Where To Go In Japan For The Onsen Experience

Madeleine Ray

The Onsen experience is one you just can't beat, natural steaming waters with healing properties in quaint villages surrounded by the beauty of Japanese nature- what could be a more relaxing experience? From up north in Hokkaido to Kobe- these prime tourist spots are brimming with authentic resorts, mouthwatering food, and outdoorsy fun. So what are you waiting for (other than the Japanese border to open for tourism)? Let's take a dip in some of the most famous Onsen cities throughout Japan.

Arima, Kinosaki, Kurokawa, Yufuincho Kawakami, Noboribetsu, Kusatsu, Hakone

  • Arima, Japan

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      This famous onsen city is located within the city limits of Kobe, one of Japan's most popular tourist destinations known for having some of the *best* cuisines. Arima Onsen encompasses a more countryside vibe amongst the big city and is an idyllic spot to unwind in steaming hot traditional onsens while sipping on ice-cold sake (or more popularly, milk).

  • Kinosaki in Chiba, Japan

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      This quaint resort town encompasses several hot spring resorts and even the famous Osenji Temple. Just two hours away from Kyoto, this hot springs town is famous for stunning nature, outdoorsy activities, and delicious Japanese cuisine.

  • Kurokawa, Japan

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      Located in the center of Kyushu, Kurokawa is famous for old-timey hot spring resorts and authentic onsen experiences. Free from concrete hotels, and an actively preserved traditional aesthetic, Kurokawa encompasses the age-old energy of stunning nature and pristine steamy waters that will delight any tired traveler.

  • Yufuincho Kawakami, Japan

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      Pool-like sprawls of naturally heated onsens surrounded by endless pristine nature and quaint small-town energy, it's no wonder Yufuin is a top onsen destination in Japan. Enjoy mountainside views and fresh cool air away from hectic city centers.

  • Noboribetsu, Japan

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      The island of Hokkaido's most famous ryokan destination, known for having some of Japan's tastiest cuisine and most stunning scenery. Enjoy steamy baths alongside mountainous terrain, traditional architecture, and friendly vibes in the gorgeous region of Noboribetsu.

  • Kusatsu, Japan

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      ❤️ this looks dreamy

    • madeleineray Famous for elaborate hot spring resorts and stunning natural pools of steamy water, Kusatsu is easily one of the top onsen getaways in the country. Tour traditional Japanese architecture, tasty eats, and soak the night away in one of the many authentic ryokans lining the picturesque town.
  • Hakone, Japan

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      Just a high-speed train away from Tokyo, Hakone is a breath of fresh air destination that is idyllic for onsen-enthusiasts. With famous hotels featuring luxury tubs, off-the-beaten-path ryokans, and traditional experiences available in abundance- we recommend exploring this town for at least a couple of days in order to experience all of the stunning nature, art galleries, and delectable Japanese cuisine that Hakone has to offer.