TOP10 ONSEN SPOTS you can go by TRAIN/BUS from TOKYO

Tokyo is a city that is filled with skyscrapers and trendy tourist spots.  It is super fun and all but don't you want to experience relaxing onsen too? There are many onsen gateways where Tokyo citizens visit on weekends to forget about the city life.  

Watch our video of us going to a onsen in Izu area.

Here are the list of my favorite onsen spots.


#1 Hakone Yumoto (Shizuika)
#2 Kinugawa  (Tochigi)
#3 Atami (Shizuoka)
#4 Minami Izu/Shimoda (Shizuoka)
#5 Kamogawa (Chiba)
#6 Yugawara (Kanagawa)
#7 Nasu (Tochigi)
#8 Kusatsu (Gunma)
#9 Shima (Gunma)
#10 Ikaho (Gunma)


#1 Hakone Yumoto (Shizuika)

Hakone is definitely one of the best hot spring resort near Tokyo with GOOD ACCESS. It only takes 85 minutes from Shinjuku Station by Odakyu Romance Car (Train) without a transfer. Hakone onsen has 1200 years of history and there are 21 different kinds of hot spring.

Spring quality is PH8.8 alkaline simple sulfur, no color/taste/scent.  Around the area, there are great sight seeing spots like temples, Mt. Fuji, cruises and lots of others!  HAKONE NAVI offers passes and discount tickets for those. 

Here are some of my recommendations for hotels and ryokans.  You can never go wrong with them.

You can take a bus straight from JR Shinjuku Station(Odakyu Kosoku Bus) for 2 hours and it stops right in front of the hotel.  The hotel is in business since 1856 and still maintain its top notch reputation. It has a beautiful Japanese garden and delicate Kaiseki dinner.  

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This hotel is walking distanse from the Hakone Yumoto Station. Renovated rooms have private outdoor onsen bath tab.  ONe of the highlight of Kajikasou is that they offer a variety onsen tabs and rooms.  It's like theme park! 

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#2 Kinugawa  (Tochigi)

Kinugawa is our favorite because of its access, onsen quality and tourist spot.  We usually take Tobu Express Specia straight from Shinjuku (2-hour ride). There are other express trains too but we try to take Spacia because they have private cargo for about ¥3,000 - ¥3,700.  If you hare traveling with kids, you don't have to worry about other passengers! 

Kinugawa is close to COOL TOURIST SPOTS like Nikko Edo Wonderland and Nikko Toshogu Shrine

This alkaline simple sulfur spring works for many different types of skin problems and relaxation.

Here are my recommendations.

Sweet Rooms only hotel, Sanraku is located only 10 minutes walk from Kinugawa Onsen Station.  This place is beyond luxury. Customer service is just perfection and every dish in their kappo dinner is delicate.  

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 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net

The hotel's annex AQUA had their renewal in October 2016. It is 10 minutes drive from JR Nikko Station and of course there is a complimentary pick-up service.  Their beautiful Japanese garden and giant private onsen is almost miracle. 

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#3 Atami (Shizuoka)

I love going to Atami in summer because its right next to the BEACH!  It is located right next to Kanagawa Prefecture and only 35 minutes by JR bullet train!  Every hotels offer FRESH SEAFOOD and beautiful ocean view. 

One of the highlights of this area is that there are Fire works in Summer. I always go on the weekend when there is a fire works so stay tuned with the schedule every year.

Spring quality depends on the hotels - either sodium - chloride, sulfate, or simple spring.

And here are my recommendations.

Just 4 minutes from JR Atsuta Station, this high end ryokan awaits you.  Kurosawa Movie ' Kagemusha' was filmed here at the Entrance.  This hotel is known for its Kyoto Kappo food and great customer service.

 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net

 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net

 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net

This hotel is located only 10 minutes walk from JR Atsuta Station. This hotel is known as where Japanese artist, Yokoyama Taikan used to come.  Hot spring here is called Bihadanoyu, beautiful skin hot spring.

 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net

 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net

 www.jalan.net

www.jalan.net


#4 MINAMIIzu/SHIMODA (Shizuoka)

Minami Izu and Shimoda is the south part of Izu Peninsula and has a similar atmosphere to Atami due to its beautiful ocean view and specialties in FRESH SEAFOOD.  I would say it's more relaxed than Atami. There is a express train Super View Odoriko which  runs straight from Shinjuku.  It only takes a little less than 3 hours.  

