|ONSEN HOT SPRING
|This page to introduce easy but real onsen
experience from downtown Tokyo (as one-day-short-trip).
If you had JR Pass (even without), if you had one day extra
in Tokyo, it is truly worth travelling one
or two even three of below. Please make maximum
use of your pass with authentic Japanese
style of holiday. No have JR Pass? No problem
because you are able to purchase JR TOKYO Wide Pass here in Tokyo. The last on this list is
of course Asakusa Onsen (town onsen with
local people). For those who would be bit
shy and who would like to jump and soak with
swimming suit (swimming pants), not very
traditional style but please find Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (mixed bath) .
|Ryusenji-no-yu (Souka or Soka)
|Easy and cheap access from Asakusa on Tobu Skytree Line (bound for Nikko). Yatsuka (TS15) is only 30 minutes,
only JPY310, one way from Asakusa. Or, Soka
(TS16) has free shuttle bus from/to the onsen
|Kinu no yu
|Easy access from Asakusa on TX (Tsukuba Express) train. It is 28 minutes train ride to the nearby
station Moriya, and there is a free shuttle
bus taking you from/to the hot spring. Only
the onsen in Ibaraki-ken which uses no-recycling
natural mineral water. Not in downtown, but
much much better than Oedo Monogatari Onsen
in Odaiba. Mix onsen is available.
|Maenohara Onsen (Sayano-yudokoro)
|Another easy access? Located just outside
of downtown, well, still within Toei Subway
network, we also would like to recommend
this off-beaten-track hot spring. It is 45
minutes subway rides (Kuramae => Kasuga
=> Shimurasakaue) Toei Oedo Line and Toei
Mita Line. Here's got a map at Google Map. Much much traditional compare to Oedo Monogatari
Onsen in Odaiba.
|Ofuro Cafe Utatane
|Just 30 km north of downtown Tokyo, there
is another relaxing place. Utatane in Japanese
means nap or siesta. Cafe with free
coffee unlimited with manga/animation also
WiFi. Here's got Google Map in the bottom.
|Yakushi Onsen Hatago
|Time slip travel is within few hours rides
from downtown Tokyo. Day trip is possible
but better to feel their unique time and
space up in the mountain with at least a
night or a few, how about join onsen journey
with Shima Onsen and Kusatsu Onsen. Actually
Yakushi Onsen Hatago is located just in between
the two, which are all located in Gunma-ken,
the onsen prefecture of Kanto region.
|Nikko Onsen Hoshinoyado
|Very popular and very local atmosphere. Nice
walking distance from Tobu-Nikko station,
not far from Toshogu temple and shrine area.
Lunch is special with local ingredients.
Japanese garden is tranquil as well. Other
than this hot spring ryokan, there are three
more hot springs run by the city. Katakuri is the most local-touch, hardly-ever-seen
non-Japanese place, which is reasoned by
its location. Most of visitors are easily
over 65 years old, where is the place that
you may feel like being retired in Inaka
of Japan. There is also Karaoke (JPY100 per
song) that you can sing in front of dozens
of "young" elder people in the
huge 60-tatami-mat room! You may take free-shuttle-bus
somehow. Please be aware of the fact that
the bus stop is not right at the railway
station but not cleary located middle of
the town either. One good stop to be picked-up
is in front of Kokando Yakkyoku on route
121 between Tobu railway and Daiya-gawa river
which is about 10 minutes walk from Shimo-Imaichi
station, only available on Tuesday though!
All you need to do is take Tobu Line from
Asakusa to Shimo-Imaichi. Nikko One Day Tour Page has some detail.
|Map (each location has Google Map) There is each clip on each location.
