Experience Onsen

Onsen (natural hot springs) are popular right across Japan, every prefecture in the volcanically active country from the cold north to the tropical south has its share of springs. Accompanying resort towns provide the perfect escape from the city to tranquility and relaxation.

While they come in many varieties, separated gender and unisex, developed and more natural, indoor and outdoor, all hot springs have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. Many onsen are differentiated by the various health benefits associated with the type of minerals dissolved in the water. Regardless of where you choose to go, a visit to an onsen, especially an overnight stay at a hot spring ryokan, is a highly recommended experience for anyone on a journey to Japan.

Kanto (around Tokyo)

The onsen of Kanto, the area that takes in Tokyo and its surrounds, include some of the most popular and diverse in the whole of Japan. Whether it's the view from the outdoor springs of Manza Onsen 1800 metres above sea level or the well developed Kinugawa Onsen, there is an hot spring to suit everyone’s tastes in Kanto.

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At the wild, cold, northernmost tip of Japan, onsen in Hokkaido serve to provide warm relaxation to all travellers in the region. Whether it’s the adventure of climbing to Kamuiwakka onsen below a hot waterfall, or the tranquil stillness of Toyako onsen beneath Mount Uzu, Hokkaido allows travellers to escape the cold and relax.

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In the stunning mountains of the northern region of Honshu lies the Tohoku region, home to some of Japan’s most stunning onsens. Tamagawa Onsen allows you to find peace and wellbeing amongst the setting of an active Volcano, whilst the remote Nyuto Onsen provides an ultimate escape for you to wash away your cares.

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The subtropical climate of Japan’s southern main island, Kyushu, provide a very different onsen experience to the colder climates of the North. Ibusuki, on the island's Satsuma Peninsula, offers seaside onsen with the healing powers of sand baths, whilst Beppu is the undisputed hot spring capital of Japan, producing more hot spring water than anywhere else.

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Onsen Etiquette

Visiting an onsen in Japan is a unique experience, but there are a number of cultural observances you need to be aware of before visitng. Make sure you read up on the do’s and don'ts, and the basic customs before you visit to make the most of your experience.

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