Top 10 Best Onsen in Japan 2023

Onsens are natural hot springs found throughout Japan, with thousands of locations offering the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.

These hot springs are heated by geothermal energy and often contain minerals that can provide various health benefits.

Visiting an onsen is an essential experience for any traveler to Japan, as it offers a unique opportunity to unwind while indulging in the country’s rich cultural history.

Importance of Onsens in Japanese Culture

Onsens have been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, dating back to ancient times when they were believed to have healing properties.

They have played a significant role in Japanese society as places for relaxation, spiritual cleansing, and socializing.

Today, onsens are cherished by the Japanese, who often plan vacations and weekend getaways around these hot spring destinations.

Benefits of Experiencing Onsen

Visiting an onsen offers a multitude of benefits, both physical and mental.

The mineral-rich waters can help alleviate ailments like muscle pain, joint stiffness, and skin conditions.

Also, soaking in an onsen can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

It’s also an opportunity to immerse oneself in Japanese culture and traditions, making it a must-try experience while in Japan.

What to Know Before Visiting an Onsen

Onsen etiquette

Familiarizing yourself with onsen etiquette before visiting is essential to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience for all guests.

Some basic rules include:

  1. Washing your body thoroughly before entering the bath.
  2. Avoid using soap, shampoo, or other products in the hot spring.
  3. Keeping your hair and towels out of the water.
  4. Refraining from excessive noise or boisterous behavior.
  5. Respecting the privacy of others and not taking photos without permission.

Understanding the Different Types of Onsens

Japan has several types of onsens, each offering unique experiences and benefits. Some common types include:

  1. Rotenburo: Open-air baths, often with stunning views of surrounding nature.
  2. Sento: Public bathhouses, typically found in cities and towns.
  3. Ryokan: Traditional Japanese inns with on-site onsens for guests.
  4. Private baths: Smaller, private onsens reserved for individual or family use.

Choosing the proper onsen for your preferences

When selecting an onsen to visit, consider factors such as:

  1. Location: Urban or rural, near tourist attractions, or off-the-beaten-path.
  2. Type of onsen: Rotenburo, sento, ryokan, or private bath.
  3. Mineral composition: Different onsens have varying mineral content, which can affect the water’s appearance, smell, and therapeutic benefits.
  4. Budget: Prices for onsens range from affordable public baths to luxurious ryokans.
  5. Accessibility: Some onsens may have strict rules regarding tattoos or gender-separated bathing areas, so it’s essential to research beforehand to ensure a positive experience.

Top 10 Best Onsen in Japan:

1) Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma Prefecture)

in short:

Kusatsu Onsen is a scorching spring destination with unparalleled natural beauty, healing waters, and cultural immersion. With its unique features, convenient accessibility, and various accommodation options, this onsen is an excellent choice for a rejuvenating getaway. We highly recommend experiencing the wonders of Kusatsu Onsen for yourself, so don’t hesitate to book your trip now and create unforgettable memories in the heart of Gunma Prefecture.

Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma Prefecture)

Nestled in the heart of Gunma Prefecture, Kusatsu Onsen is a centuries-old hot spring destination renowned for its abundant and therapeutic waters.

With a history of over 1,000 years, this iconic onsen boasts unique features and experiences that set it apart from other hot spring resorts, making it a must-visit location for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

Kusatsu Onsen is particularly famous for its sulfuric waters, which provide various health benefits, such as alleviating muscle pain, joint stiffness, and skin conditions.

The unique bathing method, “Yumomi,” adds an artistic touch to the experience, involving the traditional process of cooling down the hot spring water by stirring it with wooden paddles.

The picturesque surroundings offer breathtaking views of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, Sainokawara Park, and Kusatsu International Ski Resort, providing guests with ample opportunities for leisure and outdoor activities.

The charming town is home to numerous ryokans and hotels catering to different preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable stay for all visitors.

