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50 Best Hot Springs
in Japan

Japanese travel experts chose the 50 best "onsen" (hot springs) across Japan! From high-quality spring water to charming hot spring towns, these 50 spots will satisfy anyone looking for a relaxing hot spring getaway.

About the Ranking

The Top 100 Hot Springs in Japan are chosen by a select group of Japanese travel experts, and the list is compiled and published once a year by the Kankokeizai News Corporation.

Exclusive ballots are distributed to these travel experts across Japan. Based on 23,158 votes cast on 8,874 ballots, a judging committee comprised of 8 tourism organizations has determined the final list.

* The ranking displayed on this page is based on the 2017 list.

1Overall Ranking

Kusatsu Onsen

Gunma:Kanto
kusatsu

Kusatsu Onsen boasts the largest natural output of any hot spring in Japan. It is strongly acidic and has high antibacterial power said to be able to cure anything except heartbreak. At Netsu-no-Yu, located across from Kusatsu Onsen, you can enjoy "Yumomi" water-cooling dance performances.

2Overall Ranking

Gero Onsen

Gifu:Chubu
gero

Gero Onsen is a simple alkaline spring known as one of Japan's three most famous hot springs. It is characterized by the smooth feeling of the water on your skin, and it has a rejuvenating effect similar to applying lotion. You can enjoy the very faint sulfur smell of the spring as well.

3Overall Ranking

Arima Onsen

Hyogo:Kansai
arima

The "gold spring" of Arima Onsen contains iron that gives it its dark reddish-brown hue. The high salt concentration gives it a moisturization effect, and its antibacterial nature is effective on a variety of skin diseases. In contrast, the "silver spring" is a colorless radon spring characterized by the silky texture of its water.

4Overall Ranking

Beppu Hatto Onsen

Oita:Kyushu
beppuhatto

Beppu Hatto is the general name for the 8 hot springs located within Beppu City. These springs have the most spring sources and total output of any hot spring area in Japan. Beppu's springs have 10 of the 11 different types of hot spring, making it truly Japan's representative hot spring area.

5Overall Ranking

Noboribetsu Onsen

Hokkaido:Hokkaido
noboribetsu

Known as the "department store" of hot springs, Noboribetsu is blessed with 9 different types of springs, ranging from cloudy white sulfur springs to aluminum springs common in volcanic areas. Jigokudani, or "Hell Valley," is home to the largest of Noboribetsu's sources, and it has a walking path ideal for a stroll after bathing in the hot spring.

6Overall Ranking

Ibusuki Onsen

Kagoshima:Kyushu
ibusuki

A salt water spring by nature, the concentration of salt and other trace materials in the water depend on the area and depth of the spring. The sand baths of Ibusuki Onsen are effective in promoting blood circulation and detoxification as well as in assisting in digestion, making them effective for weight loss as well.

7Overall Ranking

Tsukioka Onsen

Niigata:Chubu
tsukioka

Tsukioka Onsen boasts one of the highest sulfur concentrations of any hot spring in the country. With its high thermal effect and ability to warm your body from its core, it is also known for its benefits to longevity. Its water is a unique, bright emerald green color.

8Overall Ranking

Yufuin Onsen

Oita:Kyushu
yufuin

This hot spring is characterized by the simple, sleek nature of its water. It can be enjoyed by both men and women, young and old. Some of the springs are rich in metasilicic acid-containing salt, and you can enjoy the very rare cobalt blue color of the water.

9Overall Ranking

Naruko Onsen

Miyagi:Tohoku
naruko

Naruko Hot Spring Village is composed of five hot spring areas with close to 400 total sources containing 9 of the 11 different types of springs found in Japan. Stores selling famous local products line the streets, and the autumn colors in the Naruko Valley from late October through early November are a sight to behold.

10Overall Ranking

Takayama Onsen

Gifu:Chubu
takayama

Takayama Onsen, born from the snow thawing from the Northern Alps, has 9 different sources, mainly simple alkaline hot springs. The old townscape, known as Hida's Little Kyoto, features a morning market that has continued since the Edo Period.

11Overall Ranking

Dogo Onsen

Ehime:Chugoku/Shikoku
dogo

Dogo Onsen is said to be the oldest hot spring in Japan, even appearing in the Nihon-Shoki (the second-oldest chronicles of Japan). Its source is a simple alkaline spring, with smooth water that is non-irritating and suitable for bathing and beauty. The Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu opened in September 2017.

