Onsen is a natural hot water bath in Japan, which is believed to have healing properties due to the volcanic activity that heats the water. Each region has different types of onsen, some indoor and others outdoor, with scenic views. They also offer traditional Japanese architecture and food. When visiting, it’s essential to follow the rules and etiquette, such as bathing naked and checking if tattoos are allowed. This article lists the top 10 most popular Onsen in Japan that you can refer to during your trip.
- 1 Atami Onsen – Shizuoka Prefecture
- 2 Gero Onsen – Gifu Prefecture
- 3 Kinugawa Onsen – Tochigi Prefecture
- 4 Yugawara Onsen – Kanagawa Prefecture
- 5 Ito Onsen – Shizuoka Prefecture
- 6 Kusatsu Onsen – Gunma Prefecture
- 7 Isawa Onsen – Yamanashi Prefecture
- 8 Shiobara Onsen – Tochigi Prefecture
- 9 Aso Onsen – Kumamoto Prefecture
- 10 Kirishima Onsen – Kagoshima Prefecture
Atami Onsen – Shizuoka Prefecture
Atami Onsen, a well-known hot spring resort town, is located on the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It faces the stunning Sagami Bay and is easily accessible by train from Tokyo and other major cities.
Atami has two types of onsens: chloride springs and sulfur springs. Chloride springs are similar to seawater and can warm the body, alleviating nerve, muscle, and joint pain. Sulfur springs can help with skin diseases, cuts, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis. It’s recommended to take baths from directly sourced onsens, supplied by underground water without heating or dilution. Many of Atami’s onsen facilities offer this type of precious water.
The town offers diverse attractions, including museums, gardens, and historical sites. The MOA Museum of Art, featuring a collection of Japanese and East Asian art, and the Atami Castle, a replica of a traditional Japanese castle, are some of the most popular attractions. Moreover, Atami Onsen hosts an annual fireworks festival in August, renowned for its elaborate displays, making it one of the biggest fireworks festivals in Japan.
Gero Onsen – Gifu Prefecture
Gero Onsen is a hot spring resort town in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Known for its healing waters, the city has been a popular destination for relaxation and wellness for centuries. With a rich history dating back to the Edo period, Gero Onsen offers visitors a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture and architecture. Surrounding the town are stunning natural sceneries, such as mountains, forests, and rivers. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers.
The Gero Hot Spring Gassho Village is also located near the hot spring town, which offers traditional Japanese cultural activities such as ceramic painting and Japanese handmade paper making. The Shrasagi-za Theater is another attraction where we can enjoy a beautiful “Shadow play” depicting Japan’s different seasons and evoke nostalgia for the Japan of the past.
Kinugawa Onsen – Tochigi Prefecture
Nestled in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, Kinugawa Onsen is a hot spring resort town renowned for its therapeutic waters and scenic beauty. With a history dating back to the Edo period, Kinugawa Onsen has long been a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Due to their mineral content, people believe that the hot springs in the town have healing properties, and visitors can enjoy a variety of hot spring baths and footbaths throughout the town. Kinugawa Onsen also draws attention with its stunning natural scenery, including the Kinugawa River and the surrounding mountains, which makes it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking and rafting.
Moreover, Kinugawa Onsen is located near Nikko and is part of the Nikko Passes’ free travel zone. Therefore, staying overnight in Kinugawa Onsen is a great way to add relaxation and fun to a visit to Nikko, and it complements Nikko’s cultural and natural attractions.
Visit Japan’s famous HOT SPRING BATHS – Kinugawa Onsen Hotel | Nikko, Tochigi
Yugawara Onsen – Kanagawa Prefecture
Yugawara Onsen is a wonderful place located right in the heart of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, and it offers a unique combination of relaxation, culture, and natural beauty. Yugawara Onsen has a history that goes back over a thousand years and has always been a favorite destination for those who want to take it easy and soak in the hot springs. Lush forests and stunning mountain landscapes surround the town, creating a perfect setting for hiking and enjoying nature. Visitors interested in traditional Japanese culture can explore the town’s many temples, shrines, and museums that showcase its rich history. And, of course, you can’t leave without indulging in the local cuisine, which features delicious fresh seafood and locally sourced vegetables.
Ito Onsen – Shizuoka Prefecture
Located on the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Ito Onsen is a picturesque hot spring resort town that attracts with its serene atmosphere and therapeutic waters. The city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including forests, rivers, and mountains, and we can enjoy hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities. The hot springs in Ito Onsen are famous for their mineral-rich water that is believed to have therapeutic properties, including reducing fatigue and improving overall wellness. Along with the hot springs, the town is rich in cultural heritage, and it features numerous historical sites, temples, and shrines that offer a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture.
Kusatsu Onsen – Gunma Prefecture
Nestled in the mountainous region of Gunma Prefecture, Japan, Kusatsu Onsen is a charming hot spring resort town that has been a beloved destination for centuries. Known for its therapeutic waters, its hot springs are some of the most acidic in Japan, making them particularly effective for relieving muscle and joint pain. We can indulge in various hot spring baths and footbaths, each with unique mineral composition and health benefits. The town also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with many historical sites and museums that showcase Kusatsu Onsen’s unique history and traditions. In addition, Kusatsu Onsen’s stunning natural scenery, including waterfalls, rivers, and forests, makes it a perfect destination for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing.
Isawa Onsen – Yamanashi Prefecture
Isawa Onsen, located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, is a tranquil hot spring resort town that offers visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The town is surrounded by lush greenery and offers stunning views of Mount Fuji, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. In addition to the hot springs, Isawa Onsen also offers a variety of cultural experiences, such as tea ceremonies and traditional Japanese performances. We can also enjoy the town’s local cuisine, which features fresh fruits and vegetables from the surrounding farms.
Shiobara Onsen – Tochigi Prefecture
Located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, Shiobara Onsen is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique and authentic hot spring experience. Dense forests and scenic mountains surround the town, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere, making it perfect for relaxation. People know that the hot springs in Shiobara Onsen have high mineral content, including sulfur and iron, and they believe that the springs have healing properties that can relieve stress and improve overall wellness. We can experience different types of hot spring baths, including indoor and outdoor baths and footbaths, each offering unique features and therapeutic effects.
Aso Onsen – Kumamoto Prefecture
Aso Onsen is a picturesque hot spring town in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The beautiful town nestles in the Aso region, renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery, including the Aso Volcano, one of the largest calderas globally. The hot springs here are famous for their milky white waters, and people believe that the springs have therapeutic properties that can relieve fatigue and promote relaxation. We can enjoy a variety of hot spring baths, including indoor and outdoor baths and private baths that offer a more intimate experience. In addition to the hot springs, Aso Onsen provides the chance to explore the town’s rich cultural heritage, with many historical sites and museums showcasing traditional Japanese culture. We can also sample the town’s local cuisine, which features delicious dishes made from fresh local ingredients, such as Akaushi beef and fresh vegetables.
Kirishima Onsen – Kagoshima Prefecture
Kirishima Onsen is a delightful hot spring town in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The town is located in the Kirishima mountain range, which boasts some of Japan’s most breathtaking natural scenery. People know that the hot springs in Kirishima Onsen have a high alkaline content. In addition, Kirishima Onsen is also home to many cultural attractions, such as shrines, temples, and museums that showcase the town’s rich history and culture. We can also enjoy the town’s local cuisine, which features fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables.