All Over Japan

20 Popular Onsen in Japan

Hot spring resorts visited the most in 2022!

Here are the hot spring resorts with the highest number of overnight stays (= number of guests x number of nights) in a ranking format.

The list is full of hot spring towns and famous hot springs dotted with popular tourist attractions, gourmet food and spectacular views.

Atami Hot Springs, Shizuoka Prefecture

No.1 on the ranking is Atami Onsen, which can be accessed in as little as 35 minutes from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train.

There are many other places to enjoy besides hot springs, such as “ACAO FOREST” with its various photo spots, “Atami Castle” with its spectacular views, “MOA Museum of Art” and “Trick Art Labyrinth Museum” for art appreciation.

As for gourmet foods, there is an abundance of fresh seafood as well as a wide variety of sweets. There are many notable sweets stores such as “Japanese chestnut confectionery kiito”, “Strawberry BonBonBerry Atami House”, and the long-established “Mataichian Atami Bataa-an”.

The Atami Marine Fireworks Festival*, which is held throughout the year, is also a must-see.

*Scheduled dates of the Atami Marine Fireworks Display in 2022: 1/9, 1/15, 4/16, 5/2, 5/14, 5/21, 7/29, 8/5, 8/8, 8/18, 8/21, 8/26, 9/19, 11/5, 12/4, 12/18 (Due to measures to prevent infection by the new coronavirus, the dates and content of the fireworks display may change. The dates and contents of the fireworks may be subject to change due to measures taken to prevent new coronavirus infection. For the latest information, please check the official website of Atami City Tourist Association)

Beppu Hot Spring, Oita Prefecture

The second place, Beppu Onsen, which boasts the nation’s No. 1 hot spring in terms of both the amount of water gushing out and the number of sources.

The “Jigoku Meguri” tour of seven naturally gushing springs, including the nationally designated “Umi-Jigoku” (sea hell), is a popular sightseeing spot that cannot be missed.

There are many attractive sightseeing spots, such as “Yukemuri Observatory,” where you can view the fantastic illumination of the steam, and “Beppu Ropeway,” where you can enjoy the seasonal changes in nature, such as fresh greenery and autumn leaves.

In addition, the Hachiman Kamado Shrine in Beppu City, named after the popular manga “Kimetsu no Yaiba” (Blade of the Demon), has been attracting attention in recent years.

For outdoor recreation, we recommend visiting Lake Shidakako, which offers camping, barbecues, and Forest Adventure Beppu, where you can play in the forest, or enjoying amusement parks and golf at Kijima Kogen, located in Aso-Kujyu National Park.

Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

Kusatsu Onsen is located at an altitude of 1,200 meters and boasts an abundance of hot spring water.

There are many places to visit that are full of hot spring atmosphere, including Yubatake, the symbol of Kusatsu, and Atsunoyu, famous for its “Yumomi Show” (a hot spring bathing show).

In the Ura-Kusatsu (Jizo area), a 3-minute walk from Yubatake, there are hand and face baths, and a new “Manga-do” and “Tsukinoho (cafe)” have been established.

“Osa-yu,” an Osaru no yumomiji (hot spring bath) where visitors can watch a yumomi show by the Nikko Monkey Army, is scheduled to open in 2022 on Nishi-no-kawara-dori.

In Nishi-no-Kawahara Park, where you can see hot water gushing out from all over the place, there is also the Nishi-no-Kawahara Open-air Bath, one of the largest in Japan, with a combined area of 500 square meters for men and women, and we recommend that you stop by and enjoy the baths.

At “Mt. Tengu,” where outdoor recreation can be enjoyed throughout the year, skiing is available in winter and grass skiing from spring to fall, and a kids’ park and dog run area are also open.

In addition, check out “Kusatsu BanZipTENGU,” which has a large zipline with a total length of approximately 500 meters.

Why not take a thrilling ride through the air at speeds of up to 70 km/h?