12Overall Ranking

Kurokawa Onsen

Kumamoto:Kyushu
kurokawa

Located on the northern side of Mt. Aso, Kurokawa Onsen is surrounded by nature and has seven kinds of springs, mainly consisting of sulfate springs. It has a gentle townscape, and the numerous open-air baths that use handwritten entry tickets are very popular.

13Overall Ranking

Zao Onsen

Yamagata:Tohoku
zao

The strong acidic sulfur content in this spring is effective on skin diseases, and it is known as a hot spring that can help children grow strong. You can enjoy the abundant scenery around the hot spring in each of the four seasons, notably the frost-covered tree landscape of the winter.

14Overall Ranking

Manza Onsen

Gunma:Kanto
manza

The cloudy water of this hot spring contains plenty of sulfur. The hydrogen sulfide in it promotes blood circulation and is effective in treating high blood pressure and promoting metabolism. At 1,800m above sea level, you feel close to the starry sky and can enjoy a number of outdoor baths with stunning panoramic views.

15Overall Ranking

Ureshino Onsen

Saga:Kyushu
ureshino

Ureshino Onsen is known as one of Japan's three best hot springs for beautiful skin. The sodium bicarbonate spring contains a large amount of sodium, resulting in its characteristic viscous water. It makes skin more keratinized and smooth, resulting in silky and moist skin after bathing.

16Overall Ranking

Nyuto Hot Spring Village

Akita:Tohoku
nyutohotspringvillage

The general term for the seven hot springs dotted at the foot of the base of Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Each spring comes from a different source, and there is a special pass restricted to overnight guests that allows you to experience each of the hot springs and the bliss of being surrounded by nature at each spring.

17Overall Ranking

Tamatsukuri Onsen

Shimane:Chugoku/Shikoku
tamatsukuri

Tamatsukuri Onsen is famous across Japan as the oldest Japanese hot spring for beautiful skin, and it is also called the Bath of the Gods for its power. The mild sulfate spring has few irritants, and its water is used for onsen cosmetics and other products for skin.

18Overall Ranking

shiobara Onsen

Tochigi:Kanto
shiobara

Shiobara Hot Spring Village consists of 11 hot springs lined along a canyon and boasts the second-most unique hot spring sources in the Kanto area. With six different types of springs and seven different colors of water, you can surely find one that suits you perfectly.

19Overall Ranking

Wakura Onsen

Ishikawa:Chubu
wakura

Known as the "Hot Spring of the Sea," it is exceptional in its abundant salinity and excellent antibacterial, moisturizing, and beautification properties. There are three locations in the hot spring town for drinking the spring water, famous for its effectiveness in curing gastrointestinal diseases.

20Overall Ranking

Tokachigawa Onsen

Hokkaido:Hokkaido
tokachigawa

"Mole Springs" gush forth through layers of lignite deposited by plants over a long period of time and are considerably rare around the world. Large amounts of organic matter from plants are found in the water, leaving skin moist and silky. Its water is even known as "nature's face lotion" due to the large amount of natural preservatives.

21Overall Ranking

Shirahone Onsen

Nagano:Chubu
shirahone

At Shirahone Onsen, it's said that bathing here for three days will prevent colds for three years. The water is silky white and comes from a slightly acidic sulfur spring. It is said to be good for gastrointestinal diseases, and the carbonic acid components of the spring improve blood flow and warm the body from its core.

22Overall Ranking

Ikaho Onsen

Gunma:Kanto
ikaho

The "golden" hot spring comes from a dark reddish-brown sulphate spring, and the "silver" hot spring comes from a colorless metasilicic acid simple spring. Known for its effectiveness for gynecological illnesses, it has been famous as a hot spring for women since ancient times.

23Overall Ranking

Hirugami Onsen

Nagano:Chubu
hirugami

Hirugami Onsen is a simple alkaline sulfur spring known for its effectiveness for beautiful skin. Furthermore, because it contains abundant sodium ions, it is also excellent in its moisturizing properties and is popular among women. It is also famous as the area for the best starry night tour in Japan, "Paradise in the Sky."

