2020 Top 30 Hot Springs (Onsen) in Japan


2020.11.22

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Japan has over 3,000 hot springs throughout the country. Surprisingly, these hot springs are not the same. A variety of hot springs can be found in Japan. We recommend best popular Onsen top 30, in order from Top1 to Top 30 for you to enjoy your trip.
Ranking is based on log of navigation 2020 from NAVITIME services.

  • 01

    Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma)

    Just a few hours outside of Tokyo is Kusatsu, a centuries-old destination for relaxation and therapy through bathing. Situated 1,200 meters above sea level in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, this resort boasts the largest natural flowing water volume of all Japanese hot springs. More than 32,000 liters of spring water are pumped out every minute in the whole resort – enough to fill 230,000 barrels a day. The natural prowess of Kusatsu Onsen can be admired in the main source of its hot spring in Yubatake (which literally means “hot water field”). It is said that the town developed around this spot, which has many ryokans and shops clustered next to it. The spring here are so acidic that they can dissolve an aluminium 1-yen coin in a week. Such acidity is the key to its germicidal properties, which are capable of interrupting the proliferation of bacteria and fungi by killing them within minutes. Centuries ago, the town boasted that its waters could cure all kinds of ailments – other than lovesickness.

    Access:
    To get to Kusatsu Onsen would require a train and a bus ride. The timetable can be found here.

    Train to Naganohana-Kusatsuguchi Station from Ueno
    Take the limited express Kusatsu from Ueno Station and get off at Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station. One way trip takes about 2.5 hours and Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass can be used.

    Bus from Naganohana-Kusatsuguchi Station to Kusatsu Onsen
    Take the JR Bus from Naganohana-Kusatsuguchi Station to Kusatsu Onsen. The total ride is about 30minutes. Japan Rail Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass, and JR East Tohoku Area Pass can be used for this bus trip.

    READ MORE
    Kusatsu Onsen: A Historic and Therapeutic Hot Spring Town
    Best Things to Do
    Kusatsu Onsen
    place
    Gunma Agatsuma-gun Kusatsumachi Kusatsu
    phone
    0279887188
  • 02

    Gero Onsen (Gifu)

    A historic hot spring district and, together with Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture and Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture, considered one of the three most renowned hot spring districts in Japan. Sprawling along the Hidagawa River, the area is dotted with numerous hot spring inns, communal baths, and free footbaths, making it easy for visitors to enjoy all the delights of hot spring bathing. The area's simple alkaline hot spring waters are colorless and are notable for making the skin feel soft and smooth. The waters moisturize the skin and aid in heat retention. Also said to aid the removal of old, dead skin layers, these waters are known for their beautifying properties. The area is also dotted with natural carbonated springs welling up from underneath the ground, and this hot spring district is particularly popular with women.

    Access:

    By train from Nagoya station

    Take the JR Hida limited express from Nagoya to Gero which takes about 90 minutes. Usually, there are departures every one or two hours. For this trip, Japan Rail Pass can be used.

    READ MORE
    Discovering the Hot Springs of Gero Onsen
    Hot Springs
    READ MORE
    Gero Onsen Gassho-Mura
    Historical Landscapes
    READ MORE
    Gero Onsen Morning Market
    Markets
    Gero Onsen
    place
    Gifu Gero-shi Yunoshima‧Koda‧Mori
    phone
    0576254711
  • 03

    Ikaho Onsen (Gunma)

    A hot spring district sprawling halfway up Mt. Haruna which has been known as a hot spring health resort destination since ancient times. There are two source springs in the area with differing properties, the Kogane no Yu and Shirogane no Yu, and the hot spring district bustles with visitors throughout the year. The Kogane no Yu is a reddish-brown sulfate spring containing abundant amounts of calcium and sodium; highly medicinal, the spring's waters are said to promote health and ease muscle soreness, chronic digestive diseases, and hardening of the arteries. The Shirogane no Yu is a transparent and odorless simple met silicic acid spring containing large amounts of moisturizing substances, making its waters particularly popular with women.

    Access:

    To get to Ikaho Onsen, you will need to take a train to Shibukawa Station and a local bus from there.

    By train from Tokyo to Shibukawa Station

    Get on the Joetsu or Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) which goes from Tokyo Station to Takasaki Station. It will be about an hour ride. Then, transfer to a local train along the JR Joetsu or Agatsuma Line to Shibukawa which takes about 25 minutes. Japan Rail Pass can be used for this train ride.

    By train from Ueno Station

    This is more convenient as it is a direct route from Ueno to Shibukawa Station iif getting on board the Limited Express Kusatsu. There are only three trains per day but on weekdays, there are only two. These are subject to change so checking its timetable here is a must. For this train, Japan Rail Pass can be used.

