Soak Away the Day in the Hot Springs of Oboke Gorge and the Iya Valley – Part 3



Relaxing in one of Miyoshi City’s hot springs is one of the nicest ways to enjoy the area as you enjoy the views of nature from these thermal baths. In this series we visit three more of Miyoshi’s hot springs in the Oboke Gorge and Iya Valley areas that are open to day-time visitors as well as overnight guests.

Take in views of the Oboke and Koboke Gorges at the baths of SunRiver Oboke  

Positioned right on the edge of the mighty Yoshino River, the hot spring baths at SunRiver Oboke Hotel & Onsen offer superb, bird’s-eye views of the Oboke and Koboke Gorges as well as the the roaring river and surrounding mountains.

SunRiver Oboke is about a 7 or 8 minute drive from JR Oboke Station and is situated right along Route 32, so it has easy access.

After passing through the stylish lobby of the hotel, you need to take the elevator to the upper floors of the building to reach the spacious bathing spaces.

Once through the changing rooms, you enter into the main bath, which has a large steamy tub that is surrounded on two sides by huge windows.

The views out from the bath here are fantastic, looking out across the rocky gorge and river down below, and then unto the uninhabited mountains on the other side. 

When visiting, the autumn leaves were just beginning to fill the surrounding forest with beautiful colors, but every season provides its own stunning panoramic view.

Also here is a large set of washing stations (with some lovely soap and shampoo provided), as well as a wood encased dry sauna room and cold water cool-off bath.

Enjoy the view while in the open air

Further along is the open-air bath which is perched on a sharp corner outcrop of the building. The dual-sided view from the stone-lined bath here is as naturally absorbing as the bath itself.

The view here extends up the Yoshino River to the nearby railway bridge that picturesquely spans the gorge. Actually, railway fans come from across Japan to see the trains go by on this bridge, often timing their visits to catch a glimpse of particular trains.

For over-night guests of the hotel, there are also a few rooms available which have their own private baths located right on the room balcony, and of course with equally awesome views. If interested, be sure to book one if staying.

Take the experience back to home

Back downstairs in their large lobby there are some places to relax as well as a wide variety of unique souvenirs on offer.

One nice item recently developed after heeding the suggestions of their satisfied guests is their own packages of minerals derived from their hot spring waters. Three sizes are available to purchase for taking home to re-create in your own bath the therapeutic effects of the waters here.

For non-guests of the hotel, the hot spring baths of SunRiver Oboke cost 700 yen per person (children 350 yen), and are open daily from 11:00am to 9:00pm.

(Note: occasionally on Saturdays or National Holidays the baths may close early to non-guests at 3:00pm due to large groups staying at the hotel).

Nearby within the Oboke Gorge area there are lots of activities available, including river boat cruises and white water rafting, as well as all the sights of the neighboring Iya Valley.

Indeed, with convenient access and panoramic views, the hot springs of SunRiver Oboke make for a relaxing break within the spectacular gorges of Oboke and Koboke.

For more information, check the SunRiver Oboke website:

And for info about the Iya Valley and Oboke Gorge areas in English, check the IyaTime website:

(Text by: Shaun Lamzy, Photos by: Shaun Lamzy & SunRiver Oboke)