5 Best Onsen in Japan


Japan is one of the most typical volcanic countries in the world, so there are many hot springs due to geothermal heat. There are more than 3,000 hot springs with accommodation facilities in Japan. Hot springs have become an indispensable part of Japanese life. Every year, about 110 million people use hot springs in Japan, which is equivalent to the total population of Japan. Japan has the reputation of “the hot spring kingdom”.


What is onsen in Japan?

onsen in Japan

Japan has promulgated the hot spring law. According to the law, “Temperature of the source of warm water, mineral water, water vapor and other gases (excluding natural gas) emerging from the ground exceeds 25 degrees or those contain a certain amount of hot spring substance can be called the hot spring.

►Hot spring bath tags in Japan:

[Soup]- Japanese people call hot springs “soup”.

[Steep]- Be sure to wash your body before you enter the hot springs. In the hot springs, you just enjoy the "steep" feeling.

[Wash]- Before entering the hot spring, wash your body. If you are in a public shower, you should sit in a small chair and rinse with a small basin of water. Do not stand and rush to avoid water splashing on others.

[Drink]- Some hot springs are available for drinking. Do not drink too much, do not drink tea or coffee immediately after drinking iron spring.

[Hell]- The concept from Buddhism refers to the underground world of terror. The Japanese called the smoky hot springs "Hell."

After learning about the knowledge about hot springs, do you really want to go to the Japanese hot springs? But what are the famous hot springs in Japan? If you get confused in choosing an onsen in Japan to go, here picked 5 recommended hot springs for you.


No.1 Hot spring in Japan -  Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma.

Kusatsu Onsen, Gunma

For centuries, the abundant hot spring water of Kusatsu Onsen is considered to be the best and most effective hot spring water in Japan. The natural spring volume of Kusatsu Onsen is the first in Japan. Kusatsu Onsen has a history of more than 1,000 years. As early as 1,200 AD, Kusatsu was known as a hot spring spot. Today, Kusatsu is still full of attractive charm. In the second half of the 19th century, the German doctor Dr. Docter Baelz, who taught at a Japanese university, introduced the Kusatsu Onsen to the world.

Kusatsu-machi is located in the northwestern Gunma County. Kusatsu Onsen is one of the 3 most famous “soups” in Japan. Kusatsu Onsen, which is popular among Japanese people and has been the winner of the Top 100 Japanese hot springs selected by Tourism Economic News Agency. In addition, among the top 100 Japanese hot springs selected by travel experts, it has been the first of the Japanese hot springs for 15 consecutive years and is a veritable Japanese hot spring representative.

►Three characteristics of Kusatsu Onsen:

As a natural spring, its number of springs ranks first in Japan. The total amount of natural gushing can reach more than 32,000 liters per minutes.

It is a 100% natural hot spring. It is not treated with any warm boiling water, cooling water or recycling water.

This hot spring has a powerful bactericidal effect. Strong acidity prevents bacteria and bacteria from multiplying, and it takes only one week to corrode a 1 yen coin. Such a strong bactericidal power is the main reason why the hot spring has excellent effects.

►How to get Kusatsu Onsen?

  • 1From Tokyo, take the Nagano Shinkansen of Karuizawa (70 minutes, approximately 5,500 yen). Then take a bus (Seibu Kogen Bus or Canopy Traffic) from Karuizawa to Kusatsu Onsen (80-100 minutes, 2,200-3,770 yen).
  • It takes 2.5 hours to take a direct express train at Ueno Station in central Tokyo, and the one-way tour costs approximately 5,000 yen. There are 4 or 5 express trains per day.
  • From Tokyo (Shinjuku Japan Railway Express Bus Terminal) to Kusatsu, there are 5 to 6 direct JR Express buses every day. The one-way fare is 3,000 yen, which takes about 4 hours.


No.2  Hot spring in Japan - Yufuin Onsen, Oita.

Yufuin Onsen, Oita

Yufuin Onsen is located in Oita Prefecture of Japan. The scenery of the Yufuin Hot Spring area is very eye-catching. Yufuin's hot springs are abundant in water. The hot spring water is colorless and transparent.


No.3  Hot spring in Japan - Noboribetsu Onsen, Hokkaido.

Noboribetsu Onsen, Hokkaido

Noboribetsu Onsen is located in a small town on the southwestern side of Hokkaido. It is one of the most representative hot spring area and the most popular hot spring in Japan. It is known as the “Japan's No. 1 Soup”.

The Noboribetsu area is a volcanic-prone area. The rich geothermal and precipitation provide conditions for the hot springs. When the surface precipitation seeps into the ground and meets the hot magma, it forms a hot spring rich in various trace elements.

The temperature of Noboribetsu Onsen is between 45°C and 92°C, which is very suitable for human body. Noboribetsu Onsen can not only treat certain diseases, but also some hot springs can play the magical effect of weight loss and beauty. After that, it can also achieve the effect of eliminating fatigue and maintaining the body.

►How to get Noboribetsu Onsen?

  • 1、From the new Chitose Airport in Sapporo, there are two ways to reach the Noboribetsu Onsen. You can choose to take the direct bus directly to the Noboribetsu Onsen (approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes drive).
  • 2、You can also take the express train from JR Shin-Chitose Airport Station to JR Noboribe Station (a 47-minute drive), then take a bus or taxi from JR Noboribetsu Station to Noboribetsu Onsen (only 15 minutes).


No.4  Hot spring in Japan - Beppu Onsen, Oita.

Beppu Onsen, Oita

Beppu was selected by the US news program CNN as "the N0.31 most beautiful Japanese landscape". If you ask what is the most famous thing in Beppu, Beppu Hot Spring is definitely the first place. Beppu hot springs were formed by the violent discharge of steam, hot mud and hot water of 100 degrees high temperature 1000 years ago. It is precisely because such a hot spring formation process is like hell, Beppu Hot Spring is also known as “Beppu Hell Eight Soup”.

Beppu is a city where life and hot springs are inseparable. On the streets of Beppu, hot spring steam can be seen everywhere. This is also why, in Beppu, not only can you bathe, but also the food produced by the hot springs, such as hell steam, hot spring pudding, etc., make the Beppu Onsen famous.

►How to get Beppu Onsen?

Beppu Onsen is easily accessible by taking the JR to Beppu Station.


No.5  Hot spring in Japan - Hakone Onsen, Kanagawa.

Hakone Onsen, Kanagawa

Hakone is located in the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. This city is a junction of Shizuoka Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture, which is famous for Mount Fuji. The Hakone Onsen is a volcanic activity that was formed in Hakoneyama for nearly 400,000 years.

At first, Hakone Onsen was famous for having 7 hot springs as "Hakone Seven Soups". Nowadays, people often refer to Hakone as "Hakone 20 Soup", that is, there are 20 hot springs in Hakone Onsen.

Nowadays, Hakone becomes a hot spring resort in the eyes of many visitors to Japan. The popularity of Hakone Onsen is that it is not only convenient from Tokyo, but also you can overlook the famous Mount Fuji on a sunny day!

►How to get Hakone Onsen?

  • 1、From Tokyo, take the JR Odakyu Line to Odawara Station. The city center is a 20-minute bus ride from the station.
  • 2、From Shinjuku Station, you can take the Odakyu Romantic Express or the Odakyu Express Bus to Hakone Onsen without a transfer.

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