    Ikaho Onsen
    rating

    4.0

    158 Reviews
    place
    Gunma Shibukawa-shi Ikahomachi Ikaho
    phone
    0279723151
  • 04

    Ginzan Onsen (Yamagata)

    In the very center of the Tohoku region lies Ginzan Onsen, a small town whose main feature is its picturesque street of traditional guest houses each home to its own natural hot spring baths. There are many ryokans (hot spring inns) line the main street which is lit with gas lamps at night. Located in the very east of Yamagata Prefecture, the onsen town’s charm draws visitors to bathe in its natural hot springs which have been celebrated for centuries among locals and, in more recent years, visitors from further afield. While it is recommended to stay overnight at one of the town’s pretty three-storey ryokan for the full experience of onsen and multi-course kaiseki dining, there are also three affordable public onsens around town for visitors not staying overnight: Shiroganeyu, Kajikayu, and Omokageyu, the latter also available to hire out privately. The hot springs are rich with sodium hydrocarbonate and sulfate, which is said to be good for cuts, burns and chronic dermatopathia as well as arteriosclerosis, neuralgia, muscle pain, arthralgia, fatigue etc.

    Access:

    To get to Ginzan Onsen would require a train and a bus ride from Tokyo.

    Train from Tokyo to Oishida Station

    Take the JR Yamagata shinkansen (bullet trian) from Tokyo and get off at Oishida Station to transfer to a bus. One way takes about 2hours and 40minutes. Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    Bus from Oishida Station to Ginzan Onsen

    The bus leaves every 60 to 90 minutes and its about 30 minute bus ride to Ginzan Onsen from Oishida Station. There are 5 buses per day. The timetable can be found here (Japanese only).

    READ MORE
    Ginzan Onsen Overview
    Area Guide
    Ginzan Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    90 Reviews
    place
    Yamagata Pref. Obanazawashi Ginzanshimbata
    phone
    0237283933
  • 05

    Kurokawa Onsen (Kumamoto)

    Kurokawa Onsen is a picturesque town filled with natural beauty and steaming hot onsen baths. Ryokans, cafes, restaurants, gift stores and of course onsen baths make up the majority of the buildings offering plenty to see and do while you’re in the area. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the local townspeople and their organizations, Kurokawa Onsen has remained free from towering hotels, and garish illuminated signs, all hallmarks of major commercialization, making it still feel like a well kept local secret. Rich in sodium chloride sulfate, it makes Kurokawa Onsen effective in treating poor circulation and stiff joints.

    Access:

    Direct bus from Fukuoka to Kurokawa Onsen
    The easiest way to Kurokawa Onsen would be by using a direct highway bus from either the following places in Fukuoka; Hakata Station, Tenjin Bus Center or Fukuoka Airport. One way takes about 2.5 hours bus ride.

    READ MORE
    Kurokawa Onsen
    Hot Springs
    Kurokawa Onsen
    place
    Kumamoto Aso-gun Minamiogunimachi Manganji Kurokawa
    phone
    0967440076
  • 06

    Beppu Onsen (Oita)

    A hot spring district boasting some of the largest number of source springs and greatest amount of water flow in the country. Each year some four million visitors come here. In addition to Beppu, the area is dotted with eight other large hot spring districts-Kannawa, Myoban, Hamawaki, Shibaseki, Kankaiji, Horita, and Kamegawa - and for ages they have been called the Eight Beppu Hot Springs by medicinal hot spring-lovers. In addition to traditional hot spring inns, there are also sand baths, footbaths, drinkable hot spring water facilities, day trip hot spring facilities, and an abundance of other hot spring and bathing facilities standing eave to eave here, and visitors can enjoy hot spring waters in a variety of ways.

    Access:

    From Hakata, Fukuoka
    There are two Limited Express Sonic trains departing every hour from Hakata Station in central Fukuoka. Its time table can be found here. (Travel time is approximately 2hours)

    From Fukuoka Airport
    There is a direct express buses that depart from Fukuoka Airport. Its time table can be found here.
    ※Key in "Fukuoka Airport" as your departing place and arrival would be at Beppu-Kitahama.

    Reasonable Pass to think about
    If you’ll be traveling around Kyushu to other prefectures such as Kumamoto, Nagasaki, and Kagoshima, then the JR Kyushu Rail Pass is available at a great value. Check for more information here.

    READ MORE
    What to Do in Beppu
    Best Things to Do
    READ MORE
    Kannawa Onsen - The Hottest Place in Beppu
    Hot Springs
    READ MORE
    Nightlife in Beppu City
    Izakaya Alleys
    READ MORE
    Jigoku Meguri Tour
    Hot Springs
    Beppu Hot spring village
    place
    Oita Beppushi-shi
    phone
    0977242828
  • 07

    Noboribetsu Onsen (Hokkaido)

    A 100-minute bus ride from Sapporo Station will land you at Noboribetsu Onsen. It boasts the most hot spring water in the prefecture, and the onsen has a variety of water types infused with different kinds of minerals. This is a rare kind of onsen, even for Japan.

    Jigokudani (Hell Valley) is a unique tourist spot where an Onsen was created after Mt.Hiyoriyama erupted roughly 20,000 years ago. Take a stroll through the forest where you can see the Oyunuma pond — a sulfurous pond with temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsuis. You can also enjoy a natural foot bath (called "ashiyu") in the stream flowing out from the Oyunumagawa river.

    Access:

    Bus from Sapporo Station
    From Sapporo Station, there is a bus that directly goes to Noboribetsu Onsen. The bus leaves at 10am and is expected to arrive at Noboribetsu Onsen at 12:20. For more information on the bus, see here.

