This Rakuten Travel list has us packing our tiny towels, ready for an onsen-focused vacation.
When looking for the quintessential Japanese experience, staying in a hotel with an onsen (hot spring) is certainly at the top of many people’s list. There are a variety of different baths that you can find at onsen hotels, including rotenburo (open air baths), neyu (shallow hot springs you can lay flat in) and ashiyu (foot baths). All of them offer a relaxing experience, many of which combine the heat and comfort of a delightful bath with aesthetically pleasing scenery.
Rakuten Travel has a search term called yu meguri (visiting multiple spas) so that travelers can look up top onsen hotels where more than two types of bath can be enjoyed during your stay. When the travel sites are willing to indulge our onsen addiction, we know we’ve gotten approval of the hot spring spirits, so bring on the top five!.
1. Ryokan Ohnuma in Naruoko Onsen Village (Osaki, Miyagi)
This onsen hotel has been in operation for over 100 years and has been described by some guests as onsen heaven. There are seven indoor baths, five of which can be privately reserved. There is also a rotenburo nestled next to a mountain and surrounded by gorgeous views. With the leaves changing color, now is an incredible time to visit (website).
2. Hotel Kogure at Ikaho Onsen (Shibukawa, Miyagi)
Another hotel with a long history, this 400-year-old establishment pairs historical roots with modernized facilities. There are two large public bathing areas that alternate daily between male and female use. In total, there are 21 different baths between the two areas with a number of rotenburo, neyu, bubble massage baths and other equally intriguing and beautiful facilities (website).
3. Hororo Sanso in Kitayuzawa Onsen Village (Date, Hokkaido)
Another stand-out favorite due to a large variety of onsen is Hororo Sanso. Nestled in the northernmost island of Japan, guests can enjoy 10 unique types of hot springs. The variety of choices is the main reason guests will want to return again and again, although the stunning nature surrounding the facility definitely helps (website).
4. Fujisan Ryokan in Hanamaki Onsen Village, Namari Onsen (Hanamaki, Iwate)
An impressive five different sources of water funnel into the various baths at this Japanese guest house. The rotenburo is a highlight of the ryokan (traditional inn), as it’s made with intricately placed rocks and looks out onto a beautiful waterfall. Guests describe the temperatures of the baths as somehow always being perfect (website).
5. Yoshiharu at Izunagaoka Onsen (Izunokuni, Shizuoka)
There are numerous different outdoor baths with various atmosphere that will suit anyone’s aesthetic needs here. There are also several indoor baths to enjoy, all of which offer various healing powers. A number of these are private onsen rooms and guests never have to wait too long for a room to open up. You can pass the short wait time at the ashiyu stream that will wash all your stresses away (website).
All of these lodgings offer not only their exquisite onsen experiences, but also room and dining plans to suit any kind of travel. If you’re looking for a vacation or place to stay that offers a glimpse into the history of Japan while also reveling in modern pleasures, be sure to check out any of these Rakuten Travel approved facilities.