Legend has it that once upon a time, the deity of Mt. Akagi (Snake) and that of Mt. Nikko Nantaisan (Centipede) fought a battle. The deity of Mt. Akagi was shot with an arrow. He pulled it out and then stabbed it into the foot of Mt. Akagi. Immediately after, onsen water gushed up, and this is said to be the beginning of Oigami Onsen. The deity's wound was healed soon after he soaked it with the onsen water. Furthermore, the deity of Mt. Akagi successfully beat off the deity of Mt. Nikko Nantaisan. The act of beating off a deity is pronounced "Oigami" in Japanese, which is said to have become the name of the onsen.
Oigami's onsen quality is alkaline simple, sulfurous spring, etc. and is believed to be good for treating illnesses including nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, stiff shoulders due to age, excessive sensitivity to cold, skin disease, bruises, chronic digestive disorder, gout, hemorrhoids, etc. The temperature of the source of the spring ranges between 40 to 65 degrees centigrade. Due to its effect on human skin, Oigami Onsen is called an onsen to make women beautiful and to heal illnesses and injuries.
The morning market
The famous morning market, said to be the largest in the Kanto region, is held from April to mid-November from 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. at the open space in front of the Kanko Kaikan Building. Fresh produce grown by local people is sold at the market. It is the place for visitors to meet the local people and get to know each other. Fruits and vegetables of the season, wild vegetables, and mushrooms are also on sale. The morning market started primarily to create a place for visitors and local people to meet and get to know one another. Processed foods such as miso paste and pickles are made according to recipes that had been handed down for generations. Onsen guests wake up early to take a morning stroll and enjoy the market.
The four seasons at Oigami
The Giant Snake Festival is held annually in early May. A portable shrine in the shape of a giant snake is carried around throughout Oigami Onsen. In August, there is an event to dance Bon Dance with the landladies of the inns and hotels of Oigami Onsen. Autumn foliage at Katashina Gorge is breathtaking. In winter, a "Dondon Yaki" is held. Dondon Yaki takes place either on January 15 or 16 throughout Japan. It's a Lunar New Year's event to pray for good fortune and a bountiful harvest by collecting and burning the ornaments that decorated houses during the New Year such as Kadomatsu or pine boughs, Shimenawa or sacred rice-straw ropes, and other charms. Oigami Onsen is a spa resort Gunma offers with pride.
Address: Oigami, Tone-machi, Numata MAP
Contact: 0278-56-3013 (Oigami Onsen Tourism Association)
Map of walkways at Oigami PDF
Nearby tourist spots (In Japanese)
Oigami Onsen Inns & Hotels Association (In Japanese)