    Noboribetsu hot spring
    rating

    3.0

    10 Reviews
    place
    Hokkaido Noboribetsushi Noboribetsuonsenchou
    phone
    0143843311
    opening-hour
    Open 24 hours
  • 08

    Hakone Yumoto Onsen (Kanagawa)

    The oldest of Hakone's hot spring villages, Hakone Yumoto Onsen was first developed in the Nara period, in the year 757 by Jojobo, an apprentice of the Shugendo monk Taicho, according to legend. In the Edo period, the village prospered thanks to its position on the Tokaido, one of the great Five Highways, and visitors can learn about the history of the area and Hakone from the Warring States period to the Edo period while exploring the village. Yumoto Onsen is also the largest of Hakone's hot spring villages, and the bath facilities of many of the innumerable long-standing traditional ryokan hot spring inns located near the station are open to non-guests, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a casual day of hot spring bathing. One of Hakone's most famous souvenirs is its yosegi-zaiku wooden mosaic work, a craft which emerged during the Edo period.

    Access:

    Train from Tokyo
    Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen "Kodama" from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station, which takes less than 40 minute.
    Then change to the Hakone Tozan train for a 15 minute journey and get off at Hakone-Yumoto Station. Japan Rail Pass can be used for this train, but between Odawara station to Hakone-Yumoto Station, Japan Rail Pass holders will need extra fee.

    Direct Train to Hakone

    Take the Odakyu Limited Express Romancecar from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto Station. The fast route will take 73 minute .

    Bus
    Keikyu bus or Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus from Haneda Airport to Hakone-Yumoto Station, which takes about 140min.

    READ MORE
    Exploring the Outdoors in Hakone
    Best Things to Do
    READ MORE
    18 of the Best things to do in Hakone
    Best Things to Do
    Hakone-Yumoto Onsen
    place
    Kanagawa Ashigarashimo-gun Hakonemachi Yumoto
    phone
    0460855700
  • 09

    Nanki-Shirahama Onsen (Wakayama)

    A hot spring district which was discovered over 1,300 years ago and which is considered one of Japan's three greatest ancient hot spring sites. Also noted in the ancient Man'yoshu and the Nihon Shoki, records state that many nobles and members of the Imperial Family, such as Empress Saimei and Emperor Monmu, bathed here. One of the highlights of this hot spring district is its location, which offers a commanding view of beautiful white sand beach and vast blue ocean, and the area bustles with tourists and hot spring-lovers particularly during swimming season. hydrogen carbonate springs, chloride spring, and sulfur springs are found in the area, differing by location and facility, and visitors can also enjoy bathing in and comparing their varying qualities.

    Access:

    Train from either Kyoto or Shin-Osaka
    Both from Kyoto and Shin-Osaka, Limited Express Kuroshio will directly go to Shirahama Station, the closest station to Nankai Shirahama Onsen. This train does not pass through Osaka Station. Each day two Kuroshio trains make their first departure at Kyoto Station, but most services begin at Shin-Osaka Station. The total ride is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
    Japan Rail Pass is available for this trip.

    READ MORE
    What to Do in Shirahama Onsen
    Hot Springs
    Nanki Shirahama Onsen
    place
    Wakayama Nishimuro-gun Shirahamacho
    phone
    0739435511
  • 10

    Nyutou Onsen (Akita)

    The collective term for the seven hot spring districts which dot the region at the foot of Mt. Nyutouzan straddling Akita Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture, the area has also been designated a National Hot Spring Health Resorts. This scenic hot spring region, rich in natural beauty, is surrounded by Mt. Akita-Komagatake and other revered mountains and is also a popular base for mountain climbing activities. Over 10 different types of source springs with differing qualities are found here, and visitors can enjoy a variety of hot spring waters depending on the location. There is a pass sold which provides access to seven hot spring bathhouses and tour busses also operate in the area where visit different hot springs, attracting large numbers of hot spring lovers.

    Access:

    To get to Nyutou Onsen, it will require a train and a local bus.

    By Train from Tokyo
    Take the Akita Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo and get off at Tazawako Staion. It will be about 2hours and 50 minutes ride. Japan Rail Pass, JR East Pass (Tohoku area), JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass and JR Tohoku South Hokkaido Rail Pass are available for this train ride.

    Bus
    Take a local bus from Tazawako Station to Nyuto Onsen. The bus ride will be about 50 minutes.

    READ MORE
    Beyond the Lakeshore and Into the Mountains of Lake Tazawa
    Outdoor Activities
    Nyuto Hot spring village
    place
    Akita Senboku-shi Tazawako Obonai Komagatake
    phone
    0187432111
  • 11

    Shima Onsen (Gunma)

    Shima Onsen is a place where the past and present merge; where ancient traditions are in harmony with modern conveniences. Nestled in the mountains of Gunma, three hours away from the bustling centre of Tokyo, the waters of Shima Onsen are said to be so pure that they can cure thousands of ailments. Hence the name Shima Onsen, which literally means 40,000 hot springs. A magnificent mountainous landscape blanketed with trees envelopes the three distinct areas of the upper, central, and lower towns that are spread along the Shima River Valley. While a rental car is required to visit the upper town, the central and lower towns are accessible by bus and are more pedestrian friendly. The central town boasts Sekizenkan, a 300-year-old ryokan that is said to be one of the inspirations behind Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved film Spirited Away. While the surrounding nature and hot springs are enough reason to come, Shima Onsen is also famous for its sake and beer that use the spring waters to create a distinct taste.