Tobu Line (not JR but private railway) has
frequent trains from Asakusa direct. For
JR Pass Holders, please take Shinkansen to
Utsunomiya, then local train to Nikko.
|One of the best spectacular view onsen in
Japan, why? it is because you can see the
perfect cone shape of Mt.Fuji while you do
feeling-good in natural hot spring. Even
their shower use the mineral water. So ladies,
please make your skin young without using
Shiseido, now you know why Japanese ladies
look younger than their real age. Well, gentlemen,
please be careful! One day trip from downtown
Tokyo shall do, but it is also worth experiencing
this natural spa along with Hakone and Kawaguchiko,
please refer to this page. To make your one day content while you
had a week or even 10 days in downtwon Tokyo,
here's some routes to get there.
|Map There are several direct trains from
Shinjuku to Gotemba station on Odakyu Line (not JR but private railway). With JR Pass,
Tokyo => Kouzu (Kozu) => Gotemba, Tokyo
=> Numazu => Gotemba shall do with
local trains. With Shinkansen, you may reach
to Mishima first, then take local bus (not
JR) to Gotemba, JPY940, abt.50min. Time table
can be obtained by seaching at HyperDia, please.
And this is the most important part, there
is only 1 (one) free shuttle bus up to Fuji-Hakkei
from JR Gotemba station, and there is only
1 (one) free shuttle bus down to JR Gotemba
station from the onsen house.
Gotemba 09:50 departure
Fuji-Hakkei 13:30 departure
3 hours would usually melt your body like
baby. Not enought? You can melt your wallet
and credit card spending at Premium Outlet with frequent free shuttle bus from/to JR
Gotemba station, and even direct from/to
JR Tokyo station, Shinjuku station and Yokohama
|Shimobe Onsen (with excellent view of Mt.Fuji on
|This is never-listed-any-guide-book hot spring
(at least in English written guide book).
Not major does not mean bad onsen at all.
It is just middle of nowhere in mountains.
Although, access is quite straight forward
with only one transfer from downtown Tokyo.
Advantage is that you may capture whole Mt.Fuji
view from train window, JR Minobu Line is
the closest line of JR to the mountain. Please
also refer to DAY-14 for related trip. Shimobe Hotel has day-visitor-onsen
at JPY1,050 including rest area, but several
alternative facilities are also listed at
this page , and you may find much cheaper which means
|Map There are Hikari Express (Shinkansen,
the bullet train) running every 30 minutes,
and there are Wide-View-Fujikawa (Limited
Express) running almost every 2 hours. You
may search updated train schedule at HyperDia but the followings shows one good example/connection.
JPY6,120 - JPY8,900 one way per adult depending
on which route you'd take (fare for WITHOUT
JR PASS). First option is to go and come
back in same route (2 chances to see Mt.Fuji,
morning face and afternoon face is 2 different
beauties). Second option is to go northern
side of Mt.Fuji which you may see only the
top (8th station to the summit) beyond another
mountain range. Kofu to Otsuki has grape
field, Otsuki to Takao goes along valley,
Takao to Shinjuku through west residential
Tokyo downtown including Mitaka, Kichijoji
|Tokyo 10:03 => 11:05 Shizuoka 11:40
=> 13:20 Shimobe-Onsen (JPY8,370 without
|Shimobe-Onsen 15:19 => 16:56 Shizuoka
17:37 => 18:40 Tokyo
|Shimobe-Onsen 15:19 => 16:02 Kofu 16:10
=> 17:51 Shinjuku
|Watch out for the black bears in cages. If
you stayed overnight, you might be ending
up eating one piece of their body (bear meat
at dinner table!), but if you would like
to experience day time spa, this is one of
the best NATURE in deep mountain. Discount
ticket is available at this page (shop in front of JR Minakami station) or
in Ginza branch (one of Gunma campaign shop). This is also
one of the rare mixed-bath (no swimming suit!).
|Map There is no longer direct train to
Minakami (except high season), but Shinkansen,
the bullet train, has the alternative way
to reach into the nature world. Bus is not
JR, therefore JPY2,300 round trip (for the
bus journeys) has to be paid at bus driver
when you get off. JPY2,780 special discount
ticket is including the bus (JPY2,300 round
trip) as well as admission fee (JPY1,500),
which means JPY1,020 discount from JPY3,800.
See above page for the discount ticket, please.
