The Gero Onsen Experience in Gifu Prefecture


As many of you might know, Japan has many active volcanoes - therefore it has many naturally occurring onsens or hot springs all over the country. In this article we will cover one such popular hot springs town - perhaps not as known to foreign tourists - in Gero, Japan.

Table of Contents

  1. Why is Gero Onsen so famous?
  2. Different ways to experience Gero Onsen
  3. Other Attractions in Gero Village to Explore
  4. How to reach Gero Onsen
  5. In Conclusion

Why is Gero Onsen famous? 

Gero Onsen, situated in Gifu Prefecture, is one of the most famous onsen in Japan, with a history of over 1200 years. The country is filled with thousands of onsen; however Gero Onsen is considered one of the top three onsen of the highest quality in Japan along with Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture and Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture. But perhaps it’s because not many tourists opt to go to Gifu Prefecture that this one isn’t as well known as the other two, especially among foreign tourists.

Gero Onsen is situated on the banks of Hida River. The water of the hot spring is alkaline-based and the water transparent and non-irritant, which is considered good for skin and is said to improve blood circulation and hence relieve stress.

Different ways to experience Gero Onsen

There are a multitude of hot springs facilities open to the public available in Gero. Another public bath is Funsenchi, a large free bath found outdoors by the river (but it has no private bath facilities and is thus exposed to anyone passing by and requires a swim/bathing suit). 

There are also many foot baths (called 足湯 ashiyu in Japanese) around the town that are easy to find as well as free of charge. Just make sure to carry around a small towel with you. 

Though Gero is a small resort-like town which can be explored on foot and can also be a day trip depending on where you’re coming from, to enjoy and explore Gero to the fullest, you can choose to stay in one of the hotels or ryokan which offers private hot spring baths. There are numerous ryokan available along the river.

Another great way to enjoy onsen is to purchase a Yumeguri Tegata Pass which will cost you 1300 yen and let you choose 3 onsen to try out from a list. They are readily available all over Gero like in souvenir shops, convenience shops or even in the ryokan (traditional inns) you can stay at.

For more information about the Ryokan and Spa pass please visit

Other Attractions in Gero Village to Explore

The town of Gero is open and welcoming to tourists year round. There are a few other attractions near and around the town you can consider exploring.

Gassho Village Open Air Museum and Ideyu Asaichi

Gassho Village is located 6 minutes by bus from Gero Station. Here you can see an open air museum where the traditional houses from Shirakawa-go have been reconstructed. They are open on all days between 8:30am to 5:00pm and it costs 800 yen.

If you happen to visit this village between March 19 and November 30, you can enjoy the morning market called Ideyu Asaichi. It is open all morning from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. You can enjoy shopping for local products.

Gero Onsen Festival in summer

Every year, for the first four days of August, the whole town enjoys the Gero Onsen Festival, a series of events held over several days: the Ryujin Fire Festival on the 1st; geiko, mikoshi and Gero Odori (dance) on the 2nd; a fireworks display on 3rd; and special performance on the 4th.

Onsenji Temple

A walking distance from the town, Onsenji Temple is a place to worship the Buddha of healing who is said to have led people to discover the source of the hot springs in Gero. It is a quiet and peaceful temple with a great view of Hida River and the town of Gero.


How to reach Gero Onsen

To go to Gero Onsen from Tokyo, first take a bullet train from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station. From Nagoya Station, take the JR Limited Express bound for Takayama to Gero Station. It takes about 3 hours or so altogether from Tokyo depending on the type of bullet train you ride. 

Or you could take a bus from Shinjuku which takes about 5.5 hours. This is a great option if you have the time and plan to stay the night. 

Gero Onsen also has a daily shuttle bus (which costs an additional fee) from Nagoya Station to Gero Station and back, reserved for those staying the night. You can check out the details here (website in Japanese) or consult the hotel you’re staying at and they will likely make the reservation for you. Note that you must make the reservation for the shuttle bus at least 3 days in advance. Also many hotels have a free shuttle service from Gero Station to the hotel itself.

You could also take a 2.5 hour bus from Osaka if you don’t want to take the train from Osaka to Nagoya. 

In Conclusion

Gero Onsen is a wonderful place to visit, especially if you want to go somewhere where many tourists haven’t gone yet and you’ve done all the major sightseeing spots in Japan - or even if you haven’t! You can relax fully in nature and get a taste of the slow and unchanging pace of the Japanese countryside. Gero Onsen is also a great option to drop by if you are already planning to visit places like Takayama and Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture.


Here to provide a variety of articles from useful information about life, working, and studying in Japan to Japan's charms and attractive qualities.

Our Social Media ソーシャルメディア

Where we share the latest news about Japan in 9 languages!

  • English
  • 한국어
  • Tiếng Việt
  • မြန်မာဘာသာစကား
  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • 中文 (繁體)
  • Español
  • Português
  • ภาษาไทย
TOP/ Travel in Japan/ Destination & Things to do in Japan/ The Gero Onsen Experience in Gifu Prefecture

Our website uses Cookies with the goal of improving our accessibility and quality. Please click "Agree" if you agree to our usage of Cookies. To see more details about how our company uses Cookies, please take a look here.

Cookie Policy