How to get there:

  • Kusatsu Onsen is easily accessible from major cities like Tokyo, with several transportation options.
  • Visitors can take a train from Tokyo to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station, followed by a bus ride to Kusatsu Onsen.
  • Direct express buses are also available from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, taking about 4 hours.
  • It’s worth noting that some ryokans and hotels offer shuttle services from nearby stations, making the journey even more convenient.


  • Healing waters
  • Rich history
  • Unique Yumomi
  • Scenic surroundings
  • Accessible location


  • Sulfur smell
  • Seasonal crowds
  • Limited nightlife

2) Hakone Onsen (Kanagawa Prefecture)

in short:

Hakone Onsen is an exceptional destination for those seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating escape. Its rich history, a diverse range of hot spring baths, and stunning natural surroundings make it a standout choice among onsens in Japan. With reasonable pricing and convenient accessibility from major cities, it’s hard not to recommend Hakone Onsen to anyone looking for the ultimate hot spring experience.

Hakone Onsen is a renowned hot spring destination in the picturesque Kanagawa Prefecture.

With a rich history and a reputation for providing an unparalleled relaxation experience, this onsen is the perfect escape for those seeking a rejuvenating retreat.

Its unique selling points include a variety of hot spring baths, breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty, and a solid connection to Japanese culture and tradition, setting it apart from other onsens in the region.

Hakone Onsen boasts many features that cater to the diverse needs of its visitors. These include:

  • Indoor and outdoor baths: The onsen offers both baths, allowing guests to enjoy the hot springs in various atmospheres. The outdoor baths provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape, while the indoor baths offer a more private and serene experience.
  • Mineral-rich waters: The onsen’s waters are naturally mineral-rich, providing numerous health benefits. These minerals can help improve circulation, alleviate muscle pain, and promote relaxation.
  • Traditional Ryokan accommodations: Hakone Onsen is home to various ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) that offer comfortable lodging and authentic local cuisine. Guests can indulge in traditional Japanese hospitality and fully immerse themselves in the onsen experience.

How to get there:

Located approximately 90 minutes from Tokyo by train, Hakone Onsen is easily accessible for domestic and international travelers.

Frequent train and bus services connect the area to major transportation hubs.

However, travelers should be aware that public transportation may be crowded during peak seasons, and it is advisable to plan their journeys accordingly.


  • Mineral-rich waters
  • Stunning views
  • Traditional ryokans
  • Health benefits
  • Accessible location


  • Peak-season crowds
  • Varying prices
  • Weather-dependent experience

3) Beppu Onsen (Oita Prefecture)

in short:

Beppu Onsen is a remarkable destination that offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in a serene, natural setting. With its diverse range of hot springs, healing properties, breathtaking scenery, and delectable cuisine, Beppu Onsen truly offers something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this hidden gem in Oita Prefecture.

Beppu Onsen (Oita Prefecture)

Beppu Onsen is an exquisite hot spring resort in the heart of Oita Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan.

Renowned for its rich history and diverse range of thermal waters, Beppu Onsen is a premier destination for those seeking an authentic, rejuvenating experience.

With its unique combination of traditional Japanese hospitality, natural beauty, and healing properties, this onsen offers an unparalleled retreat for both body and soul.

Beppu Onsen boasts impressive features that provide users with the utmost relaxation and well-being.

Here are the key offerings of Beppu Onsen that make it a must-visit destination:

  • Variety of Hot Springs: Beppu Onsen caters to various preferences with over 2,000 hot spring vents and eight distinctive onsen districts. Visitors can choose from multiple baths, including sand, mud, and steam baths, each offering unique therapeutic benefits.
  • Healing Properties: The mineral-rich waters of Beppu Onsen are believed to provide relief from various ailments, including muscle aches, joint pain, and skin conditions. By immersing in these soothing waters, guests can reap the benefits of the onsen’s natural healing properties.
  • Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by lush forests and majestic mountains, Beppu Onsen offers a serene environment for relaxation and contemplation. The stunning landscapes provide a picturesque backdrop, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Local Cuisine: Beppu Onsen also offers an array of delicious local dishes made using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Guests can indulge in a culinary adventure as they sample Oita Prefecture’s finest cuisine.

