Japan is a country of hundreds of large and small islands, beautiful Onsens and Kamakura is no exception. Coming to Kamakura-the south of Metropolis Tokyo, you may want to visit, rest and relax in the sauna, mixed with the cold-water bath, then finishing up with the purple or floral onsen, etc.
Although going to the beach is not easy if you’re living in the central of big cities like Tokyo or Osaka, Kamakura is a seaside Japanese city just 31 miles from the south-west of Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture; therefore it has become one of the most popular places in Japan for beach lovers. It used to be the political center of medieval Japan, however, today Kamakura is a prominent resort town with dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines. Its most remarkable landscape is the Great Buddha of Kotokuin pagoda, a 42.6 feet-high bronze statue still standing after a tsunami in the 15th century. Coming to Kamakura can fill in your list of activities and meet everyone’s interests: Yuigahama Beach in Sagami Bay for surfing, Buying famous Hatosabure biscuit(鳩サブレー)which are shaped like pigeons, or purple potato soft ice cream (Murasaki-imo sofuto); and yet not to mention some hiking trails for mountain climbers. The Daibutsu hiking course starts a few hundred meters down the road from Koutokuin. And Onsen or hot springs are definitely something you cannot miss when planning your trip to the unique Kamakura. Let’s check out the list of 10 best hot springs in Kamakura.
1. Tokyo Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter
Ooedo Onsen is a theme park, where you can experience a Japanese onsen in Odaiba, in the middle of Tokyo, right off of the Yurikamome train line. They also have free shuttle buses from various parts of Tokyo.
It takes you approximately 2000 yen per person to enter the bath house, offering several indoor baths, a few outdoor baths, and a unisex foot bath; while some premium services have an extra charge, such as massages and rock salt sauna.
Upon arrival, you'll be given your own set of yukata to change into, and then you get to try the different baths while also enjoying an old school Japanese festival atmosphere between baths. There's also a fair selection of food court restaurants and drinks.
Note: In comparison to a true hot spring ryokan, however, the food might be not as good. It can be crowded on weekends and the water isn't sourced from an actual hot spring. Also, tourists consider that 2000 yen/person for entrance and extra fee for food and drinks are not very satisfiable prices.
However, everything has its own price. It is said that a native Japanese can shell out about 8000 to 10000 yen per person (90 USD) to go to a real hot spring ryokan in Atami, Ito, or Nikko nearby (Ryokan in Hakone is 20000-30000 yen per person). Having said that, to some people 2000 yen for the entrance is not a significant monetary commitment and is an excellent choice if you visit from abroad and want a quick experience of a Japanese hot spring. With a great service although English most certainly limited. Don’t forget to grab a small towel to cover yourself in the onsen, the large towel to dry you off, and the clothing to walk around the common areas and food court.
青海2-6-3Koto, 東京都 〒135-0064, Japan. Phone number+81 3 5500 1126
2. Inamuragasaki Onsen
Inamuragasaki is a relaxing tiny hot spring in Kamakura. It costs 1,400 Yen for entry per person. You can bring your own towel, otherwise, you can buy a small one for 100 Yen or you can rent a set of small & large towel for 500 Yen. This hot spring facility is located just in front of the ocean but the hot spring is not salty. The water is dark coffee color. The biggest bath is built inside.
*Note: Age under 18 years old are not allowed to get in, which cannot be a good place for family but can be very relaxing for people who don’t want to be bothered by noise and kids. The outside baths are smaller but they are not hot because the temperature of the original hot spring here is only 18℃
You can enjoy this free-flow cold water after taking sauna right next to this bath.
稲村ガ崎 1-16-13, Kamakura, 神奈川県 〒248-0024, Japan. Phone number+81 467 22 7199
3. Enoshima Island Spa Enospa
Going to Enoshima-island and having a plan for a spa there, you might want to stop by Enospa.
It costs 2,742 Yen for an adult for the entrance fee, including two towels and Japanese style bathrobe. After 5:00 pm, the entree fee is discounted to 2,223 Yen. Especially during a rainy day, there is a special program where the afternoon spa rate is applied from 3:00 pm instead and you can rent swimsuits for free.
