Japan’s hot springs are not only popular among locals, they are becoming more popular with foreigners as a tourist attraction. However, there is an impression that hot springs require staying at a ryokan (Japanese style inn) or that they are difficult to use for those who are unfamiliar with them. For those who have such concerns, we’ll be introducing three spots here that can be visited from Tokyo as a day trip. We’ll also be talking about how to use them.
1.Oedo Onsen Monogatari (Tokyo)
Needless to say, this is Tokyo’s oasis. Its located in Odaiba, so it has good access and, since it’s within the city, the advantage is that you don’t have to leave your house early. Moreover, this place doesn’t just have a bathhouse— it has a corner with old fashioned Japanese entertainment and is actively engaged in various collaborations. That’s why its considered a whole amusement facility which can be enjoyed all day long. The operating hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. everyday. However, note that the entrance fees are separate and different for afternoon and evening times, as well as weekend and weekdays. Be sure to check the prices before going there.
2.Ryugujo Spa Resort Mikazuki (Chiba)
The special feature of this facility is that, because it’s a spa resort, it has a pool, restaurant, and accommodation. Moreover, since it’s operated by a leading company— the Hotel Mikazuki Group, you can rest assured about the quality of the facilities and service. The fees are different for adults and children, and they vary by time and day. But even so, it’s a bargain because you can enjoy yourself all day within 2000¥. You will need to go there by car or bus. If you’re traveling by bus, a free pick up service is provided for some places, so be sure to look into it before you visit.
3.Hayakkannon Onsen (Saitama)
This is an authentic hot spring facility which is about an hour from Ueno. The attractiveness of this place is that you can immerse yourself in good quality water flowing directly from the hot spring source. Not only does it have open-air baths and indoor baths, it also has private baths. The private baths are recommended for those who want to bathe without feeling self-conscious. Among these, the ‘carbonate spring’ is particularly known to improve blood flow, so it’s effective against poor blood circulation. It’s also known to be effective against other ailments as well. The carbonate spring here has a high concentration, so it is definitely more effective. The entrance fee permits four hours of use and can be prolonged by one hour units. Please note that private baths incur additional fees. They operate until late hours, with the operating hours from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.. However, some services have varying closing hours, so be sure to check carefully.
When people think of hot spring day trips, they tend to think of small scale bathhouses. However, in recent times, more and more facilities are becoming equipped with restaurants and accommodations, so you won’t get bored even if you stay there all day. There are also several places that are very particular about the quality of their hot springs, so you can even go to each place with the purpose of experiencing the unique benefits they offer. So for those who don’t have enough time for an overnight trip, or those who normally don’t use these kinds of facilities, how about going there to ease your tiredness away?
This post is also available in: Japanese