How to get there:

Reaching Beppu Onsen is relatively simple and hassle-free.

The most convenient way to access Beppu is by taking the Kyushu Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kokura Station, followed by a limited express train to Beppu Station.

From Beppu Station, the various onsen districts are easily accessible via local bus or taxi services.

However, first-time visitors may face minor challenges navigating the public transportation system, but English-language resources and signage are available.


  • Diverse hot springs
  • Scenic beauty
  • Healing properties
  • Local cuisine
  • Traditional atmosphere


  • Language barrier
  • Remote location
  • Seasonal crowds

4) Noboribetsu Onsen (Hokkaido)

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Noboribetsu Onsen is an unparalleled destination for those seeking a rejuvenating escape in a stunning natural setting. With its diverse range of therapeutic hot springs, luxurious accommodations, and easy accessibility, it’s no wonder this Hokkaido gem continues to captivate travelers worldwide. If you want to treat yourself to an unforgettable experience, don’t hesitate to book your stay at Noboribetsu Onsen.

Noboribetsu Onsen (Hokkaido)

Noboribetsu Onsen, nestled in the heart of Hokkaido, is no ordinary hot spring experience.

This renowned onsen offers visitors a unique opportunity to rejuvenate their minds, body, and spirit amidst the breathtaking natural scenery of Japan’s northernmost island.

With a wide range of therapeutic hot springs, luxurious amenities, and an unrivaled atmosphere, Noboribetsu Onsen stands out as a top choice for relaxation and wellness among discerning travelers.

Noboribetsu Onsen’s main draw is its diverse hot springs, each boasting distinct therapeutic properties.

The Jigokudani (“Hell Valley”) area features sulfur-rich waters, known for their skin-healing benefits and relief from joint pain.

The Oyunuma Pond, on the other hand, offers a soothing mud bath experience that promotes overall wellness and relaxation.

In addition to these natural hot springs, visitors can enjoy a variety of spa treatments, such as massages and facials, to enhance their rejuvenating experience.

The onsen also offers luxurious accommodations to suit every traveler’s taste and budget.

From traditional ryokan-style rooms to modern hotel suites, guests can enjoy an authentic Japanese experience while indulging in top-notch amenities.

Many accommodations feature private baths, allowing guests to unwind in privacy while enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

How to get there:

Accessing Noboribetsu Onsen is relatively straightforward, whether traveling by car, train, or bus.

The closest airport, New Chitose Airport, is only a 90-minute drive away, while the Noboribetsu Train Station is a mere 15-minute taxi ride from the onsen area.

There are also regular bus services from Sapporo and other major cities in Hokkaido, making it a convenient destination for local and international travelers.

However, visitors should note that the mountainous terrain may pose a challenge during winter, so it’s essential to plan accordingly and check weather conditions before setting off.


  • Diverse springs
  • Stunning scenery
  • Luxurious accommodations
  • Therapeutic benefits
  • Easy accessibility


  • Winter challenges
  • Price variability
  • Potentially crowded

5) Gero Onsen (Gifu Prefecture)

in short:

Gero Onsen is an outstanding hot spring destination that combines the healing properties of its therapeutic waters with the serenity of its natural surroundings and cultural attractions. Its accessibility and range of accommodations make it a perfect getaway for those seeking respite from the stresses of daily life. We highly recommend experiencing the wonders of Gero Onsen and embarking on a journey of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Nestled in the heart of Gifu Prefecture, Gero Onsen is a premier hot spring destination renowned for its therapeutic waters and serene atmosphere.

The onsen, which has over a thousand years of history, allows visitors to unwind and rejuvenate their bodies and minds.