    Access:

    Direct bus from Tokyo

    There aren't many but there is a direct highway bus from Tokyo Station (Yaesu Avenue) to Shima Onsen. Its about 3hours and 30minutes bus ride.

    Alternatively, taking a train then changing into local bus will take the visitors to the onsen

    Taking Limited Express Kusatsu from Ueno Station to Nakanojo Station then change into local bus. There are only 2 to 3 trains per day and takes about 2 hours. Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass can be used but will not be covered for the bus ride from Nakanojo Station to Shima Onsen.

    READ MORE
    Shima Onsen Overview
    Best Things to Do
    Shima Onsen
    place
    Gunma Agatsuma-gun Nakanojomachi Shima
    phone
    0279642321
  • 12

    Ibusuki Onsen (Kagoshima)

    The city of Ibusuki is located on the south-eastern tip of the Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyushu is an onsen town that is famous for its sand baths known as “sunamushi”. During this spa treatment, visitors are buried in sand that is heated by natural subterranean geysers for 15-20 minutes. Not only is it relaxing, but the weight and heat of the sand is said to improve blood circulation.

    Access:

    The closest station to access Ibusuki Onsen is Ibusuki Station

    Train from Kagoshima Chuo Station to Ibusuki Station
    Take the Limited Express Ibusuki no Tamatebako from Kagoshima Chuo Station to Ibusuki Station. There are 3 trains per day and one way will take about 50 minutes. Japan Railway Pass can be used for this train.

    写真提供:公益社団法人 鹿児島県観光連盟

    READ MORE
    Ibusuki Overview
    Area Guide
    Ibusuki Onsen
    place
    Kagoshima Ibusuki-shi
    phone
    0993223252
    READ MORE
    Saraku Sand Bath Hall
    Hot Springs
  • 13

    Sukayu Onsen (Aomori)

    Sukayu Onsen is most famous for its “Sen-nin-buro” or 1,000-person bath. The giant bathtub made entirely of cypress in the enormous bathhouse that is 160 tatami mats in size overwhelms the beholder. The hot spring water is naturally acidic and contains sulfur, and bathing in the warm waters is regarded as a traditional remedy. Its primary benefits involve relieving nerve, muscular, and joint pain, and the facility was the first to be appointed as the People’s Recreation Hot Spring.

    Access:

    To get to Sukayu Onsen would require a train and a bus ride from Tokyo

    Train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori
    From Tokyo, get on the Hayabusa train on JR Tohoku Shinkansen to go to Shin-Aomori station. The total train ride is about 3hours and 30 minutes. For this train, Japan Railway Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass, and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    Bus from Shin-Aomori station to Sukayu Onsen

    There are 3 buses per day from Shin-Aomori Station to Sukayu Onsen. Its timetable can be found here(Japanese only). For this pass, Japan Railway Pass and JR East Tohoku Area Pass can be used.

    Sukayu Onsen
    rating

    4.0

    303 Reviews
    place
    Aomori Pref. Aomorishi Arakawa Minamiarakawayama National Forest Yuzawa 50
    phone
    0177386400
    opening-hour
    7:00-18:00 (Information desk…
  • 14

    Kinosaki Onsen (Hyogo)

    Located just under three hours from Kyoto by train, Kinosaki Onsen is a historic town nestled in a valley, surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes this corner of Hyogo has to offer. Old wooden ryokan inns and buildings line the streets of the hot spring town along the Otani River, which runs through the town. For the ultimate in relaxation, a trek to this hidden hot spring village is the perfect place to unwind and lose yourself for a few days. The spring at Kinosaki Onsen contain a wealth of minerals such as sodium, calcium and chloride. These elements are said to be good for fatigue, digestive issues, nerve and muscular pain, and bruising.

    Access:

    Direct train from Kyoto Station to Kinosaki Onsen Station

    Take the limited express Kinosaki from Kyoto Station to Kinosaki Onsen Station where the onsen is. For this train, Japan Rail Pass can be used. The total train ride is about 2hours and 20minutes.

    READ MORE
    Where to Relax in Kinosaki Onsen
    Best Things to Do
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    What to Do in Kinosaki Onsen
    Best Things to Do
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    What to Eat in Kinosaki Onsen
    Japanese Cuisine
    READ MORE
    The Kinosaki Onsen Ticket
    Hot Springs
    Kinosakionsen
    place
    Hyougo Pref
  • 15

    Akiu Onsen (Miyagi)

    Akiu Onsen is located in Miyagi prefecture and about 30minutes drive from Sendai. As one of the leading hot springs in the Tohoku region, 15 long-established hot springs inns lined up along the deep ravine of the Natori River. In nearly every inn visitors can hear the relaxing babbling of the Natori River while soaking up in the onsen. There are two types of hot springs: a sodium chloride hot spring that is effective in retaining heat and moisture, and an alkaline hot spring that is said to be effective in making your skin beautiful.

    Access:

    The closest stop to the onsen is Akiu Sato Center and from Tokyo station, it takes about 3hours or more depending on the transfer.

    Train from Tokyo to Sendai Station

    Take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo station to Sendai Station. Hayabusa, Hayate and Komachi trains take about 1 hour and 40minutes while Yamabiko takes about 2hours. For this train, Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass, and JR East South Hokkaido Pass can be used.

