Onsen – Hot Spring Baths
Discover the centuries old tradition of these thermal hot baths that play a large part in Japanese culture. There are over 20,000 sources of hot springs in Japan and over 3,000 accommodations that have Onsen. Located all over the country, you will find many Onsen as part of the traditional Japanese Inns called ryokan (see page 9). Others are found in public bathhouses. Depending on the chosen Onsen they can be private or segregate so please check at the time of enquiry.
There are many areas in Japan that are well-known for their Onsen. Some of our favourites are listed below.
Beppu Onsen – (Oita Prefecture, Kyushu)
The city of Beppu, on the south-western island of Kyushu has eight different hot springs each with ryokan and public baths with bathing facilities. Together they produce more hot spring water than any other Onsen resort in the country.
Kinosaki Onsen – (Hyogo Prefecture, Honshu)
Kinosaki Onsen can be reached in an hour and a half from Osaka by Express train. Hidden in the mountains, away from the crowds of the cities, Kinosaki has quiet temples, moss covered forests and soft sandy beaches.
Shibu Onsen – (Nagano Prefecture, Honshu)
A quaint little town with a 1,300 year history, it has ancient cobblestone lanes and traditional wooden ryokan where visitors can often be seen strolling through the lanes in their yukata (light cotton kimono). Shibu Onsen can be combined with a visit to Yudanaka to see the famous Snow Monkeys.
Dogo Onsen – (Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku)
Situated around 3 hours from Okayama or 4 and a half hours from Osaka, Dogo Onsen is located on one of the smallest of Japan’s main islands, Shikoku. It is one of the earliest known hot spring spa towns and is famous for being an inspiration for the Japanese anime film, Spirited Away, a Ghibli film. naka to see the famous Snow Monkeys.