“Who would go to Wakura, with only seven houses/ if it wasn’t for its hot spring?”──
Despite gushing out of Yumoto, the hot springs were first located right in the middle of the ocean. It was inconvenient to get to and only known to those living in the village. This all began to change in the 16th century. A member of the influential Hatakeyama family decided to reinforce the source of the spring with stone. In the 17th century, the head of the Maeda family, Toshinaga Maeda, sent for the spring water and was cured of a tumor. After this became a topic of conversation, the name of Wakura became widespread throughout Japan. The Maeda family then set out to fill the area surrounding the hot spring with land, and this was the start of “Yushima.” They built a small shed on the island, and so long as you traveled there by boat, you could bathe in the hot spring. The seven families that lived in Wakura became the people in charge of the onsen itself.
“Who would go to Wakura, with only seven houses/ if it wasn’t for its hot spring?”
This is an old folk song surrounding the onsen that's carved into a stone monument in the town. The song goes on:
“What a cheeky village to be so small, we’ll destroy your little town.”
While not very pleasant, this song shows how prosperous Wakura Onsen was at the time.