Here you can fell good old Japanese onsen and nature.  If you are into Japanese traditional style room, this is your place!

 japan.net

japan.net

 japan.net

japan.net

 japan.net

japan.net


#5 KAMOGAWA (Chiba)

Kamogawa is located in the south part of Chiba Prefecture.  You can take JR Boso Express Wakashio from Tokyo Station which takes about 2 hours.  You can take a highway bus for 2.5 hours which goes thru Aqua Line.

This area is well-known for seafood and vegetables.  You won't go hungry in Kamogawa!

Spring quality really depends in a house.  For example, the hotel below has sodium - chloride springs which is supposed to sooth physical exhaustion.  

Kamogawakan is in the middle of a beautiful pine forest, only 5 minutes taxi ride from JR Stobo line Kamogawa Station. You can enjoy their fresh seafood dinner and beautiful warming view.  

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#6 Yugawara (Kanagawa)

Odakyu Romance Car (Train) can take you Odawara and transfer to JR line to get to Yugawara.  It only takes about 1.5 hour.  The first timeI have been there, I couldn't believe it was just only a few hours away from Tokyo.  

If you are into hiking, you will love this place. There are many hiking courses with breathtaking view.  (I'm not much of a hiking person so it is just what I hear from my hiking lover friends.)  Anyways, in Yugawara, you will enjoy breathing thru clear air in the nature.

Its sodium - chloride, weak alkali spring which is slightly salty and no color boost blood circulation and great for skin care since it's moisture-rich. 

Ashikari is a traditional  Kaiseki hotel that is built in the stype of a tea-ceremony house.  It is 7 minute driving from Yugawara Station  Room, Food, Onsen, Customer service and Location - everything is higher than your expectation.

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#7 Nasu (Tochigi)

Nasu Onsen is one of the oldest onsen town which has 1380 years of history.  To get there, ride JR Express trains like Nasuno or  Yamabiko for about 75 minutes to Nasu Shiobara Station and get on bus to the hotels.  Usually hotels have shuttle bus service.

 I have been here several times and its spring quality is very different from other onsen around Tokyo.  Majority is sulfur which is white and thick.  It had tingly smell but you will get used to it.  It sure has many advantageous effects but could be too strong for people with sensitive skin.

Nasu is great to go in winter too.  People go there to SKI and SNOWBOARD.


#8 Kusatsu (Gunma)

Kusatsu is quite far from Tokyo (3.5 hours by highway bus or JR express train and transfer) but it is worth going.  The area is 1,200m above the sea level so it is a nice gateway during the hot summer day. Also Kusatsu is known for 'Yumomi' where many ladies cool the hot spring down with wooden paddles in cute kimono.  Can't forget about the old town in Kusatsu.  Many buildings in streets still remain the same as million years ago, so you feel like you are time traveled.

Kanemidori is quite a new hotel. I love it there because of its location - great access to Yubatake and the main city area yet very quiet and relaxing.  Not an extremely fancy place but just the perfect spot to relax with your partner.

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#9 SHIMA (Gunma)

Shima onsen is hidden in a mountain and have a mysterious atmosphere like you are in a Miyazaki movies. You can either take a highway bus  (Kusatsu Line) for 3.5 hours or JR train to JR Nakanojo Station. 

Shima offers fun activities in nature like canyoning and fishing. It also has a giant blue lake, Okushimako and Shimako where you can enjoy canoeing in a nature. 

With 322 years of history, this hotel is one of the national important cultural properties.  Also it is a model of the Miyazaki Movie, Sprited Away. Every part of the facility is so precious and photogenic. 

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#10 Ikaho (Gunma)

To get to Ikaho, you can take a highway bus Joetsu Yumeguri for 2.5 hours. You can also take train but you have to transfer twice - take  JR Joetsu bullet train or Nagano bullet train to Takasaki Station, transfer to local line and go to Shibukawa Station and then ride a local bus for 30 mins. (It's about 3 hours journey from Tokyo)  

Ikaho is also in a mountain area so hiking and enjoying nature is one highlight. Ikaho also have several 'power spots' like Mizusawa Kannon, Kajika Bridge and Haruna Shrine

Its sulfate spring is said to cure skin problems and arterial sclerosis. Their hot spring is also known as 'Blessed-with-good-children onsen'. 

Kounkan only has 10 sweet rooms with private outdoor hot spring bath tab.  You will forget about busy everyday life here.  To get here, you need to ride a bus for about 25 minutes from JR Joetsusen Shibukawa Station. 

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Well, I hope you found a onsen spot you like!  Let us know if you have any questions or need help finding stuff online.  

-Maiko