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The Best 10 Onsen In Japan To Visit In The Winter

The Best 10 Onsen In Japan To Visit In The Winter

2017.11.30 Bookmark

Hot springs, or onsen, are popular all year round but they become a special experience in the winter when they are a blessing for the body. Read on to see our selection of the best onsen to check out in Japan during the cold season.

Written by Chiara Mischke

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3. Manza Onsen in Gunma

10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From Manza Onsen In Gunma - Relaxing Hot Springs And A Great View

Manza Onsen in Gunma prefecture is a hot spring area located at a high altitude and easily reachable from Tokyo. Their hot springs are very rich in sulfur. When the sulfur content is very high, it makes the water look neon yellow.

Sulfur is known to help in treating dermatitis and clogged arteries and is supposed to have an overall beautifying effect.

10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From Manza Onsen In Gunma - Relaxing Hot Springs And A Great View

Since it's situated high up in the mountains, the Manza Onsen area is covered in snow in the winter. It is also a very popular ski resort.

Just imagine yourself relaxing in a hot onsen after a day of skiing. It will warm you up and help ease muscle ache.

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Manza Onsen In Gunma - Relaxing Hot Springs And A Great View

4. Shima Onsen in Gunma

Top 10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From The Highlights Of Shima Onsen, Historical Hot Springs In Gunma

Shima Onsen is also located in Gunma. It is not as high up as Manza Onsen and this also makes it easier to reach. It can actually be reached by bus from Tokyo.

Shima Onsen doesn't get as much snow as Manza, but it is still enough to cover the streets and rooftops in the winter.

Sekizenkan, one of the hotels in Shima Onsen, has been confirmed to be one of the locations that inspired the Studio Ghibli movie "Spirited Away".

The area is also known for being the home of one of the oldest wooden onsen hotels in Japan. Shima Onsen is a really charming place with its old-school rock covered streets and wooden buildings.

Top 10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From The Highlights Of Shima Onsen, Historical Hot Springs In Gunma

Even though Sekizenkan might be the most interesting hotel in Shima Onsen, we also recommend Shima Tamura. They have a vast variety of different indoor and outdoor hot springs available. Moreover, their sister company is the Shima Grand Hotel. If you stay at either of these facilities you can use all the hot springs in available in both of them for an extra fee of 500 yen.

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The Highlights Of Shima Onsen, Historical Hot Springs In Gunma

5. Kita Onsen in Tochigi

Top 10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From Kita Onsen In Tochigi (1): Travel Back In Time To A Secluded Onsen Inn

Kita Onsen, located in Tochigi prefecture, is another onsen area you can easily reach from Tokyo. It is known for being one of the oldest onsen areas in Japan.

According to legend, Kita Onsen was discovered by a tengu (goblin) 1200 years ago. This is why "Tengu no Yu" ("The Hot Spring of the Tengu") is the most famous bathing facility in Kita Onsen.

Top 10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From Kita Onsen (2) - Experience The Ambiance Of An Edo Period Hot Spring

Kita Onsen also gets snow in the winter, but it might not be as much as in Shima Onsen or Manza Onsen. However, it's long history, Meiji era charm and convenient access from Tokyo definitely make it worth a visit.

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Kita Onsen In Tochigi (1): Travel Back In Time To A Secluded Onsen Inn
Kita Onsen (2) - Experience The Ambiance Of An Edo Period Hot Spring

6. Shibu Onsen in Nagano

Top 10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From Meet The Snow Monkeys At Shibu Onsen, Nagano! Access, Inns And More

You have probably seen the famous pictures of monkeys bathing in hot springs. Shibu Onsen in Nagano is very famous for the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. Here you can watch the monkeys roam free and taking onsen baths.

Top 10 Onsen All Over Japan You Have To Visit This Winter

From Meet The Snow Monkeys At Shibu Onsen, Nagano! Access, Inns And More

After enjoying the sight of the monkeys bathing, how about enjoying the hot springs yourself? We don't recommend jumping in with the monkeys, though. Enjoy the excellent services of the hotels and ryokans in the area.

Out of the nine open-air baths at Shibu Onsen, eight of them can be used free of charge by the town residents and those staying at one of the inns.

If you are a Studio Ghibli fan, you might want to consider checking in at Kanaguya, a ryokan which is rumored to have served as a model for the bathhouse in "Spirited Away".

In any case, Shibu Onsen is a great place to visit thanks to its many unique sights and wonderful hot springs.

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Meet The Snow Monkeys At Shibu Onsen, Nagano! Access, Inns And More
Jigokudani Monkey Park - See Monkeys Bathing In Hot Springs

Next PageNext page: The best onsen in western and southern Japan!
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The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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