While it seems like a concrete metropolis, Tokyo is actually home to an impressive selection of onsen baths, one of Japan’s most luxurious natural treasures. Said to be good for the body and soul, bathing in these hot springs is a popular Japanese pastime and something every guest should try at least once (even if you are nervous about getting naked in public).
With so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide which hot spring to visit, so we’ve compiled some of our favorites. Here are some of the most soothing hot springs in and around Tokyo city.
The ultimate in Tokyo onsen day-tripping, Hakone is a lush, much-loved resort town situated an easy 85km from the nation’s capital. Hakone is incredibly popular with those who want to escape the city, couples looking for a romantic retreat, hikers, and of course, onsen aficionados thanks to its wide variety of onsen, tranquil Lake Ashinoko, and most importantly its stunning views of Mt. Fuji.
When it comes to onsens, there are plenty of highlights, including the hot spring theme park Yunessun, which features a variety of novelty baths, including red wine and coffee baths. You must wear a bathing suit, though. Another, more traditional alternative is Kohan-no-yu, a stunning classic onsen facility attached to Prince Hakone Hotel, which is ultra-convenient if you’re looking for a luxurious trip away.
For a weekend onsen escape, consider making the trip to Kusatsu Onsen town in Gunma Prefecture. This mineral-rich onsen resort sits at an impressive altitude of 1200 meters above sea level, offering ample skiing and hiking opportunities throughout the year. Popular with both locals and tourists alike, the area rose to fame in the late 1800s, when the imperial court doctor, a German by the name of Erwin von Baelz recommended the area because of the water’s immense health benefits.
Address: 433 Kusatsu, Agatsuma District, Gunma 377-1711, Japan (map)
Hours: Open 24 hours
A very worthy day trip from Tokyo, Takaragawa Onsen is a lush, nature surrounded onsen resort nestled in the mountainous Gunma prefecture. One of the best onsen resorts in Minakami Onsen Area is home to the largest open-air bath in Japan, which is extremely popular with tourists, both foreign and local. It’s the most idyllic spot to bathe by the Takaraga stream and enjoy the ambiance of Gunma’s natural beauty.
Address: 1899 Fujiwara, Minakami, Tone District, Gunma 379-1721, Japan (map)
Hours: Open 24 hours
Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Tokyo
Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike thanks to its incredible baths and many other attractions.
The complex’s authentic Edo-era ambiance is one of its greatest attractions. The venue’s old school mini-town comes complete with summer festival style lanterns, games, street food, and guests roaming around in yukata for that additional old-world touch. Stepping through the doors, you’ll fast forget you’re in Odaiba, one of Tokyo’s most futuristic neighborhoods.
The complex is also home to a huge variety of baths that are filled with water pumped up from 1400 meters below the earth’s surface, guaranteed to warm your body right to its very core. Highlights include the rotenburo, an open-air bath, neyu is a bath where visitors can lie down in hot water, and kinu noyu is a bath filled with tiny bubbles, which they say is beneficial for good for blood circulation.
Address: 2 Chome-6-3 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan (map)
Hours: Open 24 hours
Spa LaQua in Tokyo
Situated inside Tokyo Dome City, Tokyo’s largest entertainment area is where you’ll find the stylish Spa LaQua. This onsen, spa hybrid is home to plenty of attractive features, including the rotenburo (open-air bath) filled with natural spring water, pumped from 1700 meters underground, a low-temperature sauna, and other wellness attractions like the chiropractic area, and massage services.
Attached to Spa LaQua, there’s also a large shopping complex, an amusement park, and a hotel all in one, making it a one-stop destination. Nearby you’ll also find Tokyo Dome, which holds sports games, concerts, and a wide range of events, so next time you’re there, you can drop by Spa LaQua for a relaxing soak after.
Address: Japan, 〒112-0003 Tokyo, Bunkyo City, Kasuga, 1 Chome−1−1 ラクーアビル 5-9F (map)
Hours: Open 24 hours
Yamato no Yu
Taking the best elements from the traditional appreciation of onsen bathing and making them tastefully and modern, Yamato no Yu is a real treat. It’s the architecture and interior design, with its rich wooden paneling and soft lighting, which makes it so special that a visit here feels like a secretive retreat.
