Want a relaxing getaway in Japan? Here are the most popular hot spring resorts in Japan.
Hot springs (onsen) are an asset for Japan’s visitors, among other options. Japan has around 27,000 springs and is positioned on the Pacific Fire Rim. If you haven’t visited hot springs resorts in Japan, you’re missing out.
Who wouldn’t enjoy relaxing in hot calming mineral springs, stunning surroundings, and water that has medicinal properties?
But, what exactly are hot springs aka onsens?
A hot spring, sometimes known as a thermal spring, is a spring whose water temperature is much higher than the temperature of the surrounding air. Natural hot springs are driven by volcanic activity as well as the resort ambiance that has developed around many of these springs.
I love visiting hot springs in Japan often. And below I have listed some of the most popular and also my favorite hot springs resorts in Japan.
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Here are some of the best Japanese Hot Springs Resorts in Japan to explore and enjoy.
Most Popular Hot Spring Resorts In Japan
Kusatsu, commonly known as Thespa Kusatsu, is Japan’s most famous onsen, famous for its gorgeous setting and great curative effect.
It has been known as a prominent hot spring for health care since ancient times.
Kusatsu Onsen has the greatest natural spring volume in Japan. It is supplied with vast amounts of hot water, which is supposed to cure every illness.
The best part is that there are no entrance fees to enjoy the hot springs.
My favorite activity was stirring the spring water in the hot spring bath with a huge wooden board to evenly mix the therapeutic elements in the hot spring and lower the temperature.
It was enjoyable and therapeutic.
Address: Kusatsu, Agatsuma District, Gunma, Japan
Hakone is a fantastic spot to visit. And the location is breathtakingly lovely.
If you want to experience hot springs, Hakone Onsen is probably the best place to go in Tokyo.
It is a must-see for anyone visiting the vibrant city. However, if you want to stay overnight, they have ryokan guesthouses (as do many hot spring resort towns).
And the joy of the joys is that you can see Mount Fuji from here, making it one of the top onsens in Japan to visit. I had a wonderful day and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Address: Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa, Japan
With its seven excellent public hot springs, Kinosaki Onsen is also considered to be one of the best resort towns for onsen spas in Japan with its well-maintained public hot springs.
Its three-story traditional wooden cottages, distinctive facilities, and décor make each stay unique. Kinosaki has it all: traditional, modern, and Romanesque!
It has a really old vibe to it, but it’s worth a visit even if you don’t intend to take onsen.
Kinosaki is named the “best hot spring town” by Lonely Planet as a result of its willow-lined river, old-fashioned ryokan, and nostalgic arcades.
It was a fantastic opportunity for me to visit a neighboring sanctuary that aids in the conservation of endangered oriental storks.
Address: Kinosakicho Yushima, Toyooka, Hyogo 669-6101, Japan
Shibu onsen resort is an ancient and beautiful hot spring village with a vintage ambiance. Shibu Onsen is situated in a small valley, stretching out on a gradual slope beside the Yokoyugawa River. Shibu Onsen is a hot spring resort with a history dating back over 1,300 years.
Shibu Onsen in Yamanouchi is one of the most unique onsen towns in Japan since it attracts not only humans but also our ape companions!
It was pleasant to see monkeys in Shibu’s monkey park enjoying and relaxing just like we did. Many people come here merely to see the snow monkeys bathing in hot water.
Shibu Onsen is famed for its monkey park as well as its numerous bathhouses that treat specific ailments. In addition to visiting each of the town’s nine bathhouses, visitors can also collect stamps on bath towels.
It is believed that those who do this will be rewarded with good fortune! This strengthens my conviction, and the people here support it wholeheartedly.
Address: 2200 Hirao, Yamanochi, Shimotakai District, Nagano 381-0401, Japan
Beppu Onsen is a well-known onsen town on Kyushu Island. There are several areas in the region where you can enjoy an onsen.
This resort in the Oita prefecture promises billions of options as well as high-quality hot springs.
Choosing the best one among many will be a challenging task. If that’s the case, Beppu is unquestionably the place to be!
It has the maximum number of hot springs in Japan, many of which provide treatments other than traditional hot water baths. It offers steam baths, sand baths, and mud baths, which all have healing properties.
You can explore a variety of onsen treatments at this resort to diversify your therapeutic experience, which is very effective for treating chronic skin diseases.
This famous hot spring resort is a must-see once in a lifetime if you want to soak in the finest baths.
Address: 16-23 Motomachi, Beppu, Oita 874-0944, Japan
Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen
As the name implies, Kawaguchiko Onsen is located on Lake Kawaguchiko, which offers spectacular views of Mount Fuji.
Some bathhouses and ryokan offer both indoor and outdoor bathing, but the best views of Mount Fuji can be enjoyed by the lake itself.
A visit to this area is best experienced in spring during cherry blossom season and in autumn during Koyo, or leaf viewing season. This is when the area is at its most picturesque.
Being able to experience Mount Fuji and take a bath simultaneously is like having the best of both worlds. I had a pleasant experience. There’s nothing more one could ask for.
Address: 4020 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0301, Japan
Dogo Onsen is one of Japan’s three oldest Hot Springs, dating back 3000 years and is located in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture.
The hot spring resort is an old building with finely carved wooden rooms, halls, and staircases.
It has a big, castle-like bathhouse as well as multiple ryokans. The Honkan bathhouse influenced aspects of the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away. The restrooms are private and include complimentary toiletries.
This is by far my favorite indoor onsen in Japan and one of the best Japanese onsens for antiquity and comfort.