Shirahama Onsen, Wakayama Prefecture

Shirahama Onsen in Wakayama Prefecture, with a history of more than 1,350 years dating back to the Asuka and Nara periods, comes in third place.

It is said that emperors such as Saimei, Tenchi, and Jito visited this hot spring resort, which appears in “Nihon Shoki” (Chronicles of Japan) and “Manyoshu” (Anthology of Myriad Leaves).

Shirarahama, a stretch of white, silky sandy beach, is spectacular! Shirahama is famous for being the earliest beach in Honshu (Honshu Island) to open to the sea, and the beach will open on May 3, 2022.

Shirahama Onsen is dotted with a wide variety of outdoor baths (day-trip baths), including open-air baths right on the edge of the waves and mixed bathing open-air baths where visitors can enter in their swimsuits. Footbaths are also plentiful, and visitors can enjoy a tour of the hot spring baths.

For sightseeing in the surrounding area, “Adventure World” is not to be missed, and “Maple Beach,” which will be opened to the public in 2020, started to open to the public outdoors last fall.

In addition to the zoo, there is also an aquarium and an amusement park that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

In terms of gourmet food, seasonal seafood is an attraction, with lobster and kuei being especially popular in the fall and winter.

Famous sweets such as “Kagero” and “Yuzu Monaka,” which sandwich cream between fluffy dough, and local sweets such as “Shirahama Pudding” are also something to look forward to.

Nasu Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture

Nasu Onsen, a hot spring resort with a long history that is said to have been in operation for more than 1,300 years, comes in at No5.

The hot springs are located on the mountainside of Mt. Chausu, an active volcano that emits white smoke.

The seven “Nasu Shichiyu” hot springs are particularly famous for their different qualities and effects, including “Shika-no-yu,” where the first hot spring source was discovered.

The area is popular as a highland resort and offers a wide variety of leisure activities.

There are many spots where visitors can enjoy interacting with animals, such as “Nasu Animal Kingdom,” “Nasu Safari Park,” and “Nasu Highland Minamigaoka Farm,” leisure spots such as “Nasu Highland Rindoko Family Farm” and “Nasu Highland Park” where visitors can play actively, and museums where visitors can encounter fascinating artwork.

Nasu has an abundance of attractions.

Sightseeing at “Keshoseki,” one of Nasu’s most famous scenic spots, and “Tsutsuji Suspension Bridge,” overlooking the Nasu Mountain Range, are also recommended.

On July 6, 2022, “GOOD NEWS” will open along the road connecting Nasu Highway and Rindo Line.

A wide variety of businesses will come together under the keyword of “symbiosis with the forest,” and cafes, outdoor stores, restaurants, and other facilities will line the street.

Kinugawa Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture

Kinugawa Onsen was discovered in the Edo period (1603-1868), but at that time only Buddhist monks and feudal lords were allowed to bathe in this historic hot spring.

Along the Kinugawa River, hot spring inns and hotels with guest rooms overlooking the valley below line the streets.

The spring water is a gentle alkaline simple hot spring that is said to be effective in relieving fatigue and neuralgia.

Nearby sightseeing spots include the Kinu Tateiwa Suspension Bridge, which offers a spectacular view of the mountain stream, and Tobu World Square, a theme park with miniature reproductions of buildings from around the world.

The area is dotted with a rich variety of tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by both adults and children.

Ito Onsen, Shizuoka Prefecture

Ito Onsen is a scenic hot spring facing Sagami Bay on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula.

It is a hot spring resort where visitors can enjoy simple spring water that is gentle to the skin with little irritation, and weakly saline spring water that promotes blood circulation with its heat-retaining effect.

Ito is also home to the Tokai-kan, a city-designated cultural asset with Japanese architectural beauty found throughout, Orange Beach, and Michi no Eki Ito Marine Town, which also has a cruise ship pier.

In April 2021, “Komuroyama Ridge Walk “MISORA” will be opened.

It is attracting a lot of attention because of its cafe and spectacular view.

