Why the Seaside Town of Gamagori Onsen Is One of Japan’s Best Kept Secrets

Hidden along Aichi Prefecture’s southern coastline, Gamagori Onsen is the holiday destination you didn’t know you needed. With easy access on the shinkansen route between Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, here are three reasons why making a stop-over at Gamagori Onsen should be on your next travel itinerary.

1. Relax at the Japanese seaside
The quaint resort town Gamagori Onsen overlooks the Mikawa Bay with a beach loved by the locals – a great place to cool down if visiting in the summertime and enjoy seasonal activities such as clam digging in the sand. Connected to the mainland beach by a 387-metre bridge is the symbol of Gamagori, Takeshima Island which is a designated Natural National Monument. There are five small shrines on the island hidden amongst the greenery, the most well-known being Yaotomi Shrine that said to enshrine the god of marriage.

2. Fall in love with onsen
Gamagori is known for its natural hot springs overlooking the Mikawa Bay and Takeshima Island, including Hotel Takeshima and the historic Gamagori Classic Hotel which opened in 1934. The waters of these natural hot springs have a local reputation for various beneficial effects such as healing muscle pain and aiding fatigue recovery. If you are staying at one of the ryokan or hotels of Gamagori, you will also have the option to enjoy locally sourced caught seafood at dinner time.

3. See Flowers and Fireflies
After dinner, change into your ryokan’s yukata and wander around Katahara Onsen, nestled on the top of a mountain with a backdrop of thick forest and overlooking the ocean only a 10-minute ride by taxi from Gamagori Onsen. Katahara’s Hodagaike Pond is known as the ‘Home Place of the Hydrangeas’ because of its somewhat 50,000 bushes that surround like ponds waters. Thanks to the pristine water and lush nature around Katahara Onsen, there is a spot nearby the pond where visitors can see the fireflies that come out in June – a rare chance for travellers to catch a glimpse of the short-lived but spectacular creatures in their natural habitat.

Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Known to locals as the ‘heart’ of Japan, Aichi Prefecture boasts a colourful past as a crucial point for traffic between east and west Japan. It is highly diverse and is a melting pot where were rustic Japanese charm meets innovation and technology.

How to travel to get to Aichi

By bullet train: One hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo, 50 minutes from Osaka and just 35 minutes from Kyoto to get to Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture’s capital and Japan’s fourth largest city.
By air: Aichi Prefecture’s international airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport offers ease of access from other airports in Japan, as well as for those flying from Australia via South East Asia.