    Bus from Sendai Station to Akiu Sato Center
    Take the local bus (Japanese only) from Sendai Station and get off at Akiu Sato Center. There is only 1 bus per hour.

    Akiu Onsen
    place
    Miyagi Sendai-shi Taihaku-ku Akiumachi Yumoto
    phone
    0223982323
  • 16

    Hirayu Onsen (Gifu)

    The oldest hot spring district in the Okuhida Onsenkyo hot spring village sprawling at the foot of Mt. Norikura. According to the Hishushi written at the end of the Edo period, the area was discovered when the mighty lord Takeda Shingen invaded the Hida region and happened to follow an old, white monkey to a hot spring. There are some 40 source springs in the district, and, depending on the location, visitors can enjoy a variety of hot spring qualities, including hydrogen carbonate springs, chloride springs, sulfur springs, and simple springs. Located close to Kamikochi and Mt. Norikura, the district is also used as a base for mountain climbing activities. Hantai eggs, boiled eggs with firm yolks and soft whites, are a popular local specialty made using the area's high temperature hot spring waters, which reach up to 90 °C.

    Access:

    To get to Hirayu Onsen, it would require a train and a bus ride.

    By train to Matsumoto from Shinjuku station
    Take the Limited Express Azusa from Shinjuku station to Matsumoto station which takes about 2 hours. Its timetables are subject to change but can be found here. For this train, Japan Rail Pass and JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass can be used.

    Bus from Matsumoto station to Hirayu Onsen
    Take a local bus that departs from Matsumoto station Bus terminal to Hirayu Onsen.
    Information on the bus and its timetable can be found here.

    READ MORE
    Okuhida Onsen-go Overview
    Hot Springs
    Hirayu Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    23 Reviews
    place
    Gifu Takayama-shi Okuhida Hot spring village Hirayu
    phone
    0578893030
  • 17

    Zao Onsen (Yamagata)

    Located on the eastern side of Yamagata Prefecture sits Zao Onsen, a historic town and one of Japan's best kept skiing and hot spring secrets. No matter what time of year you're planning to visit, Zao has something to offer for every traveler. With some of the best snowfields in winter and beautiful scenic landscapes throughout the rest of the year, a visit to Zao Onsen is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. The sulfuric waters this onsen are among the most acidic in the entire country with a PH value of close to 1 which is said to rejuvenate and strengthen the skin and blood vessels. There are multiple public bath houses across the town ranging in different sizes that can be enjoyed by visitors and locals.

    Access:

    To get to the onsen would require a train and a bus ride from Tokyo

    Train from Tokyo to Yamagata station

    From Tokyo, take the JR Yamagata Shinkansen to Yamagata station. The total train ride is about 2hours and 30minutes. Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass can be used.

    Bus from Yamagata station to Zao Onsen

    From Yamagata station, take the loca bus to Zao Onsen which takes about 40 minutes. There is only 1 bus per hour and its timetable can be found here (Japanese only).

    READ MORE
    Zao Onsen Overview
    Area Guide
    READ MORE
    The Hot Spring Baths of Zao Onsen
    Hot Springs
    Zao Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    108 Reviews
    place
    Yamagata Yamagata-shi Zao Onsen
    phone
    0236949328
  • 18

    Ureshino Onsen (Saga)

    Along with Hinokami Onsen in Shimane prefecture and Kitsuregawa Onsen in Tochigi prefecture, the Ureshino Onsen in Saga is considered the “Three Most Beautiful Skin Waters” a.k.a "Bihada no Yu" in Japanese. As its title implies, the clear Ureshino onsen waters are high in sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride and feel extremely smooth on skin. The free public foot bath, Siebold’s Bath on the main street is said to improve blood circulation and is effective for stiff shoulders and visitors are recommended to try.

    Access:

    The closest station to Ureshino Onsen is Takeo Onsen Station. From there, visitors would need to take a local bus.

    Train from Hakata Station to Takeo Onsen Station

    Take the limited express train Midori or Huis Ten Bosch from Hakata station to Takeo Station which takes about an hour.
    Japan Rail Pass can be used for this train ride. For its timetable, check here.

    Bus from Takeo Onsen station to Ureshino Onsen

    Buses depart once or twice per hour from Takeo Onsen station to Ureshino Onsen. For the timetable, check here.

    Ureshino Onsen
    place
    Saga Ureshino-shi Ureshinomachi Shimojuku Otsu
    phone
    0954430137
  • 19

    Oirase Keiryu Onsen (Aomori)

    A hot spring district sprawling along the Tsutagawa River flowing at the foot of the Hakkoda Mountains. The district was established by connecting to source springs in Sarukura Onsen in 1963. Here visitors can enjoy a relaxing bath while taking in the vast, seasonally varying natural beauty of Oirase Stream close by. The waters here primarily come from faintly milk white simple springs, although their qualities differ slightly by facility and location, and are said to help aid recovery from fatigue and promote health in addition to relieving muscle soreness, joint pain, sensitivity to cold, chronic digestive diseases, and a variety of other conditions.

    Access:

    Oirase Onsen has few hotels and inn where they have onsen and depending on the places, the access varies. However, most will ask you to go to Shin-Aomori or Hachinohe station, then take a local bus.

    By train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori & Hachinohe Station.

