japan's Kanto Region. "Kamakura" (かまくら) is the Japanese word for "Igloo."

The festival features both full-size igloos that are large enough to fit people and small-size miniature igloos with candles, and the atmosphere at night is quite romantic. The candlelight emanating from each igloo is fantastic. Check out the video to see what the Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival is like.

Yunishigawa Onsen, Home to a Charming Igloo Festival

Image of Yunishigawa Onsen, Nikko, Tochigi
Photo:Yunishigawa Onsen, Nikko, Tochigi

Yunishigawa Onsen is located in Nikko National Park in Nikko, Tochigi. It's a historic hot spring where Heike warriors, who fled after being defeated in the Battle of Dan-no-Ura during the Genpei War, are said to have healed their wounds with a hot spring they found bubbling up on the riverbank.

The springs of Yunishigawa Onsen are simple alkaline hot springs, and are known as beauty springs for their skin-cleansing properties. In addition, Yagen no Yu (薬研の湯), an open-air hot spring managed by a ryokan, is located along the river and can be used free of charge. It's popular among hot spring enthusiasts because visitors can bathe in the hot spring while enjoying the quiet murmur of the Yunishigawa River and the townscape of the fallen Heike Clan.

Because of its location along the Yunishigawa River valley, it's covered with snow during the winter. The Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival is an annual event held from January, when the snow begins to deepen, to take advantage of the accumulated snow.

Heike no Sato – The History of the Festival's Venue

Image of igloos at a festival site, Heike no Sato
Photo:Igloos at a festival site, Heike no Sato

The Heike (Taira clan) was a family of Taira no Kiyomori who came to power at the end of the Heian Period (794-1185). Heike Monogatari (平家物語, The Tale of the Heike), a historical tale depicting the Heike Clan from its height of power to its downfall, is quite popular in Japan. At Yunishigawa Onsen, where the fallen members of the Heike Clan are said to have lived, there are many hidden stories, legends, and customs that remain. Heike no Sato (平家の里, lit. "Village of the Heike (Taira) Clan") is a facility that introduces the Heike Clan and Yunishigawa Onsen.

Heike no Sato, which is also one of the venues for the Kamakura Festival, is a recommended place for history buffs, with exhibits of tools used in daily life at the time, as well as special products, and a family tree of the Heike Clan. The historical thatched-roofed hall is surrounded by nature, and visitors can enjoy the scenery of Japan's four seasons here. Take a stroll through the hot spring resort and give this place a visit!

Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival Highlights

Image of mini igloos at Yunushigawa Onsen's Kamakura Festival
Photo:Mini igloos at Yunushigawa Onsen's Kamakura Festival

The Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival is a popular annual event that has been held since 1994 to take advantage of the deep snow to attract tourists. The 2022 event was unfortunately cancelled, but it has been announced that the 2023 festival will be held from January 27 to February 26, 2023.

While the view of the igloos during the daytime is quite the sight, the sight of the mini-igloos illuminated with warm lights at night is really romantic and great for taking photos. The mini-igloos are lit up on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the weekend. The view along the Sawaguchi Riverbank has been recognized as a Night View Heritage of Japan.
[Video] 1:10 - Illuminated Mini Igloos

Shuttle buses will be running from inns and hotels at Yunishigawa Onsen to the venue during the festival period. Since the number of guests will increase, early reservations are recommended for those planning a trip. For those living in the neighboring areas, we recommend enjoying a day trip to the hot springs and enjoying the Kamakura Festival at night.

The Popular Igloo Barbecue at the Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

The popular Kamakura Barbecue takes place every year at the Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival.
[Video] 1:07 - Kamakura Barbecue

Information for the 2023 event has not yet been posted on the official website. However, there is a notice that local cuisine from Yunishigawa can be enjoyed in the igloos. In addition to dishes such as miso dengaku (a grilled dish of skewered tofu or konnyaku with miso paste), shiruko with rice cakes inside, sobagaki (rice cakes made from buckwheat), and other dishes at the restaurant Karei no Kan (餉の館), if you purchase drinks, you can enjoy them inside the igloos as well.
It's a great way to enjoy delicious drinks and local cuisine in a more unique atmosphere.

Summary of the Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

Image of winter at Yunishigawa Onsen, Nikko, Tochigi
Photo:Winter at Yunishigawa Onsen, Nikko, Tochigi

That concludes our introduction of the Kamakura Festival at Yunishigawa Onsen in Nikko, Tochigi. Access to Yunishigawa Onsen is about 2.5 hours from Tokyo by train.

Come and enjoy the illuminated snowy landscapes and Yunishigawa Onsen, a relaxing hot spring for beautiful skin! After watching the video, you're sure to want to visit!

【Official Website】Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

【TripAdvisor】Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival

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Last Updated : Jan. 5, 2023
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Yunishigawa Onsen Kamakura Festival – Enjoy Miniature Igloos Illuminated via Video! Winter Sightseeing and Fantastic Views in Japan's Snow Country!
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