Sitting not far from Narita airport, it’s easy to access from the area, making it a great place to unwind after a long flight. Also, while you’re there, be sure to sample a glass of fine Japanese wine from the onsen’s 70-strong selection. There are private rooms available as well, and an on-site sushi restaurant.
Address: 1630 Odake, Narita, Chiba 286-0841, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–10PM
This onsen gets its name Niwa-No-Yu (“niwa” meaning garden) from the large, traditional Japanese garden inside the premises. Easily accessible from Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, Toshimaen Niwa-No-Yu located in Nerima Ward, is a large complex covering some four thousand square meters.
In this complex in spring, you’ll find cherry blossoms, and in the autumn, there’s Japanese pampas grass, which also showcases the nation’s passion for seasonal colors. In addition to natural hot springs with a view of the Japanese garden, another highlight is the body zone. In the body zone, you can dip into the water wearing your bathing suit, which is perfect for visitors who find the idea of being naked in front of other bathers uncomfortable.
Address: 3 Chome-25-1 Koyama, Nerima City, Tokyo 176-8531, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–11PM
Maenohara Onsen Saya-No-Yudokoro
Housed in a tasteful, Japanese-style building, located in Itabashi Ward, Saya-No-Yudokoro is an onsen with a lot of charm. It has a hot spring pool, sauna, restaurant, and Japanese garden too!
During weekdays the prices are discounted, which is great for traveling guests. Also, if you want a private bath, you can reserve the rotenburo all to yourself by the hour. Although this onsen is a little distance from the main sightseeing spots and taking a bus is required, it is a day trip destination worthy of the additional effort!
Address: 3 Chome-41-1 Maenocho, Itabashi City, Tokyo 174-0063, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10AM–1AM
Sitting in the more old-school neighborhood of Nerima, Hisamatsuyu is one of the most modern complexes out there. Home to sleek and stylish black walls and bath tiles, geometric projection-mapped rooftop, and minimalistic wood-paneled changing rooms and sauna, it’s a sight to behold.
Here you’ll find long indoor baths occupying a majority of the indoor bathing area, while there are more classic looking outdoor baths, perfect for soaking in on a crisp Tokyo evening. Each of the baths is filled with sodium monochloride-heavy water pumped from an impressive 1,500 meters underground.
Address: 4 Chome-32-15 Sakuradai, Nerima City, Tokyo 176-0002, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11AM–11PM
Yudonburi Sakae-yu is another great example of a classic onsen bath re-purposed for the modern user, having been recently renovated. If you’re worried about standing out, don’t be, a Yudonburi Sakae-yu is very popular with international guests, thanks to its position right in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most touristy areas and its open tattoo-friendly policy.
Positioned right by Sensoji, in a charming area called Oku-Asakusa, this bathhouse is a cute, all-purpose bathing facility with indoor and outdoor baths, a neburo (lie-down bath), and denki-buro (electric bath) features.
Address: 1 Chome-4-5 Nihonzutsumi, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0021, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Tuesday 2PM–11PM; Thursday – Sunday 2PM–11PM
If you’re looking for a safe onsen accommodation combo, don’t look past Manyo in Machida, one of a larger group of onsen facilities. Here you’ll find plenty of baths to choose from, including a large main bath, open-air rotenburo, a slick stone bath, a hydrogen bath, and a high-temperature sauna. While there is the accommodation on site, the baths are open to both staying and non-staying guests.
Address: 7-chome-3-1 Tsuruma, Machida, Tokyo 194-0004, Japan (map)
Hours: Open 24 hours
In Tokyo’s Sumida Ward is an area famous for its towering resident, Tokyo Skytree is Mikokuyu, a charming bath with a lot to offer. It was renovated in 2015, so it feels more modern than most.