With its unique combination of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and exceptional hospitality, Gero Onsen is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking relaxation and tranquility.

Gero Onsen offers a range of features, each designed to enhance the experience of its visitors. Among its most notable features are:

  • Healing Waters: Gero Onsen is famous for its sodium bicarbonate spring water, known for its skin-beautifying properties. The mineral-rich waters offer a soothing and refreshing experience that leaves the skin soft and supple.
  • Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by lush mountains and the pristine Hida River, Gero Onsen offers a stunning natural environment for visitors to enjoy. The area’s picturesque landscapes provide a serene backdrop ideal for relaxation and reflection.
  • Cultural Attractions: Gero Onsen is a haven for relaxation and cultural exploration. Visitors can discover the region’s rich history at Gero Onsen Gassho Village or admire the traditional architecture of the town’s streets.
  • Accommodation Options: Gero Onsen has many accommodation options, ranging from traditional ryokans to modern hotels. These establishments offer warm hospitality, comfortable rooms, and exquisite cuisine, adding to the overall enjoyment of the experience.

How to get there:

Gero Onsen is conveniently accessible by train, with a direct route from Nagoya Station via the JR Hida Limited Express.

The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours, allowing for a comfortable and stress-free travel experience.

Once at Gero Station, the hot spring resorts are easily reachable by foot or via shuttle services provided by the accommodations.


  • Healing waters
  • Scenic beauty
  • Cultural attractions
  • Accommodation variety
  • Accessible location


  • Seasonal crowds
  • Potentially pricey
  • Language barrier

6) Arima Onsen (Hyogo Prefecture)

in short:

Arima Onsen is an exceptional destination that promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for those searching for relaxation and rejuvenation. With its unparalleled hot spring waters, diverse accommodations, and convenient accessibility, it is easy to see why this hidden gem in Hyogo Prefecture has enchanted travelers for centuries. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge in the ultimate retreat.

Arima Onsen, tucked away in the heart of Hyogo Prefecture, is a celebrated hot spring destination that promises an unparalleled experience for those seeking rejuvenation and serenity.

Steeped in centuries of history and boasting a remarkable variety of natural hot spring waters, Arima Onsen stands out as a luxurious retreat that has captured the hearts of travelers worldwide.

Its exquisite combination of natural beauty, healing waters, and traditional charm sets it apart from other destinations.

Arima Onsen is famed for its two distinct hot spring waters, known as “Kinsen” (Gold Spring) and “Ginsen” (Silver Spring).

The Kinsen, rich in iron deposits, is characterized by its reddish-brown color and offers many benefits, including relief from muscle pain, joint stiffness, and skin conditions.

The Ginsen, on the other hand, is a clear and colorless spring known for its high levels of radium and carbonate. It is said to aid in improving blood circulation, easing fatigue, and promoting overall well-being.

Arima Onsen also provides guests with diverse accommodations, including traditional ryokans, modern hotels, and private houses.

These lodging options cater to various preferences and budgets, allowing each visitor to find the perfect fit for their stay.

Moreover, many establishments offer exquisite kaiseki meals, showcasing the best local cuisine and providing an authentic taste of Japanese culinary art.

How to get there:

Reaching Arima Onsen is relatively straightforward, thanks to its accessibility from major cities such as Osaka and Kobe.

  • From Shin-Kobe Station, it is just a 30-minute train ride to Arimaguchi Station, followed by a short bus trip to the onsen town.
  • Travelers should be prepared for some uphill walking upon arrival, as the picturesque village is nestled within the mountains.
  • However, its convenient location and well-developed transportation infrastructure make it an easily accessible destination for most visitors.