    Take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori station which takes about 3.5 hours. For this trip, Japan Rail Pass, JR East Pass (Tohoku area) and JR East-South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    READ MORE
    Along the Oirase River
    World Heritages
    Oirase Stream Onsen
    place
    Aomori Towada-shi Okuse , Horyo
    phone
    0176516772
  • 20

    Koganezaki Furoufushi-Onsen

    Koganezaki Furoufushi-Onsen, literally translated as hot springs for eternal youth and immortality, is an open air hot spring located on the west coast of Aomori Prefecture overlooking the Sea of Japan. It has been selected as one of the “100 Best Evening Scenes in Japan” and the scenery of the sea dyed by the sunset is very popular. The spring is an iron-containing sodium-magnesium-chloride strong salt spring which warms the body from the core and makes the skin smooth.

    Access:

    From Tokyo, it will take about 7 hours to get to this onsen. The closest station to the onsen is JR WeSpa Tsubakiyama Station

    Train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori
    From Tokyo, get on the Hayabusa train on JR Tohoku Shinkansen to go to Shin-Aomori station. The total train ride is about 3hours and 30 minutes. For this train, Japan Railway Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass, and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    From Shin-Aomori station to WeSpa Tsubakiyama Station
    Take the Resort Shirakami which runs along the Gono Line from Shin-Aomori and get off at WeSpa Tsubakiyama Station. The timetable for this train can be found here. From there, its about 5 minute by a shuttle bus to Koganezaki Furoufushi-Onsen. The shuttle bus must be reserved 3 days before the arrival and can be reserved from here For this train, Japan Railway Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    黄金崎不老ふ死温泉
    rating

    4.0

    33 Reviews
    place
    青森県西津軽郡深浦町舮作下清滝15
    phone
    0173743500
  • 21

    Hanamaki Onsen (Iwate)

    Hanamaki, located in the midwestern part of Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku region, is a town surrounded by nature including mountains, mountain streams and fields. At the Hanamaki Onsen resort, there are 10 hot springs varying in different sizes and atmospheres. Some have unique baths, such as an outdoor bath by a river or a deep bath that people have to stand in. These resorts include Dai Onsen with almost 1,200 years of history, Osawa Onsen loved by Japanese writers and Shidodaira Onsen where you can see beautiful mountain streams. The springs vary depending on the places but are mostly weak alkaline simple hot springs with fewer stimuli and are the safest for sensitive skin.

    Access:

    Depending on which onsen to go the local bus will be different. However, for all places, visitors must get to JR Shin-Hanamaki station to change to either a local bus or get on a taxi to go to the onsen of your preference.

    Train from Tokyo to Shin-Hanamaki station

    From Tokyo, get on the Hayabusa or Yamabiko train on JR Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) to go to Shin-Hanamaki station. The total train ride is about 3hours and 30 minutes. For this train, Japan Railway Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass, and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    For more information on the area and how to get there, check the Hanamaki Tourism Association page here.

  • 22

    Toyako Onsen (Hokkaido)

    Toyako Onsen is a hot spring district and a base for sightseeing Lake Toya. Many hot spring hotels stand side by side in the area, particularly on the bank of Lake Toya. There are also day trip bathhouses and free footbaths, and here visitors can luxuriate in relaxing hot spring waters while enjoying the vast, picturesque scenery of Lake Toya. The chloride springs found here contain an abundance of potassium and sodium. These hot spring water are not meant for drinking, so please be careful not to consume it. The spring here is said to relieve fatigue, ease muscle and joint pains, help poor circulation, and stomach problems.

    Access:

    The fastest way from Tokyo to Toyako Onsen which is located at Lake Toya is by plane via Sapporo's New Chitose Airport, and get on the train and a bus from there. The closest station to the onsen is Toyako Onsen bus stop.

    Train from New Chitose Airport to Toya Station

    From New Chitose Airport, take the JR train to Minami Chitose Station (3minutes) and transfer to a limited express train Hokuto bound for Hakodate. From Minami Chitose Station to Toya Station, it take about 1hour and 20minutes. More information on the train can be found here. For this train, Japan Railway Pass and Hokkaido Rail Pass can be used.

    Bus from Toya Station(Toyako Ekimae) to Toyako Onsen
    Take the Donan Bus from Toya Station and get off at Toyako Onsen. There is only 1 bus per hour and its timetable can be found here.

    Toyako Onsen
    rating

    3.5

    5 Reviews
    place
    Hokkaido Abuta-gun Toyako Cho Toyako Onsen
    phone
    0142752446
  • 23

    Yufudake Onsen (Beppu)

    Located in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, Yufuin Onsen is a hot spring resort surrounded by nature, sandwiched between the majestic Mt. Yufudake and Kirinko Lake. Its spring is praised for its natural moisturizing effects on tired skin. Among the many ryokan inns that offer a panoramic view of the mountain at Yufuin Onsen, Yufudake Onsen is most popular. There are several private baths and a public bath that all offer breathtaking views of Mount Yufudake’s misty twin peaks.The spring at Yufudake Onsen is a simple hot spring that has little stimuli, so it is recommended for the elderly and those with sensitive skin.

    Access:

    The closest station to Yufudake Onsen is Yufuin Station. From there, its about 20minutes walk.

