Bathing in an onsen, or hot spring, is a very traditional Japanese pastime. It was not purely about washing yourself but enabled social interaction and even health benefits. Many tourists wish to experience onsen for themselves, and that is highly recommended. Why not hit two birds with one stone by staying in a hotel that has their own onsen? It doesn’t have to cost the earth either, although you can really splash out for a dip in a hot spring.
Hakone is an area of Japan that is renown for its onsen. Litres and litres of hot volcanic water bubble up from the ground each day so it is a great place to experience a traditional onsen. One such place where this is offered is the Hakone Gora Onsen.
The outside of this hotel is beautiful, done in a very traditional style. Depending on what type of room you want to sleep in your stay here can either be reasonable, from an economy Japanese style room to a Superior room with a private outside onsen. This can be especially good if you are travelling with a partner of a different gender and want to be able to experience an onsen together, as most baths are segregated by gender. The outdoor shared onsen is stunning set between natural rocks, and an outside onsen is a great experience with the cool air on your skin.
For an even greater outdoor onsen experience how about an onsen with a stunning view? The Shuhoukaku Kogetsu Hotel is situated on the shore of Kawaguchi-ko an offer unrivalled views of Mount Fuji. There are shared outdoor baths, but you can also book a room with a private bath with a view of Mount Fuji.
The rooms are styled as traditional Japanese so you can enjoy the full experience of sleeping on a futon on a tatami matt floor. The hotel has many amenities and all the rooms are air-conditioned with a private bathroom. The hotel also offers karaoke and a spa where you can get a massage. This hotel is perhaps more on the expensive side but the experience is superb and the views are postcard perfect.
If you are the more southern end of Japan you can still enjoy onsen while staying in a hotel too! Japan is so mountainous that it is difficult to find a place without naturally heated water. This particular hotel and onsen in Miyajima are for the traveller with a big budget, but you can truly stay in an opulent place. Instead of a room you will stay in a suite, surrounded by a beautifully crafted building. There are many different onsen baths to choose from at this hotel. You can even stay in an annex or separate cottage to have a truly relaxing stay. If you are lucky you may even see deer roaming around the grounds!
This is a truly stunning place to stay for a get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities of Japan, whilst not being too far away for all the convenience that Japan is known for.
Of course this is just a selection of the many, many onsen resorts, hotels and ryokan that are on offer in Japan. I highly recommend this unique experience when you stay in Japan.
So if you’d like to stay in a hotel that offers hot springs, consider the above! When you come to Japan, it’s a great idea to get involved in its culture and try many new things. Have a wonderful time!
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