There is an abiding image both in Japan and abroad that you need to travel to the mountainous regions of the country to experience the hot springs (onsen). In fact, while regional Japan does have some of the most famous and photographed onsen, there are many traditional establishments located in and around Tokyo that offer an equally good glimpse into the ubiquitous public bathing culture of Japan.
You can search for onsen and sento (see here for an explanation of the difference) by location and other criteria on this page. If you’ve never visited a public bathing facilities before you can read about the general etiquette and what to expect at the hot springs through the links.
Along with Uramigataki Hot Spring, Hachijo Island’s other free onsen. Located in a shack at the end of a quiet fishing harbor this one is more notable for the unusual building than anything else. Not the […]
Hakone Yuryo is a traditional day onsen located near the Hakone-Yumoto, the gateway town to the wider Hakone region. It has a variety of outdoor baths offering excellent views out onto the woodland and forest […]
Heiwajima onsen is a hot spring in Ota Ward close to Haneda International Airport. It’s located in BIG FUN Heiwajima—a dated entertainment complex inside which you can find discount stores, a bowling alley, cinema, pachinko, […]
Hottarakashi is a Japanese word that means something like “putting your troubles aside for later”—and once you’re lying down in the shallow outdoor baths with the serene slopes of Mount Fuji in the distance, you […]