    Train from Hakata station to Yufuin Station

    Take the limited express Yufuin no Mori from Hakata Station and get off at Yufuin Station. The total train ride is about 2hours and 30minutes. For this train, Japan Railway Pass can be used. Information on the train can be found here. Keep in mind that due to the heavy rainfalls in July 2020, the train line is currently interrupted between Bungo-Mori and Shonai stations. The entire line is expected to be reopened by spring 2021.

    由布岳温泉
    rating

    4.0

    5 Reviews
    place
    大分県由布市湯布院町川上2425-2
    phone
    0977842453
  • 24

    Jozankei Onsen (Hokkaido)

    A 45-minute drive from Sapporo will get you to the onsen town of Jozankei. Nestled in an area rich with nature, Jozankei lets you kick back in tranquil hot springs surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Autumn colors the area with bright crimson leaves while in winter, the countless lights from snow candles dimly lit the night in the resort nestled deep in snow. The spring here is sodium chloride spring (neutral, low-tonicity, high hot spring) and the salt content in the spring adheres to your skin, preventing perspiration from evaporating and warming you from the core of your body.

    Access:

    Taking a bus from Sapporo to Jozankei Onsen

    From Sapporo Station Bus Terminal, take the Jotetsu Bus number 7 or 8 for Jozankei Onsen. The timetable and the detailed information of the bus is listed here.

    Jozankei hot spring
    place
    Hokkaido Sapporoshi Minami-ku Jouzankei Hot spring
    phone
    0115982012
    opening-hour
    Please contact each facility
  • 25

    Arima Onsen (Hyogo)

    This hot spring district, Japan's oldest, is noted in the Nihon Shoki, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, and many other ancient texts. It is said the area was a favorite of many intellectuals and emperors, as well, including Emperor Jomei and Emperor Kotoku. The area's springs are a mixture of carbon dioxide springs, chloride springs, and five other spring varieties, something found hardly anywhere in the world; containing an abundance of minerals and metasilicic acid, their waters have powerful antibacterial and moisturizing properties. They are said to aid recovery from fatigue and promote health in addition to alleviating eczema, hives, atopy, and other skin diseases; burns; cuts; and a variety of other ailments.

    Access:

    To get to Arima Onsen, you need to take 3 trains from Osaka Station. Or alternatively, take a direct bus from Osaka.

    Train from Osaka station
    Total train ride is about 1 hour. Here is the summary of the trip.
    Osaka station to Kobe station (JR Kobe line)
    Kobe station to Tanigami station (Kobe Municipal Subway)
    Tanigami station to Arima-guchi station (Kobe Dentesu Line)
    Arima-guchi station to Arima Onsen (Arima Line/Kobe Dentetsu Arima-sen)

    Direct bus from Osaka or Shin-Osaka station
    Either from JR Shin-Osaka station or JR Osaka Station, there is a direct bus to Arima Onsen which operates one or two highway buses per hour. The fee is 1400 yen one way and reservation can be made from here.

    Arima Onsen
    place
    Hyogo Kobe-shi Kita-ku Arimacho
    phone
    0789040708
  • 26

    Atami Spa (Shizuoka)

    This hot spring district, Japan's oldest, is noted in the Nihon Shoki, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, and many other ancient texts. It is said the area was a favorite of many intellectuals and emperors, as well, including Emperor Jomei and Emperor Kotoku. The area's springs are a mixture of carbon dioxide springs, chloride springs, and five other spring varieties, something found hardly anywhere in the world; containing an abundance of minerals and metasilicic acid, their waters have powerful antibacterial and moisturizing properties. They are said to aid recovery from fatigue and promote health in addition to alleviating eczema, hives, atopy, and other skin diseases; burns; cuts; and a variety of other ailments.

    Access:

    To get to Arima Onsen, you need to take 3 trains from Osaka Station. Or alternatively, take a direct bus from Osaka.

    Train from Osaka station
    Total train ride is about 1 hour. Here is the summary of the trip.
    Osaka station to Kobe station (JR Kobe line)
    Kobe station to Tanigami station (Kobe Municipal Subway)
    Tanigami station to Arima-guchi station (Kobe Dentesu Line)
    Arima-guchi station to Arima Onsen (Arima Line/Kobe Dentetsu Arima-sen)

    Direct bus from Osaka or Shin-Osaka station
    Either from JR Shin-Osaka station or JR Osaka Station, there is a direct bus to Arima Onsen which operates one or two highway buses per hour. The fee is 1400 yen one way and reservation can be made from here.

    Arima Onsen
    place
    Hyogo Kobe-shi Kita-ku Arimacho
    phone
    0789040708
  • 27

    Manza Onsen (Gunma)

    Manza Onsen, located at an altitude of 1,800 meters above sea level, is the highest hot spring in Japan and is known as "the hot spring closest to the stars''. 5.4 million liters of acid sulfur spring gushes out every day, and there are various sources varying from Ubayu(Yubatake), Ookuyu, Suzuyu, Tetsuyu, Kuyu, Radium spring, Housei-no-yu and all can be enjoyed within Manza Onsen. Major differences of all these sources are that each has a different color and smell and each accommodation offers different sources, some blend them to make their original spring. Many of the springs at Manza Onsen are acidic sulfur springs with strong acidity and strong sterilizing power, and are said to be effective against skin diseases.

