Tenjindaira Backcountry Tours


The Takaragawa Onsen is one of the largest outdoor onsen in Japan. It features a babbling river in the middle with various hot pools on either side, along with traditional architecture and a stunning environment. Most of the baths are mixed. Ladies are provided with a large modesty towel/dress, and unlike most onsen, it’s considered OK to put your modesty towel in the water to fully keep yourself modest. If the ladies don’t want to hang out with the blokes, there is only a ladies-only area. Takaragawa Onsen is not far from the Hodaigi Ski Resort, 27km north of Minakami and 15km (about 25 minutes) from Tenjin Lodge.

Other onsen in the area include Hoshi Onsen, Tanigawa Onsen which is also by a river, and Suzumorinoyu Onsen which is located in a forested area. There are also a few onsen at hotels in Minakami.

Ice Climbing

Tanigawa-dake is renowned for climbing but it’s only for the bravest of brave. Commonly called the mountain of death, more than 800 people have died on Tanigawa-dake.

Ichinokura has a vertical rock face with a relief of 1,000m and a year around glacier at the base.


The area is somewhat popular for snowshoeing and you can hike to near the base of Ichinokura and see what the crazy people climb! Tenjin Lodge runs tours from the lodge December through to April, which includes use of their snowshoes.

Doai Train Station

Visiting a train station sounds like an unusual tourist activity, but the very weird Doai train station is worth checking out.

On first inspection you might think it’s an abandoned train station because the building looks a little derelict and there’s condensation dripping from the roof. One of the platforms is way way underground and it looks like a nuclear bomb shelter or something. To get there you have to head down (and then up) 486 steps which are numbered so you know how much further there is to go. Lord only knows why they didn’t put in some sort of lift system?!

The Doai train station is 700 metres from Tenjin Lodge and 1.5km from the Tanigawadake Ropeway station.

Other Leisure Activities

Other leisure activities include a visit to the Tanigawadake sake brewery or the Takuminosato craft village.