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Nov 16, 2015

How Much Does it Cost to Visit an Onsen in Japan?


The most common way to visit onsen in Japan is to stay overnight in facilities where hot spring entry is included in the room rate.  Here we look at the question, How much does it cost for the day tripper to visit?  Below are listed some of the best/most famous onsen in Japan, and the costs/fees for admission.


One of the oldest

Dogo Onsen dates back over 1,000 years.  Located in the city of Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku), this onsen has been mentioned in texts as far back as 759.


There are two baths;

Kami no Yu (1F&2F)

Admission:  1F - 410 yen (adult) / 160 yen (child), 2F - 840 yen (adult) / 420 yen (child) + tea


Tama no Yu (public/private)

Admission:  Public - 1,250 yen (adult) / 620 yen (child) + tea and sweets

                     Private - 1,580 yen (adult) / 720 yen (child) + tea and sweets

Hours: 6:00 - 23:00

Web:  Matsuyama City Homepage

Web:  Dogo Onsen Ryokan Association


One of the largest

Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari in Tokyo's Odaiba district, describes itself as an 'onsen theme park'. Yes, there are baths, but there's a whole lot more to boot, including restaurants, spa treatments, games, and a room full of reclining chairs where you can just, well, relax, I guess.


Admission: Over 12s - 2,480 yen ( Sat. Sun. 2,680 yen, Special Day 2,880 yen) / Kids 4-12 - 1,000 yen / Under 4 - free

Evening Discount Admission (after 18:00): Over 12s - 1,980 yen ( Sat. Sun. 2,180 yen, Special Day 2,380 yen) / No child discount available

Late Night Premium (after 2:00): 2,000 yen

All fees inc. bath/yukata robe/towel/use of facilities

Hours: 11:00 - 9:00 (the next day)

Web:  http://www.ooedoonsen.jp/en/top/


The one with the monkeys

Jigokudani Yaen Koen a.k.a Jigokudani Monkey Park is located in northern Nagano Prefecture. Watch your preconceptions here, any images you might have had of getting your back scrubbed by a cute monkey are way off the mark.  This onsen is primates only.  The forested park is marked by a series of trails which lead to the hot spring where the monkeys bath.


Admission: 500 yen (adult) / 250 yen (child)

Hours

Summer (April - Oct.): 8:30 - 17:00

Winter (Nov. - March):  9:00 - 16:00

Web:  http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/english/html/top_e.htm

The nearby resort of Shibu Onsen has nine public bathhouses that day trippers can enjoy.

Web:  http://www.shibuonsen.net/onsen/



The one(s) with a view to Mt. Fuji

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of onsen operations making the best of their Mt. Fuji-view status.  Many of them are private to overnight guests.  The Japan National Tourist Organization has compiled a list of those which are open to the general public.  See the link here.

Admission: 700 - 1,500 yen



The big three

The Japanese love things in threes;  three best views, three best gardens ... three best onsen! Kusatsu, Gero, and Arima make this prestigious list.  So, how much does it cost to bath in their waters?


Kusatsu Onsen (Gunma Prefecture)

The homepage for this onsen proudly boasts of, '... the largest flowing water volume of all hot springs in Japan.'.  There are a number of 'onsen' options for the day tripper in Kusatsu.


Otaki no Yu Bathhouse

Admission:  Adult - 800 yen / Child - 400 yen (not inc. bath towel)

Hours:  9:00 - 21:00


Kusatsu Onsen Center

Admission:  Adult - 800 yen / Child - 400 yen

Hours:  10:30 - 19:00


Yu-kenuri Tei (Hot Spring Steam Footpath)

Admission:  Free

Web:  http://kusatsuonsen-international.jp/en/#about


Gero Onsen  (Gifu Prefecture)

Around since the 10th Century, Gero Onsen can be found in mountainous Gifu Prefecture.  It has the nickname of  ‘Bijin No Yu’, or ‘Hot Springs of the Beautiful’; the waters here are said to be particularly good for the skin.


Three baths are open to the general public.


Cure Garden Rotenburo

Admission:  Adult - 600 yen / Elementary school student - 400 yen / Infant - 200 yen

Hours:  8:00 - 21:00 (Closed Thursdays)


Shirasagi no Yu

Admission:  Adult - 350 yen / Elementary school student - 140 yen / Infant - 70 yen

Hours:  10:00 - 22:00 (Closed Wednesdays)


Sachi no Yu

Admission:  As above

Hours:  10:00 - 23:00 (Closed Tuesdays)


There are a bunch of foot baths throughout Gero town, which can be used free of charge.

Web:  http://www.gero-spa.or.jp/english/about.html



Arima Onsen  (Kobe City)

Only 40 mins by train from the city of Kobe (technically still part of the city but on the other side of a mountain), Arima Onsen is a popular day/weekend option for residents of urban Kansai. There are a handful of public baths for day trippers ...


Yuya Shohu

Admission: 1,500 yen (inc. face towel / large towel rental - 315 yen)

Hours: 11:00 - 14:00


Kin no Yu

Admission:  Adult (Jr. High and above) - 650 yen / Elementary school student - 340 yen / Infant - free

Hours:  8:00 - 22:00  (Closed, 2nd & 4th Tues. of the month (Weds if Tues. is a holiday), Jan 1)


Gin no Yu

Admission:  Adult (Jr. High and above) - 550 yen / Elementary school student - 290 yen / Infant - free

Hours:  9:00 - 21:00  (Closed, 1st & 3rd Tues. of the month (Weds if Tues. is a holiday), Jan 1)

Web:  http://www.visit.arima-onsen.com/


If you have your own answers to the question, How much does it cost to visit an onsen in Japan?, or you have your own best onsen in Japan to recommend, please join the conversation below.


Twitter: @City_Cost_Japan

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Photo credits

Title image: Abasaa / Wikicommons Public Domain

Monkey Onsen: Yosemite / Wikicommons License

Gero Onsen: そらみみ / Wikicommons License

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