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10 Winter Onsen Trips From Tokyo

Looking for a charming getaway to warm up this winter? These scenic hot springs are just a short trip away from Tokyo.

By 5 min read

As cold weather sets in, why not plan your next trip outside the city? The ten hot spring areas below represent a variety of onsen (hot spring) styles and trips, depending on your needs. Yugawara is fantastic for history buffs, while Kinugawa has fun attractions for those traveling with little ones. Plan a girl’s weekend, couples’s escape or family getaway in Atami, hitting up the most stylish cafes or enjoy romantic sea views from an open-air bath in Ito. Scroll down for the hottest onsen near Tokyo this winter!

Atami Onsen (Shizuoka)

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An easy day trip from Tokyo.

Atami represents one of the premiere Kanto resorts of the Showa era. Its quick access from Tokyo, stunning beaches, cute cafes, shrines and, above all, its luxurious ocean view onsen make it a popular site for a refresh from city life. The chloride-rich spring waters here, known for their heat-insulating properties, are beneficial for helping skin maintain its moisture and for those sensitive to cold. As such, Atami Onsen is an ideal place to relax your body in these chilly winter months.

11-11 Tawarahoncho, Atami, Shizuoka - Map
Atami station

Ito Onsen (Shizuoka)

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The onsen here is plentiful, with over 150 establishments to choose from.

Located east of the Izo Peninsula, the Ito Onsen area is overflowing with gorgeous sites to visit, from port towns to beaches to mountains and lakes. The onsen here is plentiful, with over 150 establishments in Ito City offering hot spring baths. Known for its open-air onsen with fantastic sea views and soft water baths with minimal hard minerals, Ito’s waters help smooth skin and soothe minds. Check out nearby Ito Marine Town Michi no Eki for local gourmet food and Tokaikan Former Ryokan for stunning Japanese architecture and history.

3-12 Yukawa, Ito, Shizuoka - Map
Ito station

Hakone Onsen (Kanagawa)

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One of Japan’s most popular onsen towns.

As one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts, Hakone has many outdoor onsen with spectacular views and private-room baths ideal for visitors bearing tattoos. Don’t miss Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun, an onsen theme park where bathers can wear swimsuits! Hakone is known for its various mineral baths, including sodium chloride, calcium sulfate and alkaline. Hakone is perfect for day trips with its extensive network of higaeri onsen, such as Hakone Yuryo, where you can sample several different onsens on the same day.

Yumoto, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa - Map
Hakone-Yumoto station

Yugawara Onsen (Kanagawa)

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An onsen town up in the mountains.

Known for its abundance of clear low-alkaline waters, Yugawara Onsen’s baths are wonderful for smoothing your skin. Also, the area around Manyou Park has many hot spring inns that provide rotenburo (open-air baths) in every room so you can enjoy your private outdoor onsen. Don’t miss the quiet forest and brooks of Manyou Park itself, where you can also explore shrines, drink green tea and see monuments to historical figures who frequented Yugawara Onsen.

Miyashita, Yugawara, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa - Map
Yugawara station

Kinugawa Onsen (Tochigi)

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With over 300 years of history, Kinugawa Onsen is not to be missed.

Kinugawa Onsen is a hot spring resort with a 300-year history and stretches along the shores of the Kinugawa River. The baths have low alkalinity which helps with chills, tiredness and nerve pain. This area also has many ashiyu (foot baths) to sample. To get a better view of the natural surroundings, make a trek out to the Kinugawa River Ropeway and the Kinu Tateiwa Suspension Bridge. If you’re traveling with children, the region has several kid-friendly destinations, like the Tobu World Square and Nikko Edomura Theme Park.

Kinugawaonsen Ohara, Nikko, Tochigi - Map
Kinugawaonsen station

Echigoyuzawa Onsen (Niigata)

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The perfect winter destination to relax and unwind.

This hot spring area is a veritable winter wonderland with ski slopes and piles of fluffy snow. Access is also easy and convenient, with many onsen establishments near the largest station. The waters at Echigoyuzawa have low alkalinity and are said to be effective at relieving tiredness and muscular aches. While in Niigata, be sure to sample the famous rice and sake! Check out Ponshukan: a local sake tasting and marketplace for regional specialties inside the station.

2427-1 Mondo, Yuzawa, Oaza, Yuzawa Town, Minamionuma-gun, Niigata - Map
Echigoyuzawa station

Kawaguchiko Onsen (Yamanashi)

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An onsen with a view.

Along with a wide variety of spas, saunas and foot baths, the hot springs around Kawaguchiko provide fantastic views of Mount Fuji. Even at Kawaguchiko station, often the starting point for touring around the Mount Fuji area, you can enjoy a free foot bath to wash away your fatigue. There are numerous onsen located around the Fuji Five Lakes region that are perfect for day-trippers. While Fujiyama Onsen is famous for its multi-mineral and vanadium baths, Yurari and Benifuji no Yu are notable for allowing day-use kashikiri (private onsen).

Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi - Map
Kawaguchiko station

Nasu Onsen (Tochigi)

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Go on a hike, see the views then end your day with a dip.

Nasu Onsen is located along the slopes of Mount Nasudake, the central peak of the Nasu mountain range. Dating back to the Nara period (710-784), the site is also renowned for its shikanoyu (deer spring), so named for a historical tale of an injured deer being completely healed by its waters. The Shika no Yu onsen offers traditional wooden indoor baths, allowing guests to bathe in sulfurous waters of varying degrees. The area is also popular for its excellent mountain hiking and breathtaking views via the Nasu Ropeway.

561 Oharama, Nasushiobara, Tochigi - Map
Nasushiobara station

Isawa Onsen (Yamanashi)

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Feel like you’re back in the Showa Era with a visit to Isawa Onsen.

Discovered in 1961, Isawa Onsen soon developed into one of Yamanashi’s largest hot spring areas. Over 100 hot spring baths and hotels along the Fuefuki River await travelers looking to sample different baths for their unique atmospheres and enjoy a bustling nightlife with a retro Showa-era vibe. With low alkalinity, the waters are said to be effective at healing muscle and joint pain, relieving fatigue and aiding with bruising. This area is also well-known for its fabulous fruits, so be sure to sample local produce there.

Isawacho Matsumoto, Fuefuki, Yamanashi - Map
Isawaonsen station

Kamisuwa Onsen (Nagano)

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Join a sake tour after you visit the onsen for an unforgettable day trip.

Surrounded by the Yatsugatake Mountains and the beautiful Lake Suwa, the Kamisuwa Onsen area is abundant in natural springs and home to the oldest onsen facility in Japan, now a national heritage site. Many of the waters in the region are of low alkalinity and very gentle. Combined with stunning lakeside views, they are deemed good for rehabilitation and for improving mental health, with positive effects on depression, anxiety and insomnia. Check out the local sake, too, which benefits from the Kamisuwa’s high-quality waters. The Suwa 5 Kura tasting tour features five of Nagano’s most famous sake breweries.

1-1 Suwa, Nagano - Map
Kamisuwa station
Have you visited an onsen in the winter months in Japan? Tell us about your experiences below!

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