  • Healing waters
  • Historical charm
  • Scenic location
  • Diverse accommodations
  • Authentic cuisine


  • Uphill walking
  • Potential crowds
  • Language barrier
  • Product Con 4
  • Product Con 5

7) Dogo Onsen (Ehime Prefecture)

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Dogo Onsen is an unparalleled destination for those seeking a rejuvenating and culturally enriching experience in Japan. Its healing waters, elegant architecture, and immersive atmosphere make it a must-visit attraction in Ehime Prefecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Japan’s ancient healing secrets at this historic hot spring.

Dogo Onsen, located in the picturesque Ehime Prefecture, is one of Japan’s oldest and most esteemed hot springs.

With a history of over 3,000 years, this onsen is renowned for its healing waters and exceptional hospitality.

Dogo Onsen sets itself apart from competitors as a top destination for relaxation and rejuvenation through its unique blend of tradition, culture, and luxurious facilities.

Dogo Onsen boasts several vital features that cater to the needs of its discerning clientele:

  • Mineral-rich hot spring waters: The onsen’s naturally occurring minerals are believed to promote healing and relieve various ailments such as arthritis, muscle pain, and fatigue. A soothing soak in Dogo Onsen’s waters is an experience that leaves guests feeling refreshed and invigorated.
  • Elegant architecture and design: Dogo Onsen’s central bathhouse, Dogo Onsen Honkan, is a magnificent wooden structure with a design inspired by ancient Japanese castles. Its intricate details and impressive aesthetic create an immersive atmosphere that transports visitors to a bygone era.
  • Private bathing rooms: Dogo Onsen offers private bathing rooms for those seeking a more intimate experience, allowing guests to indulge in the hot springs’ therapeutic properties in a serene and secluded setting.
  • Cultural immersion: As a hub of local culture, Dogo Onsen often hosts formal events, tea ceremonies, and performances. Guests can immerse themselves in the rich history and customs of the region while enjoying the onsen’s rejuvenating benefits.

How to get there:

Dogo Onsen is easily accessible via public transportation. It is a mere 15-minute tram ride from Matsuyama Station, which connects to major cities such as Hiroshima, Osaka, and Tokyo via the Shinkansen bullet train.

Although the onsen is located in a more remote area, its convenient transportation links make it a hassle-free destination for domestic and international travelers.


  • Historic site
  • Cultural immersion
  • Private baths
  • Accessible location
  • Healing waters


  • Potential crowds
  • Language barriers
  • Seasonal weather

8) Ibusuki Onsen (Kagoshima Prefecture)

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Ibusuki Onsen, with its one-of-a-kind sand baths and rejuvenating hot springs, offers an exclusive and unforgettable experience for those seeking relaxation and wellness. Its easily accessible location in the stunning Kagoshima Prefecture only adds to its appeal. Given the reasonable price point and the array of health benefits, I would highly recommend Ibusuki Onsen as a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Japanese onsen culture.

Ibusuki Onsen, nestled in the picturesque Kagoshima Prefecture, is a renowned hot spring destination that offers an unparalleled rejuvenating experience for its visitors.

With its unique natural sand baths, soothing hot spring waters, and breathtaking scenery, Ibusuki Onsen sets itself apart from competitors, providing an unforgettable retreat for those seeking relaxation, wellness, and a touch of Japanese culture.

At Ibusuki Onsen, the natural sand baths take center stage.

Heated by volcanic geothermal activity, the sand baths allow visitors to be covered in warm, mineral-rich sand, providing deep, therapeutic heat for the entire body.

This unique treatment is known for its numerous health benefits, such as improved blood circulation, muscle and joint pain relief, and a boosted immune system.

In addition to the sand baths, Ibusuki Onsen offers traditional hot spring baths that draw water from natural geothermal sources in the area.

Rich in minerals, these waters have various healing properties, such as alleviating skin conditions, reducing stress, and promoting overall well-being.

Surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of Kagoshima Prefecture, a visit to Ibusuki Onsen also offers the chance to connect with nature.

Guests can enjoy serene walks by the coastline and explore nearby attractions, such as the lush gardens of Chiran Samurai Residence and the majestic Mount Kaimondake.