Swimsuit at the pool area is required. Lots of couples and families are relaxing in the hot water, not hot spring.
You can enjoy the stunning view of the ocean from the infinity pool and lower pools. You can actually se Mt. Fuji from the outdoor pool on a beautiful day.
Hot Spring/Onsen: Third floor has huge indoor bathroom. Men and women separately. The hot spring water comes from 1,500 meters deep under this facility. 90 min massage was basic with a Japanese twist that they clean your feet for you before it begins.
*Note: Women's locker room can be very crowded.
江の島2丁目1-6, Fujisawa, 神奈川県 〒251-0036, Japan. Phone number 0466 29 0688
It takes you 1030 Yen for the entrance fee on the weekends and holidays.
The outdoor bathing area is amazing with natural hot spring. There are a couple of large pools to soak in while the light rain comes drizzling down. The individual bath that allowed you to lie down with warm water washing underneath you. If you're needing to clear your pores, take yourself into the steamy salt sauna as it is a real invigorated way to get your pores clean and all the body parts feeling salty from the natural sodium content permeating in the air.
The water temperature is quite warm which is nice for a cool day. It's definitely a relaxing experience to soak in the pools and just chill. The shower area is located in the inside pool. It is a wonderful onsen with fresh hot spring water and not reused flowing water, also called kakenagashi in Japanese; which is said to be the healthy good water that will leave your skin feeling baby soft. Enjoying the beautiful Japanese garden while having a meal after a bath is a great idea to be the most relaxed person alive.
前野町3-41-1, Itabashi, 東京都 〒174-0063, Japan. Phone number 03 5916 3826
5. Hakone Ginyu
Hakone is well known for its natural hot bath because of the closeness to live volcanoes. About 40 minutes away by train, Hakone Ginyu is a small hot spring town not far from Tokyo. Hakone Ginyu is about 20 minutes away from the Hakone Yumoto train station by car; you can also take the train or bus to get there.
With the traditional Japanese decoration style, you cannot wear street shoes inside such spotless place like most ryokans. The huge open-balcony at the lobby area allows you to look out to the beautiful breathtaking view of the mountain. There's a bar, a lounge, a spa, several dining rooms, two public onsens, and 20 guest rooms of various styles equipped with one or more onsens ensuite in each.
Rooms: Japanese style suites with similar indoor layout: a living room, a sleeping area with Tatami, open air shower, two washrooms. The room on the ground floor has a yard with two onsens: a large outdoor hot onsen and a smaller indoor warm onsen. Both suites are very spacious and airy. The suites also came with Japanese style robe, split toe socks, full tea set with two types of tea, baskets that you take to the public onsens, etc.
There are two public onsens at Hakone Ginyu with opposite gender shifts. In particular, one is open to women from 10 p.m to 10 a.m the next morning, 10 a.m to 10 p.m for men while the other has the opposite schedule. Both have two pools. One of them has a smaller warm indoor pool and a larger hot outdoor pool with jacuzzi; the other has two outdoor pools: a larger infinite hot pool and a smaller warm pool. Both onsens have stunning mountain views, large shower cubes, and very clean dressing area. It features in the peaceful and calming atmosphere as it assures not to be packed with people.
*Note: you cannot wear clothes in the pools or bringing anything other than a small square towel, which you use to cover yourself before going into the pool, and put it on your head or beside the pool to keep it dry.
Service: Doesn't have to recite that Japanese service is very good in general, but Ginyu is said to be taking this to another level. Taxi even stopped at the front door, a member of the staff shall run out to welcome tourists and help with your luggage. A welcome drink was delivered while you are checking in, and one of the receptionist/hostess took us to our rooms, showed us around and explained all facilities/hours in detail (even how to change into a Japanese robe). She also asked about our preferred time for tea and dinner, and set tea/snacks for us soon after. At dinner time, the dinner waitress shows up punctually and took you to the dining room. Friendly and well-qualified staff, the services are attentive individual-orientated.
