The entrance to a day onsen near Tokyo

Toki no Irodori is a natural onsen in Inagi City, just under an hour from central Tokyo. It is located in an area of suburban Tokyo which few tourists would have reason to visit. This is an onsen for the locals; somewhere they head to with their families on a Friday after work or at the weekends. It’s more affordable than other onsen (under ¥1,000) and even has a canteen-style family restaurant and hair salon within the facilities. The onsen operates a payment at check-out system whereby visitors are given a wristband with a bar code at the reception which is then used to pay for everything from hair cuts to drinks from the vending machines.

The sign outside the onsen
The display window of the restaurant

From the outside, however, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is some luxury retreat: the building itself is quite imposing at dusk and the onsen boasts one of the most attractive entrances of any in Tokyo. It offers about as many types of baths as you could ever want (10 if my memory serves me correctly) from small pot tubs and rocks baths to hinoki scented tubs and nekorobi zones. Red LEDs tell bathers the temperature of each bathtub and the dry sauna has a TV fitted (typical in the more local onsen).

6-13 Koyodai, Inagi-shi, Tokyo 206-0803
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Getting there
A 10-minute walk from Minami-Tama Station on the JR Nambu Line. The onsen facilities are located along the main road and signs outside make it pretty hard to miss.
9:00-25:00 (reception closes at midnight). Opens at 7am at the weekends and on public holidays
Weekdays: Adults ¥800 | Under 15s ¥450. Weekends: Adults ¥950 | Under 15s ¥650. Towel set not included but available for hire
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