If you go a little further, you will find scenic spots such as “Omuroyama” and “Jogasaki Kaigan,” which are known as Ito’s eight scenic spots.

From fall to early summer, you can enjoy “mandarin orange picking” in this area.

Hakone-Yumoto Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture

Located at the gateway to Hakone, Hakone-Yumoto is easily accessible by an 85-minute ride on the Romance Car from Tokyo.

Opened in the Nara period (710-794), it is the oldest of the 17 hot springs in Hakone.

There is a wide variety of spring qualities, including simple hot spring, alkaline simple hot spring, and sodium and calcium chloride spring.

Visitors can enjoy different types of hot spring water at different bathhouses.

The area around the station is lined with restaurants and souvenir stores, and offers specialty foods such as dishes using seafood from Suruga Bay and Sagami Bay, soba noodles made with delicious Hakone water, and breads and other side dishes.

A stroll along the shopping street is full of charm.

For outdoor leisure activities in nature, we also recommend Forest Adventure Hakone! Just a 3-minute shuttle bus ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station, visitors can fully experience activities ranging from a course for small children to a course with a zip slide, putting golf, and more.

Hakodate Onsen, Hokkaido

HOTEL&SPA Century Marina Hakodate

No. 7 is a hot spring in Hakodate, a popular tourist city located in the southern part of Hokkaido.

Visitors can enjoy hot springs at a hotel near the station within walking distance from Hakodate Station, making it a perfect base for sightseeing.

Hakodate, which evokes the history of civilization and development during the Meiji period, is home to many retro brick buildings and Western-style architecture, and the bay area offers a wide variety of stores and gourmet foods, including the Kanamori Red Brick Warehouse and the Hakodate Meiji-kan.

Near the station is the “Hakodate Morning Market” with approximately 250 stores!

Hakodate is famous for its night view, which is one of the world’s top three nightscapes.

The observatory facility at the top of the mountain has several view spots, as well as restaurants and cafes.

Dogo Onsen, Ehime Prefecture

Dogo Onsen has a history of about 3,000 years and is said to have been visited by Okuninushi no Mikoto and Prince Shotoku.

The location of Dogo Onsen is also attractive for its easy accessibility, being only about 40 minutes from Matsuyama Airport by limousine bus.

The quality of the spring is smooth and mildly alkaline, which is said to be suitable for hot-spring cures and beauty treatments.

The symbolic public bathhouse “Dogo Onsen Honkan*” is one of the important cultural properties of Japan, and in 2017, “Dogo Onsen Annex Asukan-no-Yusen,” a bathhouse inspired by the Asuka period, opened, allowing visitors to soak in an open-air bath that is not available in the main building.

There are also several hand baths and foot baths in the hot spring resort area, perfect for taking a break during a stroll.

The Dogo Onsen Honkan is closed from January 15, 2019 for conservation and repair work on the second floor and above, but you can still take a bath in the first floor “Kami-no-yu” (divine hot spring).

Ikaho Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

Ikaho Onsen is a hot spring resort known for being the first place in Japan where Dr. Balz, also known as the father of Japanese hot spring medicine, gave medical guidance.

There are two types of hot springs in the area: “Golden Hot Spring”, a sulfate spring that turns brown when exposed to air, and “Silvery Hot Spring”, which is colorless, tasteless, odorless, and contains metasilicic acid.

On both sides of the “365-step stone staircase,” a well-known symbol of the area, there are hot spring inns, restaurants, and amusement facilities such as target practice, giving the area a rich hot spring atmosphere! There is also “Kawaga Bridge,” famous for its beautiful autumn leaves, “Ikaho Onsen Yumisensho,” where you can drink hot spring water, “Ikaho Shrine,” and “Ikaho Ropeway,” among many other attractions.

A short distance away from the hot spring resort, you will find the Hara Museum of Art ARC, which reopened in 2021, the Ikaho Green Farm, where you can interact with animals, and a strawberry picking spot.