24Overall Ranking

Okuhida Hot Spring Village

Gifu:Chubu
okuhidahotspringvillage

The generic name for five hot spring areas naturally formed in the Northern Alps. Mostly simple and bicarbonate salt springs, it is said to be the best open-air bath in Japan with the natural beauty of a mountain village that changes with the seasons.

25Overall Ranking

Kirishima Onsen

Kagoshima:Kyushu
kirishima

The general name for the nine hot spring areas scattered along the base of Kirishima Mountain. Mainly comprised of sulfur springs and bicarbonate salt springs, it is popular as a highland resort where you can experience the 11 different kinds of springs and each of their unique properties among the grandeur of nature.

26Overall Ranking

Kinosaki Onsen

Hyogo:Kansai
kinosaki

The weakly alkaline springs contain sodium and calcium and are non-irritating and safe even for guests with sensitive skin. Visiting each of the seven springs is a popular activity for visitors, and afterward, you can stroll across retro-style bridges and along the weeping willows lining the riverside.

27Overall Ranking

Dake Onsen

Fukushima:Tohoku
dake

This type of hot spring is known as an "acidic spring," which is rare among natural hot springs. Located 8 km from the hot spring's source, the water takes about 40 minutes to flow to this hot spring town. The spring water cools and softens along this journey, making it gentle on the skin.

28Overall Ranking

Unzen Onsen

Nagasaki:Kyushu
unzen

The first hot spring area designated as a national park in Japan, it is characterized by its cloudy, sulfur springs. White smoke that shoots out from the depths of the earth and the smell of sulfur envelops the area, leading to its nickname, "Unzen Hell." A walking path around the area allows you to enjoy 30 different "hells" during your visit.

29Overall Ranking

Itamuro Onsen

Tochigi:Kanto
itamuro

Known as one of the "Seven Springs of Nasu" since ancient times, its potent water has been used for healing ailments, and the surroundings became popular as a hot spring area. The majority of the springs are colorless simple alkaline springs between 37-45℃.

30Overall Ranking

Hakone-Yumoto

Kanagawa:Kanto
hakone-yumoto

Hakone Yumoto is the gateway to the Hakone area, bustling with visitors from all over. Its simple alkaline springs are gentle on the skin, and its colorless, tasteless, and odorless water is famous with hot spring enthusiasts.

31Overall Ranking

Misasa Onsen

Tottori:Chugoku/Shikoku
misasa

Good for bathing, drinking, and inhaling, Misasa is one of the world's foremost radium springs with a high concentration of radon. These elements are said to have a "hormesis" effect, improving the body's immune system. There are open-air baths and foot baths along the riverbanks near the Misasa Bridge, creating the atmosphere of an old-fashioned hot spring area.

32Overall Ranking

Minakami 18 hot spring

Gunma:Kanto
minakami18hotspring

The 18 Hot Springs of Minakami were registered as a UNESCO Eco Park in 2017. Each of the 18 springs have unique qualities and stunning views, and the whole area is known for its abundant volume of spring water.

33Overall Ranking

Sukayu Onsen

Aomori:Tohoku
sukayu

With over 300 years of history, remarkable efficacy, and abundant water output, Sukayu Onsen was the first hot spring to be designated as the "People's Recreational Hot Spring." Its acidic water is quite powerful.

34Overall Ranking

Akiu Onsen

Miyagi:Tohoku
akiu

Known as one of the Three Famous Springs of Oshu, this chloride spring contains salt and has high heat retention. It is said to be effective for those suffering from sensitivity to cold, lower back pain, skin diseases, joint pain, and other maladies.

35Overall Ranking

Takayu Onsen

Fukushima:Tohoku
takayu

Takayu Onsen is one of the most famous hot springs in Fukushima. Known for having one of the highest sulfur concentrations of hot springs in Japan, it also has a particularly high water output, and hot spring facilities use 100% water from the source spring without any additional water or heat.

36Overall Ranking

Shima Onsen

Gunma:Kanto
shima

This hot spring has been known as "the miracle spring that can cure 40,000 illnesses" since the Kamakura Period (1185-1333 CE). It is also popular for those wishing for beautiful skin due to the sodium and calcium contained in its soft water.