How to get there:

Reaching Ibusuki Onsen is relatively easy, with multiple transportation options available to visitors.

  • The nearest airport, Kagoshima Airport, is well-connected to major cities in Japan. Visitors can take a direct bus from the airport to Ibusuki, which takes around 2 hours.
  • Alternatively, travelers can opt for the train, with Ibusuki Station being only a 5-minute taxi ride or a 20-minute walk from the onsen.


  • Unique sand baths
  • Therapeutic hot springs
  • Scenic surroundings
  • Cultural attractions
  • Accessible location


  • Travel duration
  • Possible language barrier
  • Seasonal weather variations

9) Takaragawa Onsen (Gunma Prefecture)

in short:

Takaragawa Onsen is an exceptional destination for those seeking a serene and authentic Japanese hot spring experience. With its stunning outdoor baths, healing properties, and traditional ryokan accommodation, this onsen offers a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Takaragawa Onsen (Gunma Prefecture)

Nestled amidst the captivating natural landscape of Gunma Prefecture, Takaragawa Onsen is a luxurious retreat that offers a rejuvenating and authentic Japanese hot spring experience.

Renowned for its picturesque outdoor baths and tranquil surroundings, this onsen is a premier destination for relaxation, wellness, and a genuine connection with nature.

Takaragawa Onsen boasts numerous impressive features that ensure an unforgettable and therapeutic experience for its visitors. Key highlights include:

  • Four Outdoor Baths: The onsen features four stunning open-air baths, each uniquely designed to harmonize with the surrounding natural beauty. These baths provide a serene and soothing atmosphere, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the healing powers of the natural hot springs.
  • Mixed-Gender Bathing: As one of the few establishments that offer mixed-gender bathing, Takaragawa Onsen enables couples, families, and friends to enjoy the hot spring experience together. This inclusive approach adds a communal and bonding aspect to the visit.
  • Healing Properties: Rich in minerals, the hot spring waters of Takaragawa Onsen are believed to offer numerous health benefits, including alleviating muscle pain, improving circulation, and promoting overall relaxation.
  • Traditional Ryokan Accommodation: Visitors can opt to stay in standard Japanese-style rooms, complete with tatami flooring, futon bedding, and sliding paper doors. This authentic accommodation further enhances the cultural experience and allows guests to fully embrace Japanese living.

How to get there:

Located approximately 2.5 hours from Tokyo, Takaragawa Onsen is relatively easy to access.

Visitors can take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Jomo-Kogen Station, followed by a 30-minute bus ride to the onsen.

While the journey may require a few transfers, the picturesque scenery and anticipation of a revitalizing experience make it worthwhile.


  • Scenic location
  • Healing waters
  • Mixed-gender baths
  • Traditional ryokan
  • Nature immersion


  • Travel time
  • Fewer amenities
  • Limited accessibility

10) Nyuto Onsen (Akita Prefecture)

in short:

Nyuto Onsen in Akita Prefecture is an idyllic retreat that combines the best of traditional Japan with modern comforts. With its therapeutic hot springs, authentic accommodation, tasty cuisine, and a wide range of relaxation options and activities, it is a destination that caters to various preferences. We wholeheartedly recommend Nyuto Onsen to those seeking a rejuvenating escape from everyday stress.

Nestled within the pristine forests of the Akita Prefecture, the Nyuto Onsen offers an unparalleled experience of relaxation and rejuvenation.

As a hot spring resort with a rich history, it effortlessly combines traditional Japanese charm with modern amenities.

Its unique selling points include breathtaking natural surroundings, soothing hot spring baths, and exquisite local cuisine.

These qualities set Nyuto Onsen apart from its competitors, making it a must-visit destination for hot spring enthusiasts.