Leiraikyo, Akiu Onsen, Miyagi Prefecture

About 30 minutes by car from downtown Sendai, Akiu Onsen is a hot spring resort with a history of more than 1,400 years since its establishment along the valley of the Natori River.

The chloride spring water is characterized by its resistance to scalding.

Around the hot spring village, you can enjoy the strange rock formations

Gero Onsen, Gifu Prefecture

Gero Onsen is one of the three best hot springs in Japan and is located in the Hida River basin.

Surrounded by nature in a peaceful location, visitors can enjoy the colorless, clear, and gentle hot spring water.

In addition to the famous fountainhead fountain along the riverbed that is full of natural beauty, the area is dotted with public bathhouses where visitors can enjoy day-trip bathing, drop-in baths at lodging facilities, free footbaths, and other hot-spring tour spots.

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In the hot spring resort area, be sure to check out the “Gero Pudding” and other sweets from the Skin Beauty Project, whose menu changes for a limited time.

In August and December, the “Gero Onsen Fireworks Musical” is held, in which fireworks are set off to music.

Sightseeing in the area includes the Gero Onsen Gassho-mura (Gero Onsen Gassho Village), a national important cultural property with relocated gassho-style houses, and Yokotani Gorge, which is home to the giant salamander.

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Arima Onsen, Hyogo Prefecture

Arima Onsen is located approximately one hour by train from Osaka City.

It is one of the three most famous hot springs in Japan, and its appeal lies in the fact that it contains a mixture of seven of the nine main ingredients designated by the Ministry of the Environment as therapeutic hot springs, which is a rarity in the world.

In the hot spring resort area, there is a waterfront park where visitors can enjoy the murmuring of the Arima River, “Yumonzaka,” a gourmet restaurant where you can enjoy eating and drinking, and “Zuihoji Temple” with its beautiful autumn leaves, making it possible to enjoy sightseeing while strolling around.

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If you are interested in touring around the hot springs, the two public bathhouses, “Kin-no-yu” with its dark brown water and “Gin-no-yu” with its tasteless, odorless, and colorless water, are indispensable.

If you want to fully enjoy the spectacular view, the “Rokko Arima Ropeway” is recommended.

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It takes about 12 minutes from Arima Onsen to the top of Mt. Rokko, where you can enjoy the dynamic nature and a particularly beautiful sight during the autumn foliage season.

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Echigo-Yuzawa Onsen, Niigata Prefecture

Easy access from Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train) in about 70 minutes.

The hot spring opened in the early Kamakura period (1185-1333) and became nationally famous as the setting for Kawabata Yasunari’s “Yukiguni” (Snow Country).

There are a variety of lodging facilities, from traditional hot spring hotels to modern hotels, and some of them offer “immortal hot water” that has been naturally gushing for more than 900 years.

In addition to the many ski resorts in the vicinity, there is a wealth of activities and places to stop by, such as the Yuzawa Kogen Panorama Park, which offers a spectacular view with seasonal flowers in spring and summer, and the photogenic Kiyotsukyo Gorge Tunnel.

In 2022, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, which was postponed last year, will be held! Approximately 200 artworks will be seen in the Echigo-Tsumari region.

We recommend using Echigo-Yuzawa Onsen as a base to fully enjoy the art tour.

Toba Hot Spring Resort, Mie Prefecture

Facing the Pacific Ocean, Toba Hot Spring Village is dotted with hot spring resorts in nine areas, including Kohama, Araushima, Uramura, and Kunizaki.

There are open hot spring spots overlooking Ise Bay and Matoya Bay, and fresh seafood such as Ise lobsters and oysters are the attraction of this area.

As for nearby leisure activities, the Toba Aquarium, where baby sunfish were born in May and June 20212022, is recommended.

It is also known as the only aquarium in Japan where you can see dugongs.

The area is also dotted with power spots such as “Ishikagami Shrine,” famous for its “stone of fertility,” and “Shinmei Shrine,” where a “stone god” grants women one wish.

