The 20 most popular hot springs that warms yourself and your hearts around Japan!


Winter has almost arrived, and it’s time for hot spring!
Have you ever taken a bath at a hot spring?

If you haven’t tried and are interested in this, do you know which hot spring is good for you?

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Here, I’m giving you pieces of information about popular hot springs around Japan!

Recently, “Rakuten Travel,” one of the most reputable travel booking site in Japan, released a ranking of the 20 most popular hot spring in Japan in the first half of this year.

I’m sure the 20 hot springs relieve your exhaustion, and give you chances to experience the Japanese culture in winter!


Let’s check it, and plan your trip!



(20) Hida-Takayama Hot spring (飛騨高山温泉) ― Gifu Prefecture


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Hida-Takayama is a hot spring town which has a quaint scene of a castle town.

There are four sources of hot spring, all of which are relatively new.

The hot spring town has a lot of public baths for day-trippers, thus you can enjoy a good quality of hot spring even though you don’t stay in the area.


For more information about Hida-Takayama Hot spring, visit the site.




(19) Kinosaki Hot Spring (城崎温泉) ― Hyogo Prefecture


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The hot spring is well-known for some leading novelists, such as, Shimazaki Toson (島崎藤村), Shiga Naoya (志賀直哉) and Shiba Ryotarou (司馬遼太郎), and so on.

The hot spring town has an old townscape with many Japanese-style inns, and souvenir shops.

So, you can enjoy not only taking a bath but also looking around the tasteful town, and go shopping.


For more information about Kinosaki Hot Spring, visit the site.




(18) Yufuin Hot Spring (由布院温泉) ― Ooita Prefecture


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The hot spring town has a different atmosphere from others with pleasant old buildings.

It’s famous for having galleries of young artists, unique shops and fashionable restaurants, which mainly attracts young people.


For more information about Yufuin Hot Spring, visit the site.


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(17) Jozan-kei Hot Spring (定山渓温泉) ― Hokkaido


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Jozan-kei Hot Spring town has a distinguished hot spring in Hokkaido.

Not only Japanese but also many people from other countries visit there.

Having a good spring quality is of course a reason for its popularity.

In addition to this, the hot spring town is easy to reach by public transportation; just an hour away from Sapporo city, the largest city in Hokkaido.

For more information about Jozan-kei Hot Spring, visit the site.




(16) Iwaki-Yumoto Hot Spring (いわき湯本温泉) ― Fukushima Prefecture


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Legend has it that Iwaki-Yumoto Hot Spring was found by a crane in 8th C.

Since then, it has been loved by local people and tourists.

The quality of spring is very mild and kind to skin, and the water is efficacious in some skin diseases and women’s diseases.


It’s also known as a location of the film “Fula-girl,” and Spa Resort Hawaiians.


For more information about Iwaki-Yumoto Hot Spring,visit the site.




(15) Goura Hot Spring (強羅温泉) ― Kanagawa Prefecture


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The hot spring town is easy to reach from the center of Tokyo by JR line or a bullet train.

Many luxury hotels are located in the area, many of which were used as vacation houses in the past.

There are some museums around the hot spring town.

Enjoy taking a bath, and be inspired by some arts!


For more information about Goura Hot Spring, visit the site.




(14) Arima Hot Spring (有馬温泉) ― Hyogo Prefecture


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Arima Hot Spring is chosen as the three best springs in Japan, and the name sounds familiar to many of Japanese.

It is easy to reach from popular tourist destinations in Kansai area, and is also located at the foot of Mt. Rokkou (六甲山), so nice to visit for day-trippers.

If you have an enough time to visit more than one public bath, I strongly recommend that you should do so, because the hot spring has various qualities of springs.


For more information about Arima Hot Spring, visit the site.




(13) Echigo-Yuzawa Hot Spring (越後湯沢温泉) ― Niigata Prefecture


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Many of you may know that the area Echigo-Yuzawa is renowned for having a lot of ski slopes, but it’s also famous for a good hot spring.

The history of the hot spring started in late 12th C, and thrived during Edo era as a major post town on Mikuni-kaido road (三国街道).


