Search Flights Search Vacation Packages Search hotels Search Private car service Search Activity
Search Flights Search Vacation Packages Search hotels Search Private car service Search Activity

8 Recommended Hot Springs Around Tokyo

Visiting an onsen is a must-do when you travel to Japan. Check out these top recommended hot springs to see when you visit Tokyo.
8 Recommended Hot Springs Around Tokyo

Are you looking for some Japanese bath houses where you can experience relaxation and healing? Tokyo, Japan's capital, has several onsen you can visit.

What is an onsen in Japan?

What is an onsen in Japan?

An onsen is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit, and Japan has plenty of them. Some onsen have specific benefits, such as providing pain relief or reducing stress. You can even find onsen towns in various places across Japan, such as Kurokawa Onsen, Noboribetsu Onsen, and Hakone Onsen. Not all onsen are for swimming, however. Jigokudani Monkey Park, an onsen in Nagano, is a famous tourist spot. Tourists flock to see snow monkeys dipping in the hot water to keep themselves warm.

Is a hot spring different from an onsen?

An onsen and a hot spring are the same. They must be at least 25°C at the source with at least one of nineteen official elements, including lithium, sulfur, sodium chloride, and iron. Onsen can be “natural” - called tennen onsen (天然温泉) - due to geothermally heated springs or “manmade” - called jinko onsen (人工温泉) - if they meet the conditions artificially.

What is a bathhouse?

What is a bathhouse?

A Japanese public bathhouse, on the other hand, is known as a sento. They use heated tap water instead of water with special minerals. Japanese sento are more common in major cities.

Onsen exist for relaxation and the health benefits it gives those who decide to bathe in its nutrient-rich waters. Sento serve a more practical purpose - daily hygiene.

How to enjoy an onsen in Japan

To have the best onsen experience, you must observe the rules and customs most onsen follow.

Onsen formalities and expectations

Onsen formalities and expectations

When bathing in an onsen, remember to take a shower first to cleanse yourself before bathing. Most onsen provide them, but if they don’t, you have to buy some. It’s best to refrain from eating before you bathe, but you need to drink a lot of water before and after your bath to keep from getting dehydrated.

Several onsen still ban tattoos because of the cultural connotation between tattoos and the yakuza (Japanese mafia). Some onsen have already relaxed their rules about tattoos, but it’s better to ask ahead of time. They might ask you to cover it up or refuse to allow you to enter.

If you are with companions, keep your noise level to a minimum to be considerate of other guests. Diving, splashing, and swimming are prohibited, and photography isn’t allowed in most onsen either.

The best onsen bath houses around Tokyo, Japan

Planning a trip to Tokyo? Here are some of the best onsen bath houses within the city:

Enjoy an outdoor bath at Bessho SASA with a view of Mt. Fuji

Enjoy an outdoor bath at Bessho SASA with a view of Mt. Fuji.

What better way is there to enjoy a hot spring bath than one in view of Mt. Fuji? Bessho Sasa is an onsen located in Hotel Kaneyamaen. These special rooms on the 4th and 5th floors of the hotel have a private open-air bath that gives a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji.

If you book a stay, it includes a delicious dinner made with seasonal ingredients from the area and all over Japan. Guests can also sample complimentary coffee, soft drinks, sweets, and a glass of local wine from Yamanashi prefecture—served free of charge.

How to get to Bessho SASA: Take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). Get on the Kehintohoku Line until Kanda Station, then hop on the Chuo Line until Shinjuku Station. Take the Chuo-Main Line Tokkyu (Express), get off at Otsuki Station, and then switch to the Fujikyuko Line and ride until Fujisan Station. You can walk a few minutes to the hotel or arrange for a shuttle to pick you up.

• Location: 9-1-18 Kamiyoshida higashi, Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi, 403-0032

Stay in Konansou - a Japanese-style hotel operating like a traditional ryokan

Stay in Konansou - a Japanese-style hotel operating like a traditional ryokan

Konansou is a Japanese–style hotel in the Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen resort at the base of Mt. Fuji. With perfect views of Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko, public indoor and outdoor baths, and guest rooms with private baths, Konansou creates a unique, memorable experience for travelers. Konansou functions like a traditional Japanese ryokan where dinner and breakfast are provided. Guests can take advantage of the public indoor and outdoor baths or a private onsen with a view of Mt. Fuji. Konansou also has cold water baths, utaseyu (pelting hot spring waterfall showers), and foot baths.