Mikokuyu is ideally located midway between the local areas of Ryogoku, famous for sumo; Kinshicho, known as a lively shopping district; and Oshiage, home to Tokyo Skytree. From the facility’s rotemburo, guests can admire the view of Tokyo Skytree, while inside, there’s an impressive mural of Mt. Fuji and also a tile pictograph based on Kohaku Baizu Byobu.
Address: 3 Chome-30-8 Ishiwara, Sumida City, Tokyo 130-0011, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday closed; Tuesday – Saturday 3:30PM – 2AM; Sunday 3:30PM – 12AM
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and hop on a train heading straight to Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan in the lush surroundings of Gunma Prefecture. It’s a bit of a distance but well worth the day or even overnight trip; that’s because here you can enjoy all the hospitality of a traditional ryokan stay but with a more contemporary attitude.
The ryokan has a number of private baths on offer, so if you’re worried about having to share a bath, you don’t need to any longer. Beyond the baths, the hotel offers many cultural activities, including pottery classes and scenic nature walks.
Address: 3829 Shima, Nakanojo, Agatsuma District, Gunma 377-0601, Japan (map)
Tucked away in the suburban local of Gakugei-Daigaku, a charming neighborhood with a lot to offer is Takaban-no-Yu, aka Pokapoka Land. This is a retro-style Tokyo onsen with progressive attitudes to tattoos, making it great for international guests! The bathrooms are located on the first and second floors of the facility, where you’ll also find a salt sauna as well as an outdoor bath that uses medicinal herbs harvested from across the world.
Address: Japan, 〒152-0004 Tokyo, Meguro City, Takaban, 2 Chome−20−3 ベルメゾンタカバン (map)
Hours: Monday closed; Tuesday – Sunday 3:30PM – 1AM
A worthy day trip destination, Tenzan is one of Hakone’s most highly recommended onsens. Just a 10-minute bus ride from Hakone Yumoto station, it’s very accessible for visitors, while still feeling like a secluded, secret retreat.
In terms of bath options, Tenzan is home to several onsen baths, each with its unique features and appeal, including the multi-level bath, a bath that flows into a cave, and a cedar bath. The facilities here are surrounded by lush trees and creeping vines, making it feel like a secret hideout, worlds away from the fast-paced energy of nearby Tokyo.
Address: 208 Yumotochaya, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0312, Japan (map)
Miyagiyu is overflowing with super local and authentic ambiance. Located in Shinagawa Miyagiyu is a cozy onsen facility with easy accessibility and both indoor and outdoor baths. It’s spacious, modern, and dotted with indoor plants but from any unnecessary added frills.
Loved and heavily frequented by the regulars who live in Shinagawa, it’s very much open to all. On the first floor is where you’ll find the indoor baths, while the outdoor options are on the rooftop. If you’re on the hunt for somewhere to unwind close to the center of the city, Miyagiyu is a top pick.
Address: 2 Chome-18-11 Nishishinagawa, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 141-0033, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 3PM – 12AM; Wednesday closed; Saturday 1PM – 12AM; Sunday 11AM – 12AM
Togoshi Ginza Onsen
This is one of Shinagawa’s most impressive onsens. Togoshi Ginza is a slick modern bathhouse, which was once known as Naka no Yu, a local bathhouse that was in service for 40 years before shutting down in 2006, and now reopened.
The facilities include both onsen baths, as well as other tubs you’re more likely to see in traditional sento bathhouses, like denki-buro (electrified baths). You can still feel the history of the place, despite its modern and stylish appeal. The biggest attraction of this place, however, is definitely the artwork. With ceiling-high murals and hanging pieces, crafted by legendary sento artist Morio Nakajima, it’s almost as much an art adventure as it is a bathing experience.
Address: 2 Chome-1-6 Togoshi, Shinagawa City, Tokyo 142-0041, Japan (map)
Hours: Monday – Thursday 3PM – 1AM; Friday closed; Saturday 3PM – 1AM; Sunday 8AM–12PM, 3PM–1AM
If you’re a fan of hot springs, it’ll be your perfect onsen experience in Tokyo!
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