Hot spring baths or popularly known as Onsen are a staple of Japanese culture. The tectonic plates in Japan have resulted in forming thousands of natural hot springs and some of them have even time-honored healing qualities.
The presence of these onsen has become a bona fide tourist attraction that creates a sightseeing experience in the towns situated around the geothermal baths. As of now, almost all the premium onsen resorts are easily accessible to foreign travellers. We have listed some of the most popular hot spring destinations in Japan and you can check out the same.
1. Hakone- The Mountainous Town
Hakone is one of the finest hot spring destination and also the Popular Onsen Town in Japan. It is just a day trip away from Tokyo. The breathtaking views of Mount Fiji can be experienced from this small mountain town. It also has the beautiful Lake Ashinoko. If you are travelling to Hakone and cannot stay overnight then the place also offers daytime passes that shall grant you day-long access to the baths, showers and other facilities in the vicinity. The day-trippers are catered by Hakone Yuryo where you buy towels.
2. Kusatsu- The Center of Spring’s Source
Kusatsu is situated in scenic Gunma region and is just 3 hours away from Tokyo. It has an actual hot water field located in the town center. Kusatsu is one of the tops recommended Onsen to visit in Japan. The place is the country’s most dominant source of geothermal waters, with 100 hot springs gushing a total of 34000 liters of water each minute. The water is reported to heal many human ailments like arthritis, indigestion and poor circulation.
3. Beppu- Home of Hot Springs
Beppu is Japan’s one of the most well-known hot travel destination which is located in eastern Kyushu. The hot springs here either soothe or titillate. It is quite a strange sight with a collection of blood-red pools, pond with mud bubbles, boiling blue lagoons in addition to the waters where now crocodiles live. All of these are just meant for viewing and are not for bathing. If your sole purpose is to relax then skip these attractions and head straight to the spa and open-air baths at Suginoi Hotel. To experience the regular hot baths, milky sulfurous and the ‘bedrock bath’, head to Ebisu Ryokan.
4. Noboribetsu- Most Famous for Natural Hot Springs
Noboribetsu is a small town situated at Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido and one of the tops recommended Onsen to visit in Japan. Travellers are advised to hike around the sublime Jigokudani where there is a steaming river that runs hot, forested areas for foot bathing, and the Oyunuma pond which is sulfurous. The amazing thing about Noboribetsu’s onsen is that it produces water naturally infused with at least seven different elements and minerals. Needless to say that each of these elements has its own healing qualities.
5. Shibu- The Spa Town
Situated in a snowy valley in Japan’s Nagano location, this onsen town is famous for its bathing snow monkeys. They roam the area freely and don’t really care to bathe alongside their human counterparts. Visit Jigokudani Monkey Park to see the snow monkeys enjoying the hot spring baths. The picturesque little town, Shibu, is cozy and quaint in the months of winters and got some of the Best Hot Springs in Japan.
6. Ibusuki- The Natural Steam Sand Baths
Ibusuki is in Kyushu’s Kagoshima region and is situated at the tip of one of the southernmost peninsulas of the island. The entire area is popular for its excellent hot springs, as well as its delicious satsumaimo (sweet potatoes) that grow in Kagoshima’s rich volcanic soil. When you go to Ibusuki’s famous beachside sand baths, you need to wear a yukata and an attendant would cover your entire body in warm, black sand.
7. Kinosaki- Picturesque village on the Japan Sea Coast
The Kinosaki onsen village is accessible by train from both Kyoto and Osaka. Also, one of the Popular Onsen Towns in Japan. It is located on the Sea of Japan and this town has been a hot spring destination for over a thousand years. The strange thing is that only a few people outside of Japan know about this hidden gem. Kinosaki’s seven-bath stroll is very famous as people wearing a yukata, walk around the town center from bath to bath. They stop to eat sweets and seafood along the way.
8. Minakami- The Outdoor Adventure Capital of Japan
This exotic travel destination, Minakami is just a few hours away from Tokyo but the place feels like worlds away from the high energy capital of Japan. Guests can chill in the outdoor baths while enjoying the scenery around in one of the Best Hot Springs in Japan. The Takaragawa onsen is highly recommended which has both shared gender facilities as well as only women arrangement too.
So, wait no more and book cheap flight tickets to these fantastic Hot spring destinations in Japan.
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