You cannot live in Tokyo without being aware of the many onsen or spas that populate the city. An onsen is a natural hot spring that provides the right amount of heat to help the body rejuvenate. Over the past few years, my girlfriend and I have visited many of them and enjoy the services that they have to offer. It was not long ago that we decided to make a list of the Tokyo area’s best 5 onsen thanks to our family and friends who have been curious about which ones to visit.
Five Best Onsen in Tokyo
My girlfriend loves this onsen which features several baths and saunas with hot water that comes straight from Musashino. There is also a healing spa which takes its design from Finnish bedrock that is different and welcome considering the traditional Japanese onsen spas tend to look alike. I think another reason my girlfriend loves this place is the carbonated water shower that is only for the women. So, I cannot say just how good it is myself, but if you take her word for it, the shower is fantastic.
2. Niwa no Yu
What separates this onsen from the rest is the large Japanese garden which dominates the spa. We could spend the entire day here it is so relaxing. Like the Nagomi no Yu onsen, this one also has a Finnish-style sauna and there is a pool area if you want to get in some laps. Overall, this is one of the best onsen spas in the area and I highly recommend it for those who want to take a day off to fully relax. Keep in mind that this onsen is great for couples as there is a serene mixed area onsen and gender specific ones. Whether you want to converse with a loved one or simply for rest and relaxation, this is the place to do it.
This is a popular choice and my girlfriend loves the interior design. There are 14 baths inside which include a hot stone bath which is perfect to warm you up on a cold day. Because of the high sodium chloride content, the water has a greenish-brown color, but it is the perfect place if you suffer from poor circulation. We spent the whole day here enjoying the different types of onsen hot springs. This place is kept exceptionally clean but the staff speak limited English. They did provide us though with a printout of information in English which was easy to understand.
The first thing we noticed was how this onsen looked like something from ancient Kyoto thanks to the traditional garden inside. Located smack in the center of Sugamo’s busiest shopping area, this onsen is a breath of fresh air that features five baths for men, six for women, plenty of saunas, and a bedrock bath to boot. The open-air baths are truly special and make this a must-stop if you are looking for traditional, old-style Japanese onsen.
Which is technically not a true onsen, but they do bring in the rich mineral water from the Shizuoka prefecture. My girlfriend loves the aroma sauna while I appreciate the various body treatments that help me to feel rejuvenated again. Most onsens and hot springs in Tokyo still make it taboo to have tattoos while visiting their establishments. Nowadays some places allow it, however just to be sure you get in, cover your tattoos with a skin color bandage that you can pickup from the local drugstore.
If you are looking for the Tokyo area’s best 5 onsen, you need go no further than the ones mentioned here. We have had a tremendous time visiting every one and they each offer an exceptional experience.