Let Your Hair Down In The Best Onsens In Japan

Soaking your body into hot bathtubs is a very relaxing way after a long exhausting day of traveling. The best onsens in Japan can offer you this therapy if you are having a vacation around the country. Onsen, known as hot spring, is very popular among Japan’s attractions as it is the unique beauty of Japanese culture and a Japanese lifestyle. It has also become an indispensable part of vacations and holidays. Here is the list of top 7 best onsens in Japan which guarantee to make you feel like being lost in paradise.

Top 7 Best Onsen Spots In Japan Voted By The Largest Travel Book

1. Spa World, Osaka

Located in Shinsekai district, Southern Osaka, Spa World is a very unique center that offers not only onsens and saunas but also swimming pool, gyms, food courts and other relaxation areas.

Spa World includes two main sections: European Onsens and Asian Onsens.

1.1. European Onsens

European Onsens are on the 4th floor of the center, offering western styled baths organized by themes: Ancient Rome, Mediterranean Sea, Greek baths, saunas from Finland, Azura Cave (Blue Grotta), Spain and Atlantis.

best onsens in Japan

Ancient Roman baths may remind you of Greek mythology, ancient Greek gods and godnesses (Source: kkday.com)

Ancient Roman baths are Jacuzzi-style bathhouse and surrounded by cathedral poles like Roman architecture. Overlooked by a sculpture of Trevi fountain, this bath will definitely make visitors have the experience like having a bath in Rome, Italy.

In Greek medicinal bath, the walls of bathrooms are decorated in ancient Greek style with brick walls and ionic columns. A statue of an Erechtheion goddess stands over a herbal bath. Herbs are used for meditation by the ancient Greeks.

Atlantis bathhouse whose design is inspired by the ancient Atlantic remains and Doric columns and is decorated with the green lights and glowing fish tanks.

Azura Cave is decorated with blue stalactites like the famous Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy.

In the Mediterranean Sea, there is a bathing pool as warm as the real Mediterranean Sea with a roof above and a beige – colored wall.

1.2. Asian Onsens

Asian Onsens is located on the 6th floor of the center housing a series of oriental baths from ancient Persia to Japan and from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Japanese outdoor bathhouse (Keiryu no Yu) is an open onsen with pebbles along the bank of the river.

best onsens in Japan

Islam bathhouse is luxurious with the design following the architecture of the mosque, decorated with colorful tiles (Source: befreetour.com)

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Islam bathhouse is a traditional sauna in the Middle East. It is designed following the architecture of the mosque, decorated with colorful tiles.

Persian bathhouse was inspired by the palace at Persepolis.

Bali bath is decorated with tropical plants and designed as a luxury resort.

Spa World is very near Tennoji Station, Dobutsuen-mae Station, and Shin-Imamiya Station.

2. Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma

Kusatsu hot spring is a resort located on the top mountain of Gunma Prefecture, with an altitude of about 1200 meters above sea level. The onsen is unique for its two bathing methods: jikanyu (timed bathing) and yumomi (water beating).

Kusatsu Onsen is one of the top 3 best onsens in Japan! This video below is the most convincing evidence!

Kusatsu is one of the most famous onsens in Japan with very high-quality hot spring water from the source at Mount Shirane, an active volcano. The water temperature is ranging from 60 – 67 degrees, with high acidity that can dissolve metal. Thanks to this anti-bacteria factor, the water in the onsen is said to cure many diseases such as fatigue, high blood pressure and so on.

To get to Kusatsu Onsen, you can take the bus from Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi station, the fee is 700 yen.

3. Noboribetsu Onsen (Hokkaido)

Noboribetsu Onsen is the most famous hot spring in Hokkaido, with 9 different kinds of hot water, ion hot water good for anemia, sodium sulfate water good for high blood pressure, and so on. This is also the uniqueness of Noboribetsu Onsen. Each kind of hot water is expected to bring about different health benefits. Tourists visiting Noboribetsu definitely have many good choices of their preferences.

best onsens in Japan

Noboribetsu Onsen is the most famous hot spring in Hokkaido, with 9 different kinds of hot water (Source: Lonely Planet)

Tourists can get to Noboribetsu by bus, train or car. You can take a bus (1 hour 40 minutes) or a Limited Express Hokuto train (75 minutes) from Sapporo.

4. Yufuin Onsen

Yufuin Onsen, a hot spring resort located in Oita prefecture, is also one of the best onsens in Japan, especially popular among female visitors and family groups.

Hot water in Yufuin Onsen has the source from deep in the ground, with a gush of 38600 liters per minute.

Tourists can have a pleasant experience of immersing their body in hot water while enjoying the breathtaking view of the twin peaks of Mount Yufu.

This video below introduces you Tsuka No Ma Onsen in the area of Yufuin Onsen.

Access to Yufuin Onsen: via Yufuin Station, JR Line

5. Beppu Onsen, Oita

Beppu onsen is located on the south of Kyushu island. There are actually 8 thermal springs in Beppu city (Beppu onsen town): Beppu Onsen, Shibasaki Onsen, Myōban Onsen, Kannawa Onsen, Kankaiji Onsen, Kamegawa Onsen, Horita Onsen, and Hamawaki Onsen.

There are about 2300 hot spring sources in Beppu Onsen city, account for over 8% of Japan’s sources.

Besides hot spring baths, visitors can enjoy a wide range of baths such as heated sand baths, steam baths, mud baths, and so on.

best onsens in Japan

Beppu onsen is located on the south of Kyushu island (Source: Fredrik Rubensson)

How to access to Beppu onsen? You can go by bus, car, train or ferry depending on where you are from. For more information, please refer to here.

6. Gero Onsen, Gifu

Gero Onsen is a hot spring resort located in a small town, Gero, the center of Gifu prefecture. Gero hot spring is considered one of “three best onsens in Japan”.

best onsens in Japan

Gero hot spring is considered one of “three best onsens in Japan”. (Source: yunoshimakan.co.jp)

The spring in Gero onsen is alkaline-based. Its thermal spring is said to be beneficial to easing neuralgia, females’ complexion, and many other disorders. It is also known as “beauty water” as you can feel how smooth your skin is after bathing.

To get to Gero Onsen, you can take a train from Nagoya (about 90 minutes and the one-way fee is 4500 yen), or an 1-2 hour bus from Takayama.

7. Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

Takaragawa Onsen is located in the northern Gunma Prefecture. This onsen is well worth being one of the best onsens in Japan because of not only the excellent quality of the thermal spring water but also the picturesque scene of nature.

best onsens in Japan

Takaragawa Onsen is covered in snowy white in winter (Source: awol.junkee.com)

Tourists who come to Takaragawa Onsen are offered outdoor bath along the crystal clear stream of Tone River. They can soak their bodies in hot spring water while enjoying the stunning view of nature (the dreamy view of cherry blossoms, red and yellow leaves in autumn, beautiful snowflakes in winter,…),

To get to Takaragawa Onsen, you can take the bus from Minakami Station (about 30 minutes, the fee is 1150 yen).


Hot spring is always among famous attractions in Japan, a symbolic place of the country. Thermal spring water is the best way for therapy, relax and refresh, a great treat for yourself and your families.

If you are having a vacation to anywhere in Japan, immersing your body in those famous onsens is a way of rewarding yourself after a busy hard – working time.

About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.