Jan 5, 2018

Best onsen town near Tokyo with a lot of snow

Looking for recommendations for a nice onsen town / resort near Tokyo where I can see plenty of snow. Planning to go in February. It would be an overnight stay. Also, if the town has a bit of atmosphere and places to eat other than the hotel / ryokan, that would be even better. Cheers! Maybe around 3 hrs one-way (without flying) would be the maximum travel time in this case.



Traveler, surfer, and scribe. Based in Tokyo for six years.

9 Answers

  • genkidesu

    on Jan 5

    I'd probably have to represent for the local 'hood here in Niigata and say that Yuzawa has some hot springs - and I don't know if you're a skiier/boarder but you've got the ski resorts like Gala Yuzawa right there too (https://gala.co.jp/winter/english/). You definitely won't be short of snow! Plus proximity wise to Tokyo it's about 75 minutes from Tokyo Station to Echigo Yuzawa Station on the shinkansen so it's an easy weekend trip. This accommodation place is a little out of Yuzawa but is on my Japan bucket list - http://en.satoyama-jujo.com/ it looks gorgeous, and it's in the heart of snow country as well. That place though won't have as much nightlife, Yuzawa is your better bet for things to do in the town.

  • edthethe

    on Jan 6

    Gunma is full of hot spring towns. Numata, oze, kusatsu(very famous), minakami. Take your pick. Look any of them up on wikitravel. https://wikitravel.org/en/Kusatsu There is also hakone to the south of Tokyo, but I don't think you'll get snow.

  • Jackson

    on Jan 7

    My first onsen and ryokan experience was at 新潟 越後湯沢. It was famous for a novel about a Snow Country, with many traditional onsen here and there. The snow was great and it's even close to a ski resort. It's accessible by shinkansen too! Hope you have a great trip :D

  • Saitama

    on Jan 8

    I'll add my vote to somewhere in Gunma. Good choices in that prefecture. I personally like Minakami for its convenience and it ticks everything on your list. Enjoy!

  • YokoLostinJapan

    on Jan 11

    I liked our stay at Shibu Onsen (Nagano Pref.) - we stayed at a hostel-like Ryokan called Koishiya (http://yadoroku.jp/koishiya/en/). They don't have their own onsen, but you can use the public one close by and even use a private one for small money. On day-time you also can visit the famous snow monkey of Yudanaka not so far away.

  • helloalissa

    on Jan 11

    I've only been during fall, but I believe Nikko in Tochigi gets snow during winter. There are some onsen near the lake in addition to the waterfall & all the historical temples and shrines. It's within a couple hours of Tokyo and possible to go by public transportation if you don't want to brave mountain driving in the snow.

  • Tomuu

    on Jan 17

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Duly noted for the future. Already been top Kusatsu (in winter) and loved it. Would go again but variety is the spice of life, and all that. Looked into Ikaho Onsen (kind of en route to Kusatsu) but wasn't sure we could get loads of snow there. As it is, we've gone for Shibu Onsen in Nagano. Looks like it gets plenty of snow and also offers the potential for a bit of stroll around without being restricted to the ryokan. Will report back!

  • genkidesu

    on Mar 22

    Wanted to add to this that some of our friends this winter went to Aizuwakamatsu and it was gorgeous from their pictures. We get enough snow here in Niigata for the winter months but it might be worth a look for anyone who wants a winter break next year. The tourism site for the local area is here: http://samurai-city.jp/en/

  • irriizzzzzzzzz

    on Jul 25

    Niigata, Gunma and Tochigi have good onsen spots that get snow.


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