Dorogawa onsen (a hot spring in Dorogawa, Nara Prefecture) (洞川温泉)
Dorogawa onsen is a hot spring in Dorogawa, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino County, Nara Prefecture (the former Yamato Province).
Dorogawa is a starting point for a climb of Mt. Sanjogatake of Omine mountain range, which is one of 100 top mountains of Japan. This mountain is a mountain for practice, and women are prohibited from entering. In summer time, the mountain is very crowded with practitioners of Shugen (Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts) who head for Zao-do Hall of Mt. Sanjogatake or visitors. On the contrary, in winter time, the mountain is closed up for the severity of the winter.
There was yukaku (a red-light district) in a district of Japanese Inn town before the war, which was common in the place where a starting point for a climb of a mountain which women were not allowed to enter was.
By bus: From Shimoichiguchi Station, Kintetsu Yoshino Line of Kinki Nippon Railway Company, about one hour ride by Nara Kotsu Bus, get off at 'Dorogawa onsen.'
By car: From National Route 309, take the Ominesan Park Road of Nara Prefectural Route 21 at Kawai Intersection for Dorogawa just after passing through Shinkawai Tunnel (refer to the map of Tenkawa Village). Or, take Dorogawa Shimoichi Road of Nara Prefectural Route 48 from Shimoichi Town to the south for Dorogawa.
Quality of the hot spring
The hot spring was recently found by boring, and it is a simple hot spring at 26 degree C. It is effective for neuralgia and rheumatism, and so on.
(Caution) Regarding its effectiveness, guarantees are not provided for all the people.
Hot spring town
There isn't so-called hot spring town across the town, but there is a sando (an approach to a shrine) leading to Omine mountain range, and two storied Japanese Inns are lined along the both sides of sando. There is a hot spring center operated by the village at the edge of the town, and people who come down the mountain often use it.
The hot spring itself has a short history, but it has a long history as a town of Japanese Inn of Omine-ko (a group for climbing Omine mountain range, especially, Mt. Sanjogatake). It is said that the hot spring was developed by descendants of ogre that followed EN no Ozunu (A semi-legendary holy man noted for his practice of mountain asceticism during the second half of the seventh century).