How to get to Konansou: From Tokyo International Airport, take the Fujikyuko Express Bus and get down at Kawaguchiko Station. Konansou is a 10-minute walk away from the station. There are also free shuttles available after 3:00 PM.

• Location:  4020-2 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi, 401-0301

• Contact Details: +81-555-72-2166

Relax and find healing at Kozantei Ubuya

Relax and find healing at Kozantei Ubuya

Kozantei Ubuya is a ryokan that provides hot spring baths with gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji. All its guest rooms sit facing Mt. Fuji, so you can enjoy the stunning views from morning until night. They have large public baths (with open-air baths available) that feature various bathing experiences, including seated and reclining baths. There are also guest rooms with private onsen for couples, families, or people with tattoos.

Kozantei Ubuya’s waters include the following properties: calcium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate hot spring. It is good for those suffering from muscular pain, joint pain, stiff joints, bruises, sprains, cuts, burns, fatigue, and more.

How to get to Kozantei Ubuya: From Tokyo International Airport, take the Fujikyuko Express Bus and get down at Kawaguchiko Station. Take a taxi to Konzantei Ubuya (about 10 minutes away).

• Location: 10 Azagawa, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minami Tsuru-gun, Yamanashi, 401-0303

• Operating Hours: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

• Contact Details: +81-555-72-1145

Admire stunning nature views while you bathe at Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Admire stunning nature views while you bathe at Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Located on Osenkaku and upstream of Tonegawa is Takaragawa Onsen, a hidden hot spring amid a beautiful nature setting. Takaragawa Onsen has several baths that cater to visitors during all four seasons. The waters of Takaragawa Onsen are good for those suffering from arthritis, muscular pain, bruises, hemorrhoids, and other diseases. They also provide relief for those with stiff shoulders and problems in the digestive organs.

Maka is a famous hot spring bath that you may have seen in TV programs, magazines, and posters. Its tranquil waters against the backdrop of nature provide stunning views you can admire while relaxing in your bath. Hannya is downstream of Maka and about half in size. If you are traveling with family, you can try this onsen as it is shallow enough for children to bathe. Kodakara is across the river from Hannya and the largest onsen in Takaragawa. Maya is at the bottom stream of the Takaraga onsen and is only for women (Maka, Hannya, and Kodakara are for both genders).

How to get to Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku: From Haneda Airport, make your way to Tokyo Station and get on the JR Takasaki Line until Takasaki Station. Switch to the JR Joetsu-Line and ride until Minakami Station. You can take the route buses there or get on the courtesy bus straight to Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku (reservation required).

• Location: 1899 Fujiwara, Minakami-machi, Tone-gun, Gunma, 379-1721

• Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Visit Spa LaQua (Tokyo Dome) - located in the heart of Tokyo

Visit Spa LaQua (Tokyo Dome) - located in the heart of Tokyo
©️Spa LaQua

While it seems hard to imagine an onsen in the middle of a bustling city, it is not entirely impossible. Deep in the heart of Tokyo’s city center is Spa LaQua, a hot spring facility that uses natural hot spring water rising from 1,700 meters underground.

Spa LaQua consists of two main zones: the Spa Zone and the Healing Baden Zone. The Spa Zone has two open-air baths for visitors to enjoy. Both are sodium chloride hot springs, sometimes called a Heat Bath or Slim Figure Bath. The water’s active components moisturize your skin and help you retain just the right amount of heat. It also helps relieve stiff shoulders and back pain and relieves those with a sensitivity to cold.

The Healing Baden Zone of Spa LaQua features four low-temperature saunas in a wide, open layout that brings to mind a resort in Bali. One side has a large window front, displaying Tokyo Dome and its many different attractions. At night, it provides a breathtaking view of Tokyo’s city lights.

Spa LaQua also features three kinds of saunas:
a medium-temperature sauna sure to make you feel completely refreshed,
a Finland style sauna characterized by medium temperature and high humidity,
and a mist sauna said to stimulate the right brain.

How to get to Tokyo Dome’s Spa LaQua: Take the Keikyū Airport Line and get off at Mita Station. Ride the Mita Line until Suidōbashi Station and walk a few minutes to Spa LaQua.

