For an authentic descent into real Japan then look no further than Yugawara. Famed for its dramatic mountainscapes, hot springs and ryokan (traditional Japanese inns), this area in south-central Japan is also renowned for its seasonal blooms and in spring the plum blossoms at Makuyama Park are well worth seeing. The area also has some waterfalls and caves which attract visitors from near and far.
It's the onsens, however, that are Yugawara's most magnetic force with a myriad of spots, all worth trying for their therapeutic properties. Yugawara is also a cultural spot with temples such as Joganji and museums such as the great The 'Living National Treasures' Museum which includes work from renowned ceramic artist Morihiro Hosokawa in addition to works from the Important Intangible Cultural Property list for which Japan is one of the world leaders. Yugawara, then, is a rich and diverse destination perfect for those interested in nature, relaxation and culture.