As winter gradually approaches, don't you sometimes suddenly feel like taking a day trip to a hot spring? By taking a bus departing from Shinjuku Busta, a high-speed bus terminal in Shinjuku, the center of Tokyo, you can easily access hot springs all over the country that will warm your body and soul. Here are 5 best day trip onsen easily accessible via bus.
Fujiyama Onsen (next to Fuji-Q Highland)
In just about an hour and forty minutes, a bus ride from Shinjuku will take the visitors to Fuji-Q Highland, one of Japan's most popular amusement parks at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
Fujiyama Onsen is located next to the park. It has a wooden bathroom, one of the largest in Japan with a retro atmosphere, has five indoor baths, a sauna, and an outdoor bath. There is also a bedrock bathing area that can be used for an additional fee, and you can relax in the manga corner after your bedrock bathing experience with a view of Mt. Fuji.
The "Fujiyama Onsen Pack," which includes a round-trip expressway bus ticket and bathing fee, is available at a discounted price of 4,970 yen. Unfortunately, even using a tattoo cover up sticker, those who has a tattoo can not enter.
One-way fare: Adult 1,850 yen and up (standard seat, web purchase fee)
Bus: Fuji Kyuko Bus: Take the bus from "Basta Shinjuku" → Get off at "Fuji-Q Highland" → Short walk to "Fujiyama Onsen" *Other routes available
Time required: Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes (one way)
Konoha no Yu inside Gotemba Premium Outlet
Gotemba Premium Outlets, accessible in about two hours one way from Shinjuku Busta (Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal), is one of the largest outlet malls in Japan, with about 290 stores, a mini amusement park, and in 2020, a new area called the Hillside Area.
Inside the outlet, Konoha no Yu has an open-air bath with a spectacular panoramic view of Mt. Fuji, an indoor bath, a sauna with löyly steam and 19 private open-air baths.
There is also a "resting room" with more than 2,500 manga and books, a "snoozing room" where you can take a nap, and a "viewing terrace" where you can cool off after bathing while looking at Mt. This is the perfect spot for those who want to spend a relaxing day away from their busy lives.
Those with a tattoo can not enter however, the official webpage said "If the tattoo can be covered with two cover seals (10cm x 14cm) specified by our facility, you may enter.These cover seals are sold at the front desk for 300 yen each."
Fare: Adult 1,800 yen (one way)
Bus: Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus: Get on at "Busta Shinjuku" → Get off at "Gotemba Premium Outlets" → Short walk to "Konoha no Yu
Time required: approx. 2 hours (one way)
Ikaho Onsen, one of the most popular hot spring resorts in the Kanto region, is easily accessible from Shinjuku Busta without changing trains. From Ikaho Onsen, you can also take a bus to Kusatsu Onsen, another popular hot spring resort in Gunma. If you have enough time in your schedule, book a place nearby and visit the areas for two days and one night is also recommended.
The 365 stone steps leading up to the Ikaho Shrine are the most famous symbol of Ikaho Onsen, which has a history of over 400 years. Both sides of the stairs are lined with hot spring inns, free footbaths, and souvenir shops, where you can also enjoy eating some local specialties.
The inn "Tamaki", popular for its pure Japanese style, is available for day trips from 11:30 to 14:30 except Mondays and Fridays. You can enjoy the two famous hot springs of Ikaho Onsen, called "golden hot water" and "silver hot water," while looking out over the Tanigawa mountain range.
However, those with a tattoo can no enter the inn Tamaki even using a tattoo cover up sticker
One-way fare: Adults 2,490 yen and up (standard seat and web purchase fare during normal season)
Bus: Take JR Bus Kanto from Shinjuku Busta→ Get off at "Ikaho Onsen/Ikaho Ishidangai Higashi Shisho-mae" → Walk for about 1 minute to "Oyado Tamaki".
Travel time: approx. 2 hours 40 minutes (one way)
- 伊香保温泉 お宿玉樹
Shika no Yu with a history of over 1300 years
While Tochigi Prefecture has hot spring villages such as Nikko Onsen and Shiobara Onsen, Shika no Yu in Nasu Onsen is known as the oldest hot spring in the prefecture with a history of over 1300 years. This is a famous hot spring that attracts hot spring lovers from all over the country for its cloudy sulfur spring water.
In order to enhance the effects of the hot spring, you can enjoy a unique bathing experience called "Kaburi-yu," in which you have to cover yourself with hot water about 200 times with a ladle before taking a bath. Please note that the use of soap and shampoo is prohibited.
There is also a river running beside the quaint wooden building of Shika no Yu, so you can enjoy a short walk after taking a bath.
Those with a tattoo can enter the facility
One-way fare: Adult 3,520 yen - (Web purchase price)
Bus: Take the JR Bus Kanto → Get off at "Nasu Onsen" → "Shika no Yu" on foot for about 2 minutes
Travel time: approx. 3 hours 20 minutes (one way)
Hirugami Onsen at Japan's most starry-sky village
Achi Village in Nagano Prefecture has been recognized by the Ministry of the Environment as the place where the stars shine the brightest, and the starry sky is not the only attraction. One of the attractions of the village is the hot spring resort called Hirugami Onsen, which is a popular tourist destination with more than 20 hot spring lodging facilities where you can enjoy thick, high-quality hot spring water.
There are also many hot spring facilities that can be used on a day trip, such as "Yurui no Yado Keizan," which offers a plan that includes a kaiseki meal using Shinshu ingredients and hot spring water, "Yuttari-na Ryujin," which offers an open-air bath, sauna, and pool, and "Fureai no Yu," a free footbath facility.
Why don't you go a little farther than usual on weekends and refresh yourself in the great nature of southern Shinshu, at the Hirugami Onsen.
One-way fare: Adults 4,040 yen〜 (standard seat, advance purchase fee)
Bus: Take JR Bus Kanto → get off at "Chuodo Hirugami Onsen” → catch a cab to "Yurui no Yado Keizan"
Time required: approx. 4 hours (one way)