2021 NO.31


A Virtual Journey through JapanA Virtual Journey through Japan


Hot Springs Tour across Japan

Every location has its own unique hot spring resort. Japanese onsen always try to make the most of the special characteristics of their surroundings. Enjoy some time and space truly relaxing in hot spring baths, embraced by scenic views.

1 Hokkaido 2 Aomori 3 Akita 4 Miyagi 5 Yamanashi 6 Nagano 7 Hyogo 8 Kumamoto 9 Kagoshima

Lake Shikaribetsu Kotan
Ice Village Outdoor Onsen

A hot spring bath on a frozen lake?! Lake Shikaribetsu, the highest lake by altitude in Hokkaido, creates an instant onsen bath by pumping hot spring water through a pipeline into an in-lake bathtub. Open for two months from the end of January to the end of March.
(Photo courtesy of Lake Shikaribetsu Nature Center)

Koganezaki Furoufushi Onsen

Inviting guests to bathe at the edge of the Sea of Japan, this outdoor bath is constantly refilled with fresh hot water drawn from underground sources. The name “Furoufushi” translates to “never grow old or weak,” and as it suggests, the reddish-brown, iron- and salt-rich waters offer heat-retaining and antibacterial effects to warm the body from its core.
(Photo courtesy of Koganezaki Furoufushi Onsen)

Nyuto Onsen Village
Tsuru No Yu

These baths are known as bijin no yu (“hot springs of beauty”) for their milky white waters that leaves skin smooth and soft. Located in a hot springs village deep in the mountains, Tsuru No Yu is a traditional Japanese row house with thatched roof offering views of old Japan from its outdoor baths.
(Photo: photolibrary)

Sakunami Onsen
Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan

50 minutes by car from Sendai, the largest city in the Tohoku region. Nestled in the mountains on the banks of the Hirosegawa river, this long-established hot springs first opened 200 years ago. Soak in a rock bath surrounded by wildlife as you take in the babbling mountain stream and the beauty of the season—cherry blossoms, spring greenery, autumnal leaves, or a snowy landscape.
(Photo courtesy of Sakunami Onsen Yosenkaku Iwamatsu Ryokan)

Fujigoko Shojikohan
Yamadaya Hotel

Immerse yourself in an open-air onsen with bathtubs made of fragrant cypress and views of sacred Mt. Fuji. Reserve a private bath in advance for a bit of luxury time all to yourselves. If the skies are clear, you might get the chance to witness Mt. Fuji reflected upside-down in Lake Shoji.
(Photo courtesy of Yamadaya Hotel)

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Humans are not the only ones that love the hot springs. Wild Japanese macaques living in this 850m-high valley have long used the open-air baths to keep warm during the harsh winter months. The only place to see monkeys taking a hot spring soak, the park attracts tourists and researchers from all over the world.
(Photo: PIXTA)

Arima Onsen
Taketoritei Maruyama

Arima Onsen is an ancient hot springs with a history so old it is mentioned in the oldest historical books in Japan. Taketoritei Maruyama offers open-air baths for guests to try out the two types of baths the area is known for. Which do you prefer—the golden brown, iron-rich kinsen waters or the translucent silver ginsen waters containing traces of naturally occurring radium?
(Photo courtesy of Taketoritei Maruyama)

Kurokawa Onsen Shinmeikan

The Kurokawa hot spring resort is popular for its Bath Pass, which lets visitors soak in outdoor baths at any 3 of its 28 inns. Shinmeikan is one of these and known for its 30m-long cave bath hand-carved by the innkeeper, who spent 10 years digging it with chisel and hammer. Feel like an explorer and soak in a hot spring bath. It’s the best of both worlds.
(Photo courtesy of Shinmeikan)

Sunamushi Onsen Sayuri

Buried to your neck in hot sand, you gaze at the ocean in front of you and are lulled by the sound of the waves as your entire body warms and releases sweat. Then emerge and wash off the sand feeling totally refreshed. A memorable and totally unique hot spring experience.
(Photo courtesy of Ibusuki City Tourism Association)