Only in Japan, can you get the luxury of a spa, combined with the traditional atmosphere and healing benefits of an onsen's natural hot spring water. As an onsen aficionado living in Tokyo, I have visited almost every onsen and spa in the city, so here are my top ten.
Manyo no Yu is an onsen resort chain which has locations all over Japan and is well-known by Japanese people. In Japan’s metropolitan area you can find it in Machida (Tokyo), Sakuragicho (Yokohama) and Hadano, but we want to talk only about the first one here.
During my first trip to Kusatsu, Gunma in 2019, I stayed in a ryokan (a type of traditional Japanese inn) called Nakamuraya. The ryokan is well known for its 4-legged inhabitants. They have four cats that like to chill out in the common areas of the hotel that guest can pet and play with.
Nemurin Oriental is a small pension called situated in the Nasu Kogen region of Tochigi prefecture. It's perfect if you want to relax in a quiet environment, enjoy nature and take soothing baths in private hot spring baths.
If you want to see the mountainside and enjoy spectacular nature, special hot spring waters, as well as finest Japanese craft, Yamanaka Onsen is the right place to go. In this article, I want to give you some ideas of what you can do in this beautiful mountainside town and how to spend a nice day there.
The region of Tajima, which refers to northern Hyogo prefecture, offers a completely different face to that of southern Hyogo, which comprises of big city names such as Kobe where many skyscrapers and vivid colors of neon lights characterize the province. On the contrary, this part of Hyogo is full of nature, history and boasts of premium quality hot springs.
One of the rare onsens in Tokyo with natural hot spring water can be found in Musashi Koyama, Shinagawa. Shimizu-yu or Musashi Koyama Onsen not only provides two types of natural hot springs: kuroyu or black spring water and kogane-no-yu or golden spring water, but is also a historical gem that has been running its hot spring baths since 1924.