If you have a chance to visit there in winter, you are very lucky!

Echigo-Yuzawa is one of the snowy areas in Japan, so scenes from spas in winter is outstanding.

The area is also famous for the best quality of rice in Japan, and has good foods, which means that you can enjoy foods at a hotel you stay!


For more information about Echigo-Yuzawa Hot Spring, visit the site.




(12) Hakone-Yumoto Hot Spring (箱根湯本温泉) ― Kanagawa Prefecture


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Many hot springs are scattered about from the bottom to the middle of Mt. Hakone (箱根山), known collectively as Hakone-Yumoto Hot Spring.

It has been loved by a great number of people since 738, the year when the hot spring opened.

The area has both luxury and cheap, old and new hotels, which is the reason why the hot spring has fascinated people irrespective of age and sex.


For more information about Hakone-Yumoto Hot Spring, visit the site.




(11) Ikaho Hot Spring (伊香保温泉) ― Gunma Prefecture


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Ikaho Hot Spring is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan.

From the fact that there are several waka poems which describe the hot spring in Man-yoshu(万葉集), the oldest collection of Japanese poems, it allegedly opened in late 7th C to the first 8th C.

Some famous reputable novelists, such as Soseki Natsume, frequently visited there.


There are many Japanese-style inns, souvenir shops, restaurants and recreation halls around 365 stone steps which lead you to Ikaho Shrine (伊香保神社).

Around the shrine is a spot where you can taste hot spring water.


For more information about Ikaho Hot Spring, visit the site.




(10) Gero Hot Spring (下呂温泉) ― Gifu Prefecture


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With a well-reputed quality of spring, Gero Hot Spring has been chosen as one of the best three hot spring in Japan, so it bustles with a lot of return customers in all seasons.

The reason of the popularity is not only the quality of the spring.

The hot spring is within easy access from Nagoya city (it’s just an hour by train or by car!), which attracts people around Japan and from other countries.

In addition, an area around the hot spring is known for Hida-gyu beef (飛騨牛), with the well-known quality and taste, and there are many hotels and restaurants with a reputation for the taste of the foods made with the beef.


For more information about Gero Hot Spring, visit the site.




(9) Dogo Hot Spring (道後温泉) ― Ehime Prefecture


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It is a hot spring with the oldest history, along with Arima Hot Spring and Shirahama Hot Spring, and it appears in the first volume of Man-yoshu (万葉集) which I mentioned above.

Soseki Natsume (夏目漱石), one of the most well-known novelists in Japan, wrote things about the hot spring in his novel “Bocchan.”

So, it’s absolutely a major tourist destinations in the prefecture.


A public bath “Dogo Onsen Honkan,” with 3000 years of history, has been designated as a national important cultural property.


For more information about Dogo Hot Spring, visit the site.




(8) Nasu Hot Spring (那須温泉) ― Tochigi Prefecture


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It’s the oldest hot spring in Kanto area.

Nasu area has not only the good quality of spring with old history but also many leisure facilities and beautiful nature, and the hot spring is popular for a lot of people regardless of age and sex.


The temperature of the source of the spring is from 63 to 80 degrees, which is quite higher than other major hot springs.

So, you may feel that the temperature of the water in a bath is a bit hot.

Don’t be too patient when you are in a bath, even though the spring quality is effective in skin diseases, women’s diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and recovery from tiredness!


For more information about Nasu Hot Spring, visit the site.




(7) Kinugawa Hot Spring (鬼怒川温泉)


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Kinugawa Hot Spring is very easy to reach from the centre of Tokyo; just two hours from Shinjuku station by JR line!

The hot spring was found in the mid-18th C, and it is a relatively short history compared to other hot springs mentioned above.


A lot of Japanese-style inns with rich sources of spring stand in a row along Kinugawa river (鬼怒川), in addition, they offer you a great opportunity to see a beautiful view from the windows of the guest rooms.


For those who want to be active during your stay, Kinugawa Hot Spring is a good place to visit, because an area around the hot spring has several leisure facilities, such as, Tobu World Square, Nikko Edo-Mura, several golf courses and ski slopes!


