The Ultimate Guide To Enjoying Your Ureshino, Saga Travel Experience | CoolJapan

Surrounded by rolling hills and spectacular green tea fields, Ureshino is a fascinating hidden gem located in the western part of Saga Prefecture. This picturesque small valley town has a population of less than 30,000, but it boasts a fine reputation for therapeutic hot onsen waters and rich bounties of nature.

Chatou, a tea reception platform built in a tea plantation. (Photo by: Ureshinochadoki)

People from all over Japan come to visit this famous holistic travel destination and seek out their own healing journey. Let’s discover more about the unique Ureshino experience! 

Savour a cup of Ureshinocha, Japan’s finest green tea 

This humble Japanese green tea has plenty of ardent fans worldwide. Not only does sipping a steaming cup of freshly brewed aromatic green tea calm the mind, but it also loads the body with a good dose of antioxidants and vitamins. For true green tea lovers, you have to visit Ureshino to taste some of the finest green tea in Japan.

Kamairicha from Ureshino; Pale-yellow clear tea with a rich aroma and refreshingly sweet aftertaste. (Photo by Ureshino City)

One of the region’s speciality is Kamairicha, a green tea that is pan-fired during the early stages of production. This technique removes the astringent characteristics associated with most teas and gives it its signature curly appearance. Blessed with mineral-rich soil, top-quality water and clean air, Ureshino creates an exquisite green tea which produces rich aromas and delicate sweet flavours.

Ureshino also proudly stakes claim as having one of Japan’s oldest histories of tea cultivation and is well-known as the birthplace of green tea.

The ancient tea tree at Mount Fudō, Ureshino (Photo by: STA3816/CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Commercial cultivation of Ureshinocha started way back in 1440. But it was around 1651 that greater efforts were taken to promote its growing tea industry. Today, a huge tea tree that is over 350 years old still stands majestically as a testament to Ureshino’s deep-rooted history with green tea.

Experiencing a tea ceremony at Morinochashitsu  (Photo by: Ureshinochadoki)

There are plenty of tea activities available for visitors who want to be a part of all that wonderful tradition and culture. One indulgent experience would be the sensorial Tea Tourism project, which was created to introduce visitors to Ureshino’s local tea producers and unique tea culture.

Guests can enjoy intimate tea appreciation sessions with a tea master at a local inn, go for tea walks or enjoy Japanese tea brewed by the growers themselves in the middle of spectacular tea fields.

Relax your mind and beautify your skin with a good onsen soak

Being a volcanic-active island, Japan is full of natural hot springs and it is quite easy to find an onsen to soak in. However, every onsen’s water is different in terms of mineral composite and one of the best in the country is in Ureshino.

Ureshino Onsen

Ureshino Onsen  (Photo by: Ureshino City)

Ureshino Onsen is voted one of the top three hot springs for a good reason
it is naturally rich in sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride. This extraordinary onsen water helps to cleanse off secretions and oils while leaving your skin silky smooth and supple. Besides its beauty benefits, the water is believed to also improve one’s digestive system and liver health. It is not surprising that this quaint onsen town is famous throughout Japan, especially among the Japanese women.

Numerous ryokans can be found along both sides of the Ureshino River, which comes aglow as the sun sets and creates a romantic atmosphere. Many of these ryokans come with their own onsen facility so that guests can soak in peaceful privacy.

Siebold No Yu

Evening view of Siebold No Yu in Ureshino (Photo by: Totti/CC BY-SA 4.0)

If you would prefer to mingle with the locals, check out Ureshino’s iconic public bathhouse, the Siebold No Yu. This famous European-style public bath has gender-segregated pools and only costs JPY420. There are also open-air public foot baths housed in small huts where travellers can ease their fatigue with a relaxing foot soak for free!

After a therapeutic bath, it is a must to try a local speciality that cannot be found anywhere else. The Onsen Yudofu is a nutritious tofu soup that is cooked using Ureshino’s renowned hot spring water. Locally made tofu and vegetables are simmered in the goodness of the alkaline-rich onsen water until they turn soft and delightfully delicious. Soan Yokocho is the one to visit because it is the birthplace of Onsen Yudofu. 

Let the beauty of nature revitalise your soul

The daily stresses of modern life can leave the most positive person feeling worn out. A good way to heal that weary soul is to reconnect with nature and let the restorative powers of nature rejuvenate your mental and emotional well-being. Fortunately, Ureshino has no lack of natural beauty.

Todoroki Falls

The scenic Todoroki Falls; Todoroki Falls: 163-1 Oaza Shimojuku, Ureshino-machi, Ureshino-shi, Saga (Photo by: 690 Noda/CC BY 3.0

Travellers visiting this little town can feast their eyes on the postcard-worthy Todoroki Falls. Falling from a height of about 11 metres high, this beautiful three-tiered waterfall cascades into a massive 2500-metre square basin with a gently hypnotic roar. The surrounding area has been thoughtfully converted into a park so that people can come to have a picnic and enjoy its beauty.

The undulating mountainous areas of Ureshino and its neat rows of green tea bushes are also a tranquil sight that will soothe one’s frazzled nerves.

Arrange a visit to a local tea farm such as the Ochacha Mura where you can learn more about the tea cultivation process whilst being surrounded by lush green tea fields. Here, inquisitive tourists can also go on a factory tour, have a go at picking young green leaves and sample some excellent Ureshino green tea products.

Spending some quality time basking in the idyllic charms of Ureshino is definitely something to look forward to when travel is possible again.

  1. 1.Ureshino City
  2. 2.Daichanoki(a huge tea tree)
  3. 3.Siebold No Yu
  4. 4.Soan Yokonaga
  5. 5.Todoroki Fall
  6. 6.Ochachamura
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