Ise Jingu Shrine is located about 20 minutes away by car or train, so it is recommended to plan your trip in conjunction with a visit to the shrine.

Hida Takayama Onsen, Gifu Prefecture

No. 18 is Hida Takayama Onsen, located at the foot of the Northern Alps.

This scenic hot spring resort is steeped in history and tradition, with its old castle town atmosphere and the gorgeous Takayama Festival, a gorgeous traditional event held in spring and fall.

There are many different types of hot spring accommodations, including ryokan, hotels, and minshuku (private residences), allowing visitors to choose accommodations that meet their various needs.

Around Takayama Station, morning markets are also a fun part of sightseeing, with the “Miyagawa Morning Market” and the “Jinyamae Morning Market” being held.

If you go further towards Okuhida, you will find the highest point in Japan, “Hida Grand Cave” and “Hirayu Great Falls” dotted with many attractions.

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There are also popular tourist spots such as Shirakawa-go, a World Heritage Site known for its Gassho-zukuri style villages, and the Shin Hotaka Ropeway, located about an hour’s drive from the hot spring resort area, offering a variety of sightseeing spots that cannot be visited in a single day.

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Gora Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture

Gora Onsen is a hot spring resort located on the eastern slope of Mt. The most distinctive feature of this hot spring is its five spring qualities, which are called “five pastel-colored hot springs,” and include a “pale yellow” sodium chloride spring that is gentle to the skin, a “milky white” acid sulfate spring, and a “clear” simple hot spring, all of which have different effects.

Hakone Gora Park, where visitors can enjoy flower viewing, glass blowing, and pottery making throughout the year, as well as the Hakone Museum of Art, the Hakone Open-Air Museum, and the Hakone Glass Forest Art Museum are located in the vicinity.

In summer, events such as the “Daimonji Yaki” (burning of the Daimonji alphabet) on Mt. The “Owakudani Nature Study Path,” which had long been off-limits to visitors, reopened in April (advance reservations required through the Hakone Tourism Association website).

Yufuin Onsen, Oita Prefecture

Located in Oita, Japan’s number one hot spring prefecture, this hot spring resort spreads out at the foot of the famous Mt

It is said to have the second largest number of hot springs in Japan and is designated as a National Recreational Hot Spring Area by the Ministry of the Environment.

Yufuin Onsen is not only home to numerous drop-in hot springs and hot spring inns, but also to an abundance of artist galleries, unique stores, fashionable cafes, and restaurants.

With an abundance of things to see and do right from the station, this is an area where visitors can enjoy sightseeing at their leisure, not only by strolling on foot, but also by horse-drawn carriage, rickshaw, or rented bicycle.

There are also scenic spots such as “Sagiridai,” an observatory from which you can view the entire cityscape, and “Kinrin-ko,” a lake with particularly beautiful morning mist in winter.

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Kawaguchiko Onsen, Yamanashi

Kawaguchiko Onsen offers a beautiful view of Mt. There are five sources of hot spring water: “Reiho no Yu,” “Tensui no Yu,” “Reisui no Yu,” “Fuyo no Yu,” and “Shurei no Yu. There is also a terminal station for express buses and a station for the Fujikyuko Line, making it an easy resort to visit.

Fuji and the five-story pagoda together, the Kawaguchiko Fuji Panorama Ropeway, which offers a panoramic view of Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, and the “Torii of the Sky,” a far-off shrine of Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine. Fujikyu Highland, which opened the “Fujiyama Sky Deck” last year and will open the “Fujiyama Slider” on July 22 this year, is also noteworthy.

The Kawaguchiko area is also attractive for its seasonal events. Fuji-Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival”, “Kawaguchiko Herb Festival”, “Kawaguchiko Lake Festival”, “Fuji-Kawaguchiko Autumn Foliage Festival”, “Kawaguchiko Winter Fireworks Festival”, etc. are held in the lake area.

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