Onsens Japanese Hot Spring Baths

Japan's Hot Springs 温泉

Japan provides a wide range of hot spring or, in Japanese, onsen entertainment ranging from exclusive spas and resorts to humble pubic baths (sento) and even outdoor hot spring foot baths for the casual passer by. If you love to immerse your body - or parts of it - in hot water and relax, nowhere in the world compares with the variety and beauty of Japan's hot-spring resorts. The following is a selection of articles on various aspects of onsen culture and the onsen experience.

Hot spring onsen in Kumano Kodo.
Enjoying hot spring onsen culture in Japan

Confessions of an Onsen Addict: Hot-Spring Bathing in Japan

The Rough Guide author Jan Dodd bares all in her review of Japan's best hot springs. Where they are, how to get there, costs and bathing etiquette.

Japan's Hot Springs: A Clean Break

Will Yong takes the plunge in the Japanese hot spring resort of Arima in Hyogo Prefecture near Kobe in western Japan.

Introducing Onsen Culture

Many Westerners are uncomfortable with anyone seeing their naked bodies, but being naked with friends and strangers is a traditional practice in Japan. It happens every day in hot springs - onsen - across Japan as it has for thousands of years. Bathing together in a natural hot spring is a healthy, relaxing, and bonding experience.

Japan Hot Spring Experience

How to have fun in a Japanese onsen and a step by step guide to hot spring etiquette. The deepest plunge one can take into Japanese culture is in the onsen (hot spring).

Tokyo Top 10 Bathhouses

A selection of top 10 Tokyo bath houses for the visitor to the capital wanting to take the hot metropolitan plunge.

Onsen buckets or oke neatly stacked, Japan.
Onsen buckets - oke - neatly stacked
Beppu Onsen, Oita Prefecture, Japan.
Beppu Onsen, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan

Yunokuchi Onsen

Yunokuchi Onsen in Mie Prefecture is a "hidden onsen" known for its miniature railway, waterfalls and dramatic scenery.

Alternative Bathing in Kyushu

Joe Sinclair visits the hot springs and sand-baths of Kyushu - Beppu, Yufuin - Oita Prefecture is a mecca of Japanese hot-springs.

Onsen in Hakone

Hakone is one of Japan's premier hot spring resorts and within easy reach of the Tokyo metropolis.

Yoshidaya Ryokan in Arifuku Onsen

Stay at Yoshidaya Onsen a stately Japanese natural hot spring ryokan with a 350-year history of making visitors welcome. Yoshidaya is situated in the Arifuku hot spring resort in Shimane Prefecture.

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Gero Onsen

Gero Onsen in Gifu Prefecture, north of Nagoya, is one of Japan's oldest and most famous onsen resorts.

Kumano Onsen, Japan.
Steam-filled traditional hot spring

Kaga Onsen

Kaga Onsen is an onsen mecca in Ishikawa Prefecture south west of Kanazawa.

Kusatsu Onsen

Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture is one of Japan's "Top Three Onsen" along with Gero and Arima.

Beppu Onsen

Beppu Onsen in Oita Prefecture, in Kyushu, is one of Japan's premier onsen resorts famous for its bubbling "Hells."

Kannawa is one of Beppu's most famous hot spring areas.

Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Shikoku, claims to be Japan's oldest hot sprng, and has connections with the Imperial Family and Natsume Soseki.

Jigoku Mushi

Jigoku Mushi (lit. "hell steamed") is a method of traditional cooking using the vapors of hot springs to cook such foods as seafood, eggs, corn and dumplings. The Kannawa area of Beppu in Oita Prefecture on Kyushu is particularly famous for this unique hot spring cuisine.

Misasa Onsen

Misasa Onsen is something of a hidden gem in the depths of Tottori Prefecture, south of Tottori city. Misasa Onsen offers healing baths, a crystal-like river, fragrant forests, historic temples and sacred pilgrimage sites in and about the valleys of Mt. Mitoku.

Minakami & Takaragawa Onsen

Takaragawa Onsen in the Minakami area of Gunma Prefecture is often voted Japan's best onsen.

Takaragawa Onsen, Gunma Prefecture.
Takaragawa Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

Sakihana Onsen

Arrive in style at Sakihana Onsen in rural Niigata Prefecture aboard the retro SL Ban'etsu Monogatari steam locomotive.

Ibusuki Onsen

Ibusuki Onsen, located 50km south of Kagoshima in southern Kyushu is known for its suna-mushi or volcanic sand baths on the beach of Kagoshima Bay.

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen on the Japan Sea Coast of Hyogo Prefecture is an ancient hot spring resort famous for its delicious crab cuisine and for visitors promenading along its streets dressed in yukata and geta.

Onsens in Tokyo

See a listing of onsens in Tokyo including Toshimaen Niwa No Yu, La Qua and Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hot Springs.

Hoshinoya Onsen Resort

Hoshinoya located on a beautiful riverside in Karuizawa, just over an hour from Tokyo by bullet train, is the flagship of the Hoshino Group's chain of deluxe onsen resorts.

Kinosaki Onsen, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
Cherry Blossom at Kinosaki Onsen, Japan

Kai Aso Resort

Kai Aso in Oita Prefecture on Kyushu is part of the Hoshino Group's chain of luxury onsens and delivers luxury bathing with gourmet Japanese cuisine in an idyllic, mountain setting.

Ikaho Onsen

Ikaho Onsen near Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture, is a popular onsen resort town with its waters popular with women with fertility problems.

Japan's Onsen Regions

Japan's Onsen Regions include Kinosaki in Hyogo Prefecture, Hakone, Mt. Aso and the hot springs of Kumano.

Sounkyo Onsen

Sounkyo Onsen in Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido has been reinvented over the last few decades, based on the design of Canadian mountain resorts. While it used to be a run down, forgotten resort, Sounkyo Onsen is now a perfect blend of modern conveniences and old fashion onsen traditions.

Tokachi Onsen

Tokachi Onsen in Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido on the slopes of Mt. Tokachidake (2,077m) claims to be the highest hot spring in Japan, complete with extreme winter sports and unmatchable views from everywhere above tree line on the avalanche-prone slopes of an active volcano.

Yunohira Onsen Yufuin

Yunohira is an onsen mountain village near Yufuin, Oita, in Kyushu, southern Japan.

Yunohira Onsen Niigata

Yunohira Onsen in Shibata, Niigata, is a remote onsen reached after a (hazardous) hike up a mountain trail.

Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture in northern Japan is known for its heavy winter snow and "snow monsters" - conifer trees covered with several feet or more of layers of frost, ice, and snow. The Zao area is a great place not only to enjoy hot springs but also to ski, trek and snowshoe.

Japanese Bath Products

Purchase a range of wooden Japanese bath products made from the finest Japanese wood including original bath buckets, chairs and soap basins to give your bathroom that Japanese hot spring onsen feel.

Yunessun Onsen  Hakone, Japan.

Books on Japan Travel

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