37Overall Ranking

Yamashiro Onsen

Ishikawa:Chubu
yamashiro

Opening in 1300 CE, this hot spring was beloved by famous Japanese artists such as Kitaoji Rosanjin and Yosano Akiko. There are three different types of springs: the 64℃ rock springs, salt springs, and sodium sulphate springs.

38Overall Ranking

Hanamaki Hot Spring Village

Iwate:Tohoku
hanamakihotspringvillage

A hot spring village consisting of 12 hot springs each with their own unique characteristics. Popular with those seeking to cure ailments since ancient times, this area has connections with famous Japanese literary figures such as Kenji Miyazawa and Kotaro Takamura.

39Overall Ranking

Yudanaka Shibu Hot Spring Village

Nagano:Chubu
yudanakashibuhotspringvillage

With water originating from 37 different sources, each with their own unique qualities, the different springs can be used for various treatments, from nerve pain to skin beautification. By visiting the nine outdoor baths in the village, it is said to cure nine different maladies, including warding off evil, easy childbirth and childrearing, and longevity.

40Overall Ranking

Kannon Onsen

Shizuoka:Chubu
kannon

The first-rate water at this hot spring is ultra-soft and strongly alkaline, having a pH around 9.5. The thick spring water has also led to its reputation as a spring for beautiful skin. The water is drinkable as well, being said to improve the balance of one's physical condition if consumed.

41Overall Ranking

Isawa Onsen

Yamanashi:Chubu
isawa

The water in Aozora Onsen swells up from nearby vineyards and flows into neighboring rivers. The spring water is simple alkaline in nature and is said to be effective in treating nerve pain, bruises, chronic gastrointestinal diseases, sensitivity to cold, and other maladies.

42Overall Ranking

Bobata Onsen

Fukushima:Tohoku
bobata

Boasting the most radium of any spring in Tohoku, it is said that bathing in this spring for three days will improve your physical condition.

43Overall Ranking

Nozawa Onsen

Nagano:Chubu
nozawa

With over 30 natural springs in the area, this hot spring town has 13 free-of-charge open-air public baths scattered about the town that use 100% hot spring water. Each of these baths have different spring qualities and benefits to bathing in their water.

44Overall Ranking

Unazuki Onsen

Toyama:Chubu
unazuki

The premiere hot spring village of Toyama Prefecture, the abundant hot spring water at Unazuki Onsen is colorless and weakly alkaline in nature. It is famous as being gentle on the skin, making it famous for skin beautification.

45Overall Ranking

Kawayu Onsen

Hokkaido:Hokkaido
kawayu

Kawayu Onsen is located in Teshikaga, home to Lake Mashu, which boasts some of the clearest water in the world. Kawayu Onsen's water ranges in pH from 1.7-1.9, making it one of the strongest acidic springs in Japan. It has strong antibacterial and heat retention properties, making it popular as a spot for those hoping to cure ailments.

46Overall Ranking

Kinugawa & Kawaji Onsen

Tochigi:Kanto
kinugawa&kawaji

Kinugawa Onsen is one of the most popular hot spring areas in the Kanto area, and nearby is the quiet and calm Kawasa Onsen. It is said that Kawasa Onsen is good for curing injuries and Kinugawa is effective at treating burns, and the simple alkaline springs at both are effective in treating these and other ailments.

47Overall Ranking

Awara Onsen

Fukui:Chubu
awara

One of the leading hot spring villages in Fukui Prefecture and the entire Hokuriku area. It is said there are 46 spring sources, each slightly different in their qualities. It was also chosen as one of the 100 best hot springs for curing ailments in Japan.

48Overall Ranking

Yamanaka Onsen

Ishikawa:Chubu
yamanaka

Opening in 1300, this spring was beloved by Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, who called it one of the 3 best springs of Japan. One of the premier "ancient hot springs" of Japan, it is known for being gentle on the skin, good for those seeking skin beautification.

49Overall Ranking

Nagayu Onsen

Oita:Kyushu
nagayu

One of the world's leading carbonic acid spring areas. It is so carbonated that simply entering the water creates bubbles, and its water is also beneficial for the heart and digestive system, being good for drinking or a long bath.

50Overall Ranking

Noji Onsen

Fukushima:Tohoku
noji

Known as one of the most beautiful hot springs in the Tohoku area, it is also famous as being effective in treating gastrointestinal problems. The cloudy white water from the sulfur springs is soft to the touch.