Nyuto Onsen boasts several features that provide visitors with an unforgettable experience:

  • Natural Hot Springs: The resort is renowned for its mineral-rich hot springs, providing therapeutic effects for various ailments. The outdoor baths, or rotenburo, offer an opportunity to soak in the healing waters while enjoying the picturesque forest views.
  • Traditional Accommodation: Guests can stay in charming ryokans or traditional Japanese inns, which feature tatami mat rooms, sliding shoji doors, and futon beds. This authentic experience allows visitors to immerse themselves in Japanese culture.
  • Culinary Delights: Nyuto Onsen offers a delectable selection of local Akita cuisine prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Guests can savor these dishes in the comfort of their ryokan, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Relaxation and Activities: From the hot springs, visitors can indulge in various relaxation services, such as massages and spa treatments. For those seeking adventure, nearby hiking trails and seasonal activities like snowshoeing perfectly balance relaxation and exploration.

How to get there:

Reaching Nyuto Onsen is relatively straightforward. Visitors can take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Tazawako Station and a bus ride to the resort.

While the journey might be time-consuming, the breathtaking scenery and serene environment compensate for any inconvenience.

It’s essential to plan your trip well and take note of bus schedules to ensure a seamless journey.


  • Therapeutic hot springs
  • Traditional ryokans
  • Local cuisine
  • Scenic beauty
  • Outdoor activities


  • Time-consuming travel
  • Seasonal accessibility
  • Language barrier

Tips for Planning Your Onsen Getaway

Embarking on an onsen getaway in Japan is a rejuvenating and culturally enriching experience.

Consider these essential tips while planning your perfect onsen escape to make the most of your trip.

Best Time to Visit Onsens in Japan

  • Winter (December – February): With snowfall cloaking the landscape, winter is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit onsens. The contrast between the freezing outdoor temperatures and the warm onsen waters creates a magical experience. Famous winter onsens include Nyuto Onsen, Kusatsu Onsen, and Ginzan Onsen.
  • Spring (March–May): Cherry blossoms and mild temperatures make spring an excellent season for onsen visits. The stunning floral backdrop adds a touch of romance to the experience. Hakone Onsen, Izu Onsen, and Kinosaki Onsen are amazing onsens this season.
  • Summer (June – August): While summer is not the peak season for onsens, it can still be enjoyable. The lush greenery surrounding the onsens is a sight to behold. Try visiting the more mountainous onsens to escape the humidity, such as Takaragawa Onsen or Kamikochi Onsen.
  • Autumn (September – November): With the leaves turning shades of red, orange, and yellow, autumn offers a picturesque view during your onsen getaway. Arima Onsen and Noboribetsu Onsen are excellent choices for this season.

Packing Essentials for an Onsen Trip

  • Yukata: A yukata is a lightweight cotton kimono perfect for wearing around the onsen area or ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). Many accommodations provide yukatas, but bringing your own ensures the right size and style.
  • Comfortable footwear: Pack a pair of sandals or flip-flops when moving between the onsen and your room.
  • Toiletries: Most onsens provide basic toiletries, but it’s always best to bring your preferred essentials, such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
  • Modesty towel: A small towel covers your body while walking around the onsen area. It can also be placed on your head while soaking in the hot spring.
  • Swimsuit (optional): While traditional onsens require nudity, some modern hot springs allow swimsuits. Research beforehand to know what’s appropriate for each location.

Combining Onsen Visits with Other Japanese Attractions

  • Cultural experiences: Enhance your onsen getaway by participating in tea ceremonies, visiting temples and shrines, or exploring traditional crafts in nearby towns and villages.
  • Culinary delights: Indulge in local cuisines, such as regional ramen specialties, fresh sushi, or wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets).
  • Outdoor activities: Combine your onsen visit with hiking, skiing, or snowboarding excursions, depending on the season and location.
  • Festivals and events: Coordinate your onsen trip with local festivals, such as the Sapporo Snow Festival, Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri, or Takayama’s Spring and Autumn Festivals.

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