A soak in an onsen is a must when visiting Japan. Onsens are the natural hot springs beloved by locals, and there are about 3,000 of them throughout the country. They can serve as shrines to kami, which are Japanese ancestral spirits, or simply as establishments that offer pure relaxation.
For a complete thermal spa experience, visit Beppu on Kyushu Island. From the Kamenoi Hotel, you can access no less than eight thermal centers that provide a wide range of treatments like sand, steam, or mud baths. You can also stroll through the "Hells of Beppu", which are hot springs that bubble up in surprising, varied colors.
Whatever your itinerary, you'll have plenty of opportunities to visit an onsen during your visit to Japan. In Tokyo, for example, you can visit the baths inside the Oedo Onsen Monogatari theme park, which is decorated in typical, Edo-period fashion. If you prefer to connect with nature, head to Yumoto Onsen in Nikko, the thermal baths at Hirayu-Onsen in Takayama, or Lake Akan in Kushiro. An Evaneos local agency will be happy to offer their suggestions.See more