No trip to Japan is complete without a dip in one of the country’s quintessential hot springs.

As the northern hemisphere gears up for winter, what better way to celebrate the days getting colder than with a listing of travelers’ top-ranked hot springs (onsen) in Japan? Although really, the beauty of Japanese hot springs is that they can be enjoyed at any time in the year.

The following “TripAdvisor Japan’s 2018 Top 20 Day Trip Hot Spring & Spa Ranking” is based on traveler ratings and comments submitted on TripAdvisor Japan’s site from October 2017 to September 2018. Which locales will you add to your list for your next travels to Japan?

20. Jakotsuyu (蛇骨湯): Taito Special Ward, Tokyo

Jakotsuyu is a well-established public bathhouse that has operated since the end of the Edo period (circa 1868). It features a natural hot spring and is a short walk from the famous Asakusa Kannon Temple. Oh, and did we mention the entrance fee is only 460 yen (US$4.07) for adults?

19. Takegawara Onsen (竹瓦温泉): Beppu, Oita Prefecture

Takegawara Onsen is famous even while located within the famous hot springs town of Beppu. The rustic charm of the building adds to its appeal, as does a sand bath.

18. Enoshima Island Spa (江の島アイランドスパ): Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture

Enoshima is easily accessible as a day trip from the capital and offers a variety of seaside attractions. The Island Spa offers an impressive panoramic view of the ocean and also includes an outdoor pool area where bathing suits are allowed.

17. Miharashi no Yu (みはらしの湯): Hachijo, Tokyo Prefecture

Miharashi no Yu is situated on elevated ground that is reached after traversing windy, mountainous roads on Hachijojima, a volcanic island part of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and administrated by Tokyo Prefecture. The serene view speaks for itself.

16. Yachigashira Onsen (谷地頭温泉): Hakodate, Hokkaido Prefecture

Opening at 6 a.m. and popular with locals as well as tourists, you’ll want to add Yachigashira Onsen to your list of places to visit in Hokkaido’s third biggest city.

15. Dogo Onsen Honkan (道後温泉本館): Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture

The Honkan (“Main building”) at Dogo Onsen is an intricately carved architectural treasure bursting with history. Private rooms on an upper floor can also be reserved for an afternoon of leisure.

14. Saraku (砂楽): Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture

Based on the picture, you should be able to tell that Saraku is a bit different than the others on this list! Visitors can try relaxing in a sand steam bath for about ten minutes before hitting up the more traditional hot spring.

13. Tenzan Tojikyo (天山湯治郷): Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

Tenzan Tojikyo, within the famous hot springs town of Hakone, is known for its tranquil, running water and connection to the natural world.

12. Fuji Chobo no Yu Yurari (富士眺望の湯 ゆらり): Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture

Speaking of awe-inspiring views, if Mt. Fuji’s symmetrical peak is your ideal picturesque scene, then Fuji Chobo no Yu Yurari is the place to be.

11. Ryujin no Yu (龍神の湯): Tomigusuku, Okinawa Prefecture

This hot spring is located within the Ryukyu Onsen Senagajima Hotel on Okinawa Island. What could be better than stepping from your hotel room to a hot spring with phenomenal views of the ocean?

10. Sai no Kawara Rotenburo (西の河原露天風呂): Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture

When Beppu, which is probably the most famous hot springs city in all of Japan, pays for an ad telling you to go to Kusatsu, there’s not much else we can say. Oh, except that the town also looks spectacular in 4K.

9. Tokyo Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari (東京お台場 大江戸温泉物語): Koto Special Ward, Tokyo

Who wouldn’t enjoy a hot springs theme park conveniently located in the capital? To top it off, there’s A) a nap room, and B) breathtaking nighttime cherry blossom displays in the spring.

8. Maenohara Onsen Sayano Yudokoro (前野原温泉 さやの湯処): Itabashi Special Ward, Tokyo

The first of three hot springs located in Tokyo’s Special Wards that made this year’s list, Maenohara Onsen is noteworthy for its variety of baths, refurbished private house on the premises, and spacious dining area where visitors can take it easy.

7. Dogo Onsen Bekkan Asuka no Yu (道後温泉別館 飛鳥の湯泉): Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture

The facilities at Dogo Onsen Bekkan (“Annex”) were just renovated last year, so visitors can look forward to indulging in a state-of-the-art bathing experience.

6. Busshozan Onsen Tenpyoyu (仏生山温泉 天平湯): Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture

Also known as the “beauty bath,” Tenpyoyu is an excellent choice for those wishing to enhance their beauty routines. Net users also note the very reasonable entry fee of 600 yen.

5. Healthy Land Tamatebako Onsen (ヘルシーランド たまて箱温泉): Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture

This hot spring boasts a sweeping, unobstructed view of Mount Kaimon, a dormant volcano on the coast of southwestern Kyushu.

4. Kurama Onsen (くらま温泉): Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

A leisurely visit to Kurama Onsen accompanied by sightseeing at the nearby Kurama Temple makes for the ultimate relaxing day trip.

3. Tenzan no Yu (天山の湯): Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Located in Japan’s ancient capital city, Tenzan no Yu is well known for its water’s exceptional healing properties and saunas.

2. Ramune Onsenkan (ラムネ温泉館): Taketa, Oita Prefecture

“Ramune” is the name of a fizzy Japanese soft drink, and that’s just what you should expect from the sensation of relaxing in this hot spring! A high concentration of carbonic acid in the water leaves skin shining brightly.

1. Hoheikyo Onsen (豊平峡温泉): Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture

Hoheikyo Onsen earns top marks for its open air bath’s changing scenery throughout the four seasons. Visitors also delight in eating the original