Soaking in a hot spring bath (onsen) is truly a classic Japanese thing to do. There are some great hot springs in Kyoto you would not want to miss! Be it natural or manmade, its healing properties will be very beneficial for you and there’s no better way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
Relax in Kyoto’s Hot Springs
Here are a few onsen you should definitely look into if you have the chance, just less than 1 hour away from central Kyoto:
Tenzan no Yu (天山の湯)
A huge bath and spa complex, Tenzan no Yu has natural open-air onsen, filled with water flowing from 1,200m underground. A rich tan in colour, it’s highly concentrated with sodium and calcium chloride, similar to seawater.
The high quality spring water will effectively penetrate your skin to remove all impurities, leaving it moisturised and feeling like silk. Doesn't it sound incredible? Also, if you’d like, you can make use of their foot bath, fish spa, sauna and massage services.
- Spot name: Sagano Onsen Tenzan no Yu
- Street address: 55-4-7 Miyanomoto-cho, Sagano, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto 616-8315
- Access: About 3 minutes’ walk from Arisugawa Station
- Admission fee: ¥1,050 (Adults), ¥500 (Children) Free for under 3 year-old kids
- Opening hours: 10am - 1am (next day), closed every third Monday of the month
Genji no Yu (源氏の湯)
A spa, Genji no Yu’s good quality natural onsen water is sourced from 1,111m underground. As it’s also rich with sodium and calcium chloride, not only should soaking in it be rejuvenating, but it should also help in making your skin feel smooth.
Being outside in the open-air bath with the scenery of bamboo trees can be quite calming. Do check out their indoor bath and sauna as well.
- Spot name: Uji Natural Hot Spring Genji no Yu
- Street address: 52 Okubo-cho, Otake, Uji-shi, Kyoto, Kyoto 611-0033
- Access: About 8 minutes’ walk from Okubo Station
- Admission fee: ¥1,000 (Adults; more than 13 year old), ¥500 (Children)
- Opening hours: 10am - 1am (next day), all year round
Stay at Hotels with Hot Springs in Kyoto
There are also modern hotels with onsen that you can go to if you’d like:
Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel
Want to go to an onsen and still remain in the heart of Kyoto? Then consider Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel. They are the only one in the Kyoto Station area to offer natural onsen, with the water being sourced from 910m underground.
Choose either Higashiyama Bath (rocky type) or Nishiyama Bath (wooden type) and enjoy a moment of tranquility as you immerse yourself in hydrogen carbonate or chloride concentrated water.
- Spot name: Kyoto Hot Spring Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel
- Street address: 802 Minamifudodo-cho, Nishinotoin-dori Shiokoji-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto 600-8234
- Access: About 6 minutes’ walk from Kyoto Station
About 2 hours away from central Kyoto, at Hotel Kitanoya, overnight guests can use their large public baths, and reservations for private use can be made for the private open-air bath.
You can indulge in the open-air baths while admiring the lovely view of Amanohashidate’s stunning nature.
- Spot name: Amanohashidate Onsen Hotel Kitanoya
- Street address: 100 Monju, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto 626-0001
- Access: About 10 minutes’ walk from Amanohashidate Station
- Fee for reserving private open-air bath: ¥3,000 for 50 minutes
- Opening hours for large public bath: 6am - 9am, 3pm - 12am, daily
Have a Unique Experience at Ryokan with Hot Springs in Kyoto
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese Inn, and staying at one with an onsen is an experience that’s unique to Japan. Here are some great ones:
Kurama Onsen Ryokan
Located among the mountains near Kurama river, this inn has a spa called ‘Yama no Yado - Mizu no Yado’, which houses onsen concentrated with hydrogen sulfide. There are the open-air bath “Houroku-yu” and the indoor bath.
Of course, if you opt for the former, you’ll have a magnificent view of the mountains, and if it happens to be snowing while you’re there, then you’re in for a one-of-a-kind experience.
- Spot name: Kurama Onsen Ryokan
- Street address: 520 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto 601-1111
- Access: About 8 minutes’ walk from Kurama Station
- Admission fees: Outdoor bath only - ¥1,000 (Adults) & ¥700 (Children - ages 4-12)
- Indoor and Outdoor baths - ¥2,500 (Adults) & ¥1,600 (Children - ages 4-12)
- Opening hours: 10.30am - 9pm (closes at 8pm in Winter), all year round
About 3 hours away from central Kyoto, Ichiboukan is within close proximity of Yuhigaura beach. This inn has a large onsen - “Yuhigaoka Onsen”. As a simple alkaline hot spring, it has skin smoothening properties. They also have a private indoor bath.
What’s more, staying in their guest rooms allows you to use the en-suite bath, which offers the breathtaking view of Yuhigaura’s beautiful sea and sunset - a truly unforgettable moment.
- Spot name: Ichiboukan
- Street address: 266 Hamazume, Amino-cho, Kyotango-shi, Kyoto, Kyoto 669-6123
- Access: About 2 minutes’ walk from Hamazume Bus Stop
- Fee for use of private bath: ¥1,500 for 45 minutes (no advance reservations)