• Location: 5-9F Tokyo Dome City LaQua, 1-1-1 Kasuga, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 112-0003

• Contact Details: +81-3-3817-4173

• Operating Hours: 11:00 AM to 9:00 AM (the next day)

Try the different baths at Toshimaen Niwa-No-Yu

Try the different baths at Toshimaen Niwa-No-Yu

Toshimaen Niwa-No-Yu features a natural hot-spring bath overlooking the Japanese Garden. Its mineral-rich waters, drawn from 1,445 meters underground, are beneficial for the skin and help boost blood circulation. Even after you’ve gotten out of the bath, you will still feel nice and warm.

Aside from an outdoor rock bath and an indoor hot spring, you can take advantage of the ne-yu bathtubs (a bath taken while lying down). You will also find micro-bubble baths (similar to a jacuzzi but with smaller bubbles that are softer on the skin), and a carbonated water bath. There is also a one-person bathtub made of Shigaraki ware, a type of traditional Japanese ceramics originating from the Shigaraki area in Shiga prefecture.

The onsen facility also features a Bade pool, a hydrotherapy facility for stretching and underwater massaging, originating in Germany. There are also steam saunas, hot tubs, outdoor natural hot spring jacuzzis, and Finland-style saunas for everyone to enjoy.

How to get to Toshimaen Niwa-No-Yu: Take the Keikyū Airport Line to Daimon Station. Get on the Oedo Line and get down at Toshimaen Station. Walk for about five minutes to reach the onsen.

• Location: 3-25-1 Koyama, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 176-8531

• Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Experience healing in the unique black water onsen at Musashi Koyama Onsen Shimizuyu

Experience healing in the unique black water onsen at Musashi Koyama Onsen Shimizuyu
©️Musashi Koyama Onsen Shimizuyu

Established in 1924, Musashi Koyama Onsen Shimizuyu is a popular onsen featuring Kuroyu, a black water hot spring rising from 200 meters underground. The water is brownish-yellow and is good for moisturizing the skin. Thus, the onsen is also called the “hot spring of beauties” or “hot spring for beautiful skin”. As it makes the body warm, helps relieve dull headaches, jitters, tiredness, and sleeplessness.

Aside from Kuroyu, you can also enjoy golden hot water which comes from a deeper place. It is a medical treatment spring that contains iodine which helps cure external wounds. There are also several open-air baths that you can enjoy under the Tokyo sky - an electric bath, a jacuzzi, and a jet bath. You can also try the bedrock bath said to have anti-aging and weight-loss properties and improve circulation and detoxification.

How to get to Musashi Koyama Onsen Shimizuyu: Take the Keikyū Airport Line until Sengakuji Station, then switch to the Asakusa Line and get off at Mita Station. Ride the Mita Line until Musashi-Koyama Station. The onsen is about 5-7 minutes by foot from the station.

• Location: 3-9-1 Koyama, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-0062

• Operating Hours: 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM (closed on Mondays)

Get a good soak at Mikokuyu - an indoor bath house with various pools

Get a good soak at Mikokuyu - an indoor bath house with various pools

Mikokuyu is a compact onsen bath house located on the fourth and fifth floors that alternate between men and women every week. The fourth floor has a cave-like onsen and a lukewarm bath where you can soak yourself and relax to your heart’s content. The fifth floor has a high ceiling and wide windows, creating an open atmosphere. There is also a partly outdoor bath from which you can see the Sky Tree.

Mikokuyu also has a welfare-type private family bath for those who need nursing care. You’ll get to have a deep hot spring bath and a cypress-scented bath.

How to get to Mikokuyu: From Tokyo International Airport, take the Keikyū Airport Line to Honjo-Azumabashi Station. Walk about 12 minutes to get to the onsen.

• Location: 3-30-10 Ishiwara, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0011

• Operating Hours: 3:30 PM to 2:00 AM (Tuesday-Saturday), 3:00 PM to 12:00 AM (Sundays), closed on Mondays

Experience the relaxing and healing effects of hot springs in Japan

A trip to Japan isn't complete without experiencing the onsen. Whether you take a trip to the outskirts of Tokyo to bathe in a pool amidst nature or check out one of the more accessible ones in the city center, you'll definitely have a good time. 

Check out the JAL Japan Explorer Pass - including its onsen - today!

Getting There