    Access:

    To get to Manza Onsen from Tokyo requires a combination of shinkansen (bullet train), and a local bus.

    Train from Tokyo to Karuizawa

    Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Karuizawa Station. Japan Railway Pass and JR Tokyo Wide Pass can be used for this train. The total train ride is about 70minutes.

    Bus from Karuizawa Station to Manza Onsen Bus Terminal

    From Karuizawa Station, transfer to the bus bound for Kusatsu Onsen and get off at the Manza Onsen bus terminal. There are two buses per day on weekdays and 3 buses on weekends and holidays that leave from Karuizawa Station.

    Manza Onsen
    place
    Gunma Agatsuma-gun Tsumagoimura Hoshimata Manza Onsen
    phone
    0279974000
  • 28

    Shibu Onsen (Nagano)

    A hot spring district with a long history which records state was discovered by the great priest Gyoki in the Nara period. The area boasts such a large number of source springs and such an abundance of hot spring water that you can dig practically anywhere into the ground and soon find piping hot water bubbling up from below. In addition to hot spring hotels, there are nine public bathhouses in the area, and visitors can go on the traditional Kyu-to Meguri pilgrimage and try all nine for free to compare and contrast (limited to persons staying overnight in the district). Each of the Kyu-to Meguri bathhouses makes use of a different source spring with differing water qualities, and pilgrims can get a special tenugui hand towel stamped at each bathhouse as proof of their visit. The pilgrimage ends with a visit to the Shibutaka Yakushi Temple, which offers a sweeping view of the district, to receive one final stamp that is said to grant one's wish as well as protection from misfortune, safe childbirth and child rearing, and youth and longevity.

    Access:
    To get to Shibu onsen, it will require a train to Yamanouchi (Yudanaka) Station, then a bus ride from there.

    From Tokyo to Nagano station
    Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo station and one way trip takes about 80-100 minutes.
    Japan Rail Pass and JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass are valid for this trip.

    By train from Nagano station to Yamanouchi Station
    Take the Nagano Electric Railway Limited Express from Nagano station and get off at Yamanouchi (Yudanaka Station).
    Japan Rail Pass is not valid for this trip.

    By bus from Yamanouchi Statioin
    From Yamanouchi (Yudanaka Station), take a taxi or buses bound for Kanbayashi.
    Get off at "Shibu Onsen Iriguchi" or "Shibu Onsen Wago-bashi Teiryujo" bus stop.

    Shibu Onsen
    place
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchimachi Hirao
    phone
    0269332921
  • 29

    Tamagawa Onsen (Akita)

    Tamagawa Onsen in Akita is a hot spring district known for having the most acidic waters in the country. A nature walking path is maintained in the area of the spring for visitors to stroll and take in the sight of the volcanic activity taking place here. The spring's highly acidic waters have a pH of 1.2. When drunk, they are said to put one's digestive organs in order, while breathing their steam is said to stimulate the cilia in the lungs and encourage the regeneration of mucous membranes. Bathing in them is believed to aid in recovery from fatigue, promote health, and have a variety of other benefits, and the area has been designated National Hot Spring Health Resorts due to the power and breadth of their curative properties.

    Access:

    To get to Manza Onsen from Tokyo requires a combination of shinkansen (bullet train), and a local bus.

    Train from Tokyo station to Tazawako Station
    Take the JR Akita Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo station to Tazawako Station. From there, get on the local bus. There are only 5 busese per day.
    For the train, Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass can be used.

    Tamagawa Onsen
    rating

    4.5

    67 Reviews
    place
    Akita Senboku-shi Tazawako Tamagawa Shibu Kurosawa
    phone
    0187583000
  • 30

    Nozawa Onsen (Nagano)

    Located in northern Nagano Prefecture, Nozawa Onsen is a laid-back, heavily snow-dusted town that’s quickly garnering a reputation for being one of the hottest ski spots in the country. Unlike Japan’s mega-resorts in Hakuba and Niseko, this onsen town is relatively untouched by significant snow-tourism development. Nozawa is home to 13 traditional style public baths and locally run establishments; it's an excellent winter escape for those who want both incredible skiing and a taste of old-world charm of Japanese onsen culture. The spring is calcium sodium-chloride sulfur spring and said to be good for skin diseases and rheumatism.

    Access:

    To get to Nozawa Onsen from Tokyo requires a combination of shinkansen (bullet train), and a local bus.

    Train from Tokyo station to Iiyama Station

    Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo station to Iiyama Station. Japan Rail Pass and JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass can be used for this train.

    Bus from Iiyama Station to Nozawa Onsen

    Take the Nozawa Onsen Liner from Iiyama Station to go to Nozawa Onsen. Keep in mind that there are only 1 bus per hour or two. The timetable for the bus can be found here.

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    Nozawaonsen
    place
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Nozawaonsenmura Toyosato
    phone
    0269853155
  • 31

    2018 Top 30 Hot Springs (Onsen) in Japan

    In 2018, onsen resrots near Tokyo where it is easily accessible as a weekend getaway was most popular. However, when compared, onsen resorts outside the Tokyo region and more in the wilderness was popular in 2020. These differences may be affected due to the outbreak of the pandemic where people were seeking for a more "private" time to soothe their body and mind in these hot springs despite of the current situation.

    READ MORE
    2018 Top 30 Hot Springs (Onsen) in Japan
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