箱根町宮ノ下100-1, 足柄下郡, 神奈川県 〒250-0404, Japan. Phone number: 046 082 3355
6. Yokosuka Onsen Yu Kaku no Sato (横須賀温泉湯楽の里)
Opened in 2011 Spring, the place is newly-facilitated and spotless.
It costs 1,030 Yen (adult/weekday) and 1,230 Yen during the weekend for the entrance fee. For enjoying the bedrock bath, you need to pay another 460 Yen which is including wear, big towel for bedrock bath. Many types of services make this place recognizable are Korean style scrub or Shiatsu massage.
There are many communal baths, the outdoor baths are hot spring welled up from 1,800 M depth.
Most tourists prefer outside and upper bath because they don't circulate hot spring water; with the free flow, being always fresh blended with awesome ocean views. Guests can see many vessels are getting in and out of Tokyo Bay from the bath and the Landmark Tower in Minatomirai area, Yokohama, or Chiba prefecture.
The restaurant is always busy for the local fish and vegetables. A cold beer after hot spring or bedrock bathing takes you to the highest level of relaxation.
*Note: no tattoos allowed and not very English friendly but you can navigate.
馬堀海岸4丁目1-23, Yokosuka, 神奈川県 〒239-0801, Japan. Phone number: 0468 45 1726
7. Yokohama Minato Mirai Manyo Club
Like the Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari, they serve free shuttle service that runs hourly between Manyo and Yokohama station nearby the West Gate
The hot springs water used are from the Hakone and Atami areas and hauled in every day. Some enjoyable services are the steam sauna, regular sauna and a salt sauna where you can scrub off the dead skin cells on your body with salt. The amenities offered are also splendid. Worth spending time soaking up the hot tubs and relax at such a nice viewed spot, the foot bath on the ninth floor has an amazing view of Cosmo World and the port of Yokohama during the night.
中区新港2-7-1, Yokohama, 神奈川県 〒231-0001, Japan. Phone number: 045 663 4126
8. Minami Aoyama Shimizu-Yu
This is a public bath located in Omotesando, and well-known for the beautiful setting and cleanness. Its feature lies in the soft-water use which is healthy and a healing simple therapy for your dry skin during winter seasons. The temperature of hot water and carbonated springs is enjoyable. The bathtub is not too hot.The sauna rooms are sometimes crowded, but users still find it quite free and relatively private. Draft beer and laundry place are served.
New facilities and very clean, the place is highly rated thanks to its quality sauna rooms which is also equipped with televisions. There are vending machines for rental towels, etc. , cubbies and keys are well managed. This can be a very great small version of a 3-star hot spring with the long enjoyable bath
Omotesando Station南青山3-12-3, Minato, 東京都 〒107-0062, Japan. Phone number03 3401 4404
This amazing, new, clean onsen can meet almost all your criteria for a simple Japanese Onsen experience. You shall enjoy all the baths, especially the carbon dioxide with the beautiful setting of Perrier, and the outdoor lie-down bath where you could see blue sky as the body was half submerged. The rain shower is also great. Korean scrub was good and not as intense as other places.
*Note: Maybe tricky to navigate arranging a scrub without Japanese but the professional staff would help with making an appointment. Lots of English signs and information throughout so the language barrier is not a problem.
You may have to pay an extra fee for the top floor, however, it worths laying on heated stone slabs. The food is said to be pretty good, especially the chilled udon and tempura with dipping sauce.
歌舞伎町1丁目1-2, Shinjuku, 東京都, Japan. Phone number: 03 5285 1726
10. Ten’nen Onsen Hisamatsuyu
With pure natural springs, this modern, clean and relaxing place is highly recommended for a very cheap entrance fee at 450 Yen per person.
*Note: only Japanese speaking staff.
You can freely bring your own bath products and towel or buy here. Hot water with jets, electric bath, warm bath, cold bath and the natural hot spring are served.
Sakuradai Station桜台2-4-32, Nerima, 東京都 〒176-0002, Japan. Phone number: 03 3991 509