Onsen in Tokyo

Say onsen (hot springs) and most imagine regional Japan—taking the bullet train for two or three hours to an onsen town in famous regions such as Shizuoka, Gunma, and Nagano, and staying the night. In fact, there is no need to travel far in search of traditional and characteristically Japanese onsen—many exist in Tokyo. But because these onsen are a short bus ride from the station or are to be found a 10-minute walk down the backstreets, even among Japanese they are not particularly well-known.

Information in English is scant. Moreover, how to use the onsen and the manners within the baths—obvious to Japanese—can seem confusing to foreigners who do not speak the language. The purpose of this site is to introduce Tokyo’s many wonderful onsen to foreign tourists. We hope that by doing so many will be able to gain a deeper understanding of Japan’s culture and its customs.