Anime, sushi and other soft-culture emblems probably spring to mind when you think of Japan. With over 2,000 onsen across the land, soaking in a therapeutic hot-bath is as much a national pastime as watching Japanese baseball. Based on trivago data, these are the most searched for and loved onsen hotels in Japan.
Onsen hotels in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and more
Onyado Nono Namba in Osaka's Chuo ward
If you’re the sort of traveller that values authentic cultural experiences when in a foreign land, you’ll love Osaka – Japan’s food capital. You’ll also love Onyado Nono Namba – a traditional-style hot spring hotel.
The hotel’s natural hot spring baths and sauna will give guests the extra boost they need for conquering the cultural capital by foot. Also, the hotel’s Osakan restaurant serves local favourites including Okonomiyaki and deep-fried veggies and meat.
Onyado Nono Namba
Onsen at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Fujikawaguchiko
Surrounded by the green mountains on Lake Kawaguchi, the city of Fujikawaguchiko is an inspiring location to spend a few days in, particularly during summer.
At the foot of Mt. Fuji and just a few steps from the lake, the views from Hotel Konanso are amazing — you came here for the views, after all, didn’t you? Some rooms have private outdoor baths – just imagine going back to a normal shower after bathing with Mt. Fuji as your backdrop! Even if you don’t land an onsen-equipped room, you can enjoy the hotel’s public baths.
City centre onsen near Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower is to Tokyo as The Eiffel Tower is to Paris. A hotel with a view of the iconic tower is reason enough to stay. The Prince Park Tower Tokyo has this plus its own natural hot spring bath.
Located next to the iconic Tokyo Tower, the hotel is very much an urban hotel. This is why the fact it has an onsen is even more special. The sodium chloride fortified water, pumped from Shiba Park, is good for muscle aches and rejuvenation of the skin.
The Prince Park Tower Tokyo
Traditional onsen near Tokyo Imperial Palace
You don’t have to be a monarchist think the centre of Japan is where the emperor resides. With the Imperial Palace situated next to Tokyo Station in the Chiyoda ward, we’re hard-pressed to think of a better location for Japanophiles to find a hotel in.
The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi is located right by the giant park where the Imperial Palace is situated. The hotel has a world class spa which contains a traditional onsen with a steam sauna. Immersive experiences offered by the hotel include a guided tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market with a sushi master.
Four Seasons at Marunouchi
Kyoto onsen for a traditional country-setting
If you were fond of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, you have to check out the Kyoto Imperial Palace — the ruling palace till the Meiji Restoration in 1869 when Tokyo became the capital. There’s lots to see around Kyoto Imperial Palace, namely the snack-filled Nishi Market, the Manga Museum, and several Buddhist Temples.
Paying homage to Edinburgh, Kyoto’s twin city, the Monterey Kyoto has hints of Scotland in its textiles and architecture. Another unique feature of this hotel is the onsen as it catapults guests to a traditional, countryside setting. If you still remember where you are after all that, you’re in luck as you’re in the perfect spot from which to explore Kyoto. The metro, a five-minute walk from the hotel, takes you to Arashiyama.
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
Ryokan near Jigokudani Monkey Park
Travel to Jigokudani valley, home of the famous snow monkeys, for wonderful onsen. You can tell where the sulphurous ponds are in the volcanic valley’s sulphurous by their distinctive aroma and colour. The area’s numerous walking trails are also worth exploring, particularly in Autumn as the turning colours of the leaves are particularly vivid here.
Serving tired sojourners for 400-years, the Kokuya hotel knows a thing-or-two about running an onsen ryokan. The hotel has six different natural hot springs, eight baths, and 10 rooms with private open-air baths. The hotel is 10 minutes by car to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. Oh, and those eggs — yep, they’re cooked in the hot spring!