The interiors are beautifully representative of an actual Japanese inn, and the exteriors, with their curving roofs and wooden pillars, perfectly embody olden Japan.
Address: 5-6 Dōgoyunomachi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-0842, Japan
Ginzanso – Ginzan Onsen
At the entrance to Ginzan Onsen, there is a five-story Ryokan hotel called Ginzando (Ginzan Hot Spring). There are 46 Japanese-style guest rooms at Ginzanso, and each one has a private bathroom and toilet.
At Ginzanso, there are both indoor and outdoor hot spring baths for men and women (only of the same sex), and from the pools, visitors can see the mountains, lake, and nearby river.
The outdoor hot spring bath is fully illuminated at night, and visitors can enjoy Japanese sake on trays while they enjoy the hot spring. Ginzanso serves Japanese food that is seasonal and fresh.
The check-in and check-out times are after 15:00 and before 10:00, respectively. If you’re planning to drive down, you’ll find parking here too!
Price: Standard room for couple: 19,800 yen | Deluxe Room for couple: 23,100 yen
Check in time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Check out time: 07:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Address: Japan, 〒999-4333 Yamagata, Obanazawa, Ginzanshinhata, ８５
Yamamizuki Kurokawa Onsen
Yamamizuki is one of the best hot spring resorts in Japan. Many of the Japanese-style guest rooms at Yamamizuki’s Traditional Ryokan have their own private bathroom and toilet.
There are two shared outdoor hot spring baths for women and one shared indoor hot spring bath for males. Additionally, there is a mixed outdoor hot spring spa too!
You can taste some of the traditional Japanese food at Yamamizuki.
The check-in and check-out times are after 14:00 and before 11:00, respectively. Yamamizuki also provides parking!
Price: 15,000 – 20,000 JPY per person
Check in time: post 2:00 PM
Check out time: Before 11:00 AM
Address: Japan, 〒869-2402 Kumamoto, Aso District, Minamioguni, Manganji, ６３９２ ２
The best thing that could happen to me in Japan is to explore various hot spring resorts. Visiting Japan would not be complete without soaking in an onsen bath. Japan’s hot spring resorts have exquisite locations, ancient healing techniques, vintage facilities, and therapeutic experiences that cannot be ignored.
After discovering so much about hot spring resorts, I hope you will not miss a visit there. Everyone will desire to soak in a luxurious bath at least once.
Many of these locations are accessible by day trip from some of the more popular ones. Don’t pass up the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of these hot spring resorts; I’m convinced it will be a worthwhile experience for you. Hot spring resorts are the best places to relax and unwind while also healing.
Popular Hot Spring Resorts in Japan: FAQs
What is the best hot spring bath in Japan?
Kusatsu Onsen, Beppu Onsen, Noboribetsu Onsen, Arima Onsen, and Hakone Onsen are among the highly regarded hot spring destinations in Japan. Each offers unique bathing experiences, from Kusatsu’s healing properties to Beppu’s diverse baths and Noboribetsu’s geothermal activity. Arima is known for its historic charm, while Hakone provides a mix of traditional and luxurious options.
Where in Japan has the best hot springs?
Hakone is a renowned hot spring destination in Japan, situated in close proximity to the iconic Mount Fuji. This picturesque area offers a wide array of hot spring experiences, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Hakone boasts numerous traditional ryokans and hotels that provide private hot spring baths, allowing couples and travelers to relax in intimate settings while enjoying the therapeutic properties of the mineral-rich waters.
Do Japanese hotels have hot springs?
Yes, many hotels in Japan, particularly ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and onsen resorts, feature hot springs, known as “onsen.” It is a common practice for these accommodations to have their own hot spring facilities, either private baths in guest rooms or communal baths that can be enjoyed by all guests.
Staying at a hotel with hot springs allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the traditional Japanese onsen experience without having to travel to external public onsen facilities.
Does ginzan onsen allow tattoos?
Ginzan Onsen, a historic hot spring town located in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, generally follows the traditional Japanese practice of prohibiting entry to individuals with visible tattoos. This policy is rooted in cultural norms and historical associations of tattoos with organized crime in Japan.
While attitudes towards tattoos are gradually changing, it is advisable to check with specific accommodations or hot spring facilities in Ginzan Onsen regarding their tattoo policies.
What is Japan’s most popular hot spring?
Arima Onsen, located at the base of a beautiful autumn foliage valley among the hills and mountains of Hyogo Prefecture, is one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Japan.
How popular are hot springs in Japan?
Japan is a hot springs destination due to its abundance of active volcanoes. There are dozens of spa precincts throughout the country, with charming ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) as well.
Why do Japanese people visit hot springs?
Japan is well renowned for its numerous hot springs. Since ancient times, Japanese people have been drawn to hot springs. This is because onsen heals both the body and the soul.
Is a hot spring helpful for your health?
Onsen water contains various natural components, including sodium bicarbonate and calcium, which are taken into our bodies when we bathe. Minerals improve blood flow and oxygen levels in our bodies.
What is the ideal length of stay in an onsen?
In most cases, the recommended soak time is 15 to 20 minutes. Prolonged immersion in hot water can cause excessively high blood pressure or heart rate, resulting in dizziness and discomfort.
Is it necessary to wear a swimsuit to an onsen?
An onsen is a place without swimsuits, so bringing one is unnecessary. A yukata robe will be provided outside the bath. Even a towel is not permitted in the bath.
What are the advantages of hot springs?
Hot Springs have several healing properties:
- Boron helps to strengthen bones and improves cognitive function.
- Calcium improves bone health and overall wellness.
- Sulfate soothes pain and is necessary for healthy skin, hair, and nails.