You may search updated train schedule at
HyperDia but the followings shows one good example/connection.
|Ueno 06:26 => 08:16 Takasaki 08:24
=> 09:31 Minakami 09:40 => 10:20 Takaragawa
Onsen 15:30 => 16:08 Minakami 16:45 =>
17:48 Takasaki 17:52 => 19:41 Ueno (JPY2,300
required for round trip bus journeys)
|This is listed on top of Best-Impressed-View-Onsen
in Japan, and this page could explain without words. When ladies
on 3rd floor, gentlemen on 4th floor. Or,
when ladys on 4th floor, gentlemen on 3rd
floor. Sky view is naturally on the 4th floor.
Mixed bathing is available with surcharge
(upon availabilities, no reservation possible).
Nearby location has Hanafubuki Ryokan as well highly recommended. Stay and feel
more relax? K's House ITO is the one!
|Map There are direct limited express from
Tokyo, but please note that it is not JR
between ito and izu-kogen, therefore, additional
surcharge of JPY1,170 for izukyu limited
express (or JPY660 for izukyu local train)
one way per adult is must. You may search
updated train schedule at HyperDia but the followings shows one good example/connection.
JPY11,000 one way per adult WITHOUT JR PASS.
There is a free frequent shuttle bus from
izu-kogen station to the onsen site (return
|Tokyo 09:00 => 11:03 izu-kogen 15:41 =>
|Tokyo 07:26 => 08:12 Atami 08:24 =>
09:12 izu-kogen 18:00 => 18:44 Atami 19:02
=> 19:40 Tokyo
|It is one of the easiest and closest
from downtown Tokyo, say, maybe good for
onsen beginner. From the Shinkansen (bullet
train) station called Oyama, there is a frequent
free shuttle bus service to/from the onsen
place. Only in Japanese, but this page has the time table, basically every 15 minutes.
|Map There are many frequent Shinkansen
(bullet train) from downtown Tokyo to Oyama
station. Please be aware that only Nasumo
(slowest Shinkansen) and some Yamabiko (rapid
Shinkansen) stops. You may search updated
train schedule at HyperDia but the followings shows one good example/connection.
|Tokyo 10:12 => 10:54 Oyama (every 15 minutes,
shuttle bus) Oyama 18:32 => 19:10 Ueno
|Not many people know, therefore very local-touch.
Also easy to access from downtown Tokyo.
Maybe good for onsen beginner as well. From
the nearby JR station called Uenohara, there
is only 09:50, 12:15 and 15:00 buses departing
from their self-made-bus-stop (not one of
the public bus stops), some 150 meter east
from the JR ticket office. Only in Japanese,
but this page has the time table. Oh, very important!
there is no shuttle bus service on Sundays!
|Map There are many JR local trains reaching
to Uenohara station from either Takao (west
of downtown Tokyo) or Shinjuku (west edge
of the JR Yamanote Loop Line). There is no
Limited Express stopping this tiny station.
You may search updated train schedule at
HyperDia but the followings shows one good example/connection.
|Tokyo 07:50 => 08:59 Takao 09:01 =>
09:19 Uenohara 09:45 (this bus will take
you to the hot spring)
|For your coming back, please do not miss
either 14:10, 16:30, 18:00 or 20:50 (the
last bus) to get back to Uenohara station,
from where there are frequent JR local train
services back to Takao, Shinjuku and Tokyo.
|It is the real onsen using hot-spring, mineral
water, from 1,000 meter underneath of Tokyo
city. Pictures and details in Japanese is
available at Jakotsuyu, please. It is only 460yen per one adult
(sauna costs extra 200yen) from 13:00 - 23:40,
except Tuesdays. And the best thing is that
it is located in downtown Tokyo, right in
the middle of ASAKUSA. Tokyo Ryokan is in short walk distance. It is Japanese
culture to crash down after long-hour-onsen.
|Map Yes, it is in Tokyo downtown. Nearest
metro station is Tawaramachi (G18), nearest
JR station is Ueno. This map also explains detail.