The Best Onsens in Kyoto

by Guest

One of the best things that you should consider taking advantage of on your visit to Kyoto is to take advantage of the opportunity to soak in one of the area’s natural hot spring baths called onsens. After a long day of sightseeing, visiting one of the local osens is a wonderful way to kick back, unwind and enjoy the breathtaking views of Kyoto. Due to the fact that the area isn’t really popular for boasting any form of geothermal activity underneath of it, there are very few true osens in the area. And the ones that do still have to pump water from deep in the ground or to just heat up the water in order to bring it up to a comfortable temperature. That in no was should take away from the wonderful essence that onsens provide their visitors! Here are some of the best onsens in Kyoto that you will certainly want to pay a visit to.
Also read about: The best Ryokans in Kyoto

Kurama Onsen

Kurama Onsen can be found in the quaint village of Kurama. This mountainous region can be reached by train in only 30 minutes from Kyoto, and the Kurama Onsen boasts some truly fine outdoor and indoor baths. Kurama Onsen is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Japan’s natural setting and the region is so lush and rich that it is a bit hard to believe that you are less than an hour from the city center! Be sure to opt for the open air bath if it compels you and you will find yourself surrounded by vast expanses of trees of which change with the seasons.The onsen also is set atop Mt. Kurama where you can take the opportunity to be able to explore a number of the area’s historical shrines and temples that are nestled close by such as the Kifune Shrine and the Kurama Temple to really get sense of the wonder and beauty of the culture of the area.

Also read about: The best places to have sushi in Kyoto


Kyoto Yunohana Onsen Syoenso Hozugawatei

Located a mere 15 minutes from Kameoka Station (via a free shuttle bus) Kyoto Yunohana Onsen Syoenso Hozugawatei is an onsen that provides visitors with a wide array of baths that range from 3 different types of open air baths, as well as private baths, foot baths, and many more. The private bath rooms even have open air baths along with hinoki cypress baths of which are included. If you are wanting the best possible experience with regards to your onsen visit, you will most certainly not be disappointed with your visit to Kyoto Yunohana Onsen Syoenso Hozugawatei. There are also a large number of shrines and temples in the area as well and for a truly awe-inspiring sightseeing adventure, be sure to check out Arashiyama where you can take in the scenery via the Sagano Scenic Railway or Hozugawa River Boat.

Also read about: Where to stay in Kyoto

Aburaya Bekkan Nagomitei

Overlooking the Sea of Japan and quaintly located in the northern region of the Tango Peninsula in Kyoto’s northern region, is where you will find Aburaya Bekkan Nagomitei. As the area is so close to the sea you will be able to enjoy some of the best seafood cuisine in Kyoto. And, all of the rooms at Aburaya Bekkan Nagomitei have open air baths where you can relax and take in the beauty of the sea. Best of all, the open air baths can be accessed anytime of day or night, so you can take in a beautiful sunrise or sunset or relax and gaze up at the stars.

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Hekisui Gyoen

Hekisui Gyoen is an stunning inn that is situated with the ocean expanding out as far as your eyes can see. The vast area of the grounds have 14 rooms of which are conveniently wide, and the inside of the area is so incredibly peaceful. If you are seeking to escape the crowds, you can most certainly do so here as there is rarely an issue with overcrowding at this onsen. As you relax and enjoy the open air bath, you will be able to enjoy the lapping of the ocean’s waves while simply taking in the beautiful scenery of the region. After your soak, be sure to take advantage of the onsite meals that are prepared for guests where you can enjoy a number of first-class dishes with delectable ingredients such as abalone, Tamba beef, Iwagaki oyster and Matsuba crab of which you can enjoy in the comfort and privacy of your personal room.  

Also read about: Okinawa City

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Ryori Ryokan Yuhigaura

Ryori Ryokan Yuhiguara (which translates to sunset cove) is precisely what the name entails and lays claims to being one of the 100 Most Beautiful Sunsets in Japan. The Ryori Ryokan Yuhigaura does not have private onsens in the rooms however, you can relax and bathe in the main public bath throughout the evening and up until 9:00 am. The views from the open air bath are simply unmatched and you will be left in a trance watching the contrast of the sun setting into the Sea of Japan. One of the biggest selling points of the inn is actually the food itself! And as the name of the inn, Ryori Ryokan, can be translated to “Cuisine Inn”, it is pretty safe to say that you will be able to enjoy some of the best dishes in the area.

While you can find onsens throughout Japan, it may come as a surprise that some of the best ones can actually be found quietly located in Kyoto. There are a number of options that you can take advantage of enjoying at the osens and many provide fun for the entire family! On that note, however, you should certainly check the rules and regulations of the onsen that you are considering visiting as many request that children do not tag along, while others welcome them warmly. Regardless of what you are seeking to get out of your Japanese onsen experience, you can be sure to find the right fit for your desires in Kyoto.

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