For more information about Kinugawa Hot Spring, visit the site.




(6) Akiu Hot Spring (秋保温泉) ― Miyagi Prefecture


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Akiu Hot Spring is not far from the center of Sendai city, a major city in Tohoku area.

Because of the easy access, the hot spring town bustles with many day-trippers, and sometimes it’s as crowded as Sendai city.


In the past, it gained a reputation as one of the best three hot springs in Japan along with Arima and Dogo Hot spring.

Still now, the good quality of spring gathers many tourists during a year.


There are several museums and glass workshops in the hot spring town, so you won’t be bored!


For more information about Akiu Hot Spring, visit the site.




(5) Ito Hot Spring (伊東温泉) ― Shizuoka Prefecture


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The hot spring was allegedly found in Heian era, and flourished the most during Edo era, as a therapeutic bath.

Many novelists and artists, such as, Yasunari Kawabata, visited the hot spring for refreshing themselves.


It has two types of the spring qualities; simple hot spring, which is mild and kind to skin, and sodium chloride spring, which moisturizes skin.

The area around the hot spring is endowed with nature, and mountains and the sea, which means, you can eat the good quality of seafood and mountain products!


For more information about Ito Hot Spring, visit the site.




(4) Shirahama Hot Spring (白浜温泉) ― Wakayama Prefecture


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It is a hot spring with the beautiful beach and a history of more than 1300 years.

You’ll have a blissful moment, taking a bath and seeing an outstanding view of the sea from the bath.


There are a lot of facilities that give you fun around Shirahama area.

It’s nice to spend time in museums and art galleries, to go on a cruise, to play tennis, golf and so on!

You will have a nice time in Shirahama Hot Spring, with whomever you go there!


For more information about Shirahama Hot Spring, visit the site.




(3) Kusatsu Hot Spring (草津温泉) ― Gunma Prefecture


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The hot spring also has been famous for a therapeutic bath for a quite long time, and the spring is efficacious again various diseases.

Every year, quite a few people visit to have its effect.


Have you ever heard about “Yumomi (湯もみ)?”

Yumomi is one of the must-see things in Kusatsu Hot Spring, that women stir hot water in a bath in order to cool the temperature of the water without weakening the effect of the spring.


For more information about Kusatsu Hot Spring, visit the site.




(2) Beppu Hot Spring (別府温泉) ― Ooita Prefecture


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Beppu Hot Spring has the largest yield of hot spring water, which is the second largest, next to Yellowstone National Park in the US.

In terms of the scale of the hot spring that people can take a bath in, Beppu Hot Spring is the largest in the world.


One of the best way to enjoy the hot spring is to visit the eight major hot spring spots out of more than , called as “Eight Hot Springs (別府八湯)” in Beppu city: Beppu (別府), Kamegawa(亀川), Myoban (明礬), Hamawaki (浜脇), Kannawa (鉄輪), Shibaseki(柴石), Horita(堀田), and Kankaiji(観海寺) Hot Spring.

Each hot spring has the different spring quality and effects, which will never make you bored!


For more information about Beppu Hot Spring, visit the site.




(1) Atami Hot Spring (熱海温泉) ― Shizuoka Prefecture


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Absolutely we can say that Atami Hot Spring is one of the most popular hot spring areas in Japan.

It is easy to reach from Tokyo by a bullet train or JR line, and by car, which is a major reason why the hot spring bustles with a mass of people in a whole year.


The hot spring is also well-known for Ieyasu Tokugawa(徳川家康), the first shogun of Edo bakufu, who loved the hot spring.

Foods both from the sea and mountains are good, views are good, there are a large variety of hotels, and so on.

You can enjoy staying in Atami Hot Spring area as you want to!


For more information about Atami Hot Spring, visit the site.




How was it?

All hot spring areas I mentioned above are very famous and well-reputed, so I’m sure you enjoy whichever you choose to visit.

Hope you have fun by taking a bath, one of the major winter cultures in Japan!


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