Top Onsen – We read on previous post “what is an Onsen” and “How to Onsen” – Now we are ready to enjoy one! … But… Where to go? …Well, we have made a short list of some onsen in Japan that will assure you an enjoyable time, and in many cases, a unique experience!
Since there are so many Onsen in Japan, and everybody have their favorite style, it is not easy to say “these are the Best of the Best!” Instead, we would like to introduce you to some interesting places and from there, you can start your journey into the wonderful world of Onsen!
A complete town famous for the Ryokan (Japanese style hotels that includes Onsen service) – It is located in the Nanao Bay at the Noto Peninsula. The most famous ryokan there is Kagaya – a large ryokan that offers all kind of entretainment, karaoke, bars, theaters, etc. This is a great option as all in one Onsen experience.
It’s a large resort at the beach, on the south coast of Wakayama Prefecture. Very famous because of the white sand beach and a very close amusement park. It is also relatively close to Osaka and is consider one of the three major Onsen resorts in Japan. Well, night fireworks, white sand beach and Onsen – Killer combo ^o^
Is also a famous Onsen resort and this place produces the most hot spring water than any other onsen resort in Japan – And also offers a very large variety of baths, mud baths, sand baths, steam baths, etc. If you are the kind of trying a lot of small different things, you will find Beppu a very interesting place!
Famous for the healing properties of its hot spring water, Kusatsu Onsen is situated at Gunma Prefeture at 1,200 meter above sea level. In winter you can enjoy skiing and later get into the wonderful hot spring. It is relatively close to Tokyo, so it is very convenient for people visiting Japan for only a few days. It is very peculiar onsen because, once the hot water has come out of the ground, it is cooled down in wooden conduits just a few degrees and then it is distributed to the various ryokan and public baths.
In Kanagawa Prefecture, this is an onsen resort well known for many centuries as was very popular during the Edo Period. Many types of Japanese hot springs can be enjoyed here, as well as Mt. Fuji to the west and Suruga-wan and Sagami-wan bays to the southeast part. Beautiful scenery! ^^
This 600 meter-long main street is a hotspring town situated in Yamanouchi, Nagano visited by many people and famous characters in history. Many of the ryokan were established 1,300 years ago and have been preserved in its traditional way to these days. The Jigokudani Monkey Park (a park that is inhabited by Japanese Macaques) is very near here so you can go and watch the monkeys after you had your bath ^^
Located at Matsuyama City, this onsen is the oldest in Japan as it is said to have 3,000 years of history! At 6:00 am a drum is beaten meaning that the Onsen has opened. With streets of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants you can walk around the neighborhood and immerse into Old Japan. If you watched Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film “Spirited Away” you may find it familiar as it served as model of the bathhouse of gods.
Located along the side of the mountain stream from the Tanigawa mountain, this hot spring is one of the most famous destinations in the Kanto region. Two hours from Tokyo is a good place to relax surrounded by nature and mountain air ^^
A good destination to visit in the Kansai Area. There’s a legend that says the hot springs were used by storks to heal wounds and seeing these people built bath houses for the water’s healing powers. Near this area you can find Onsen-ji Temple which, according to legend, is dedicated to a Buddhist saint who prayed for one thousand days to bring forth spring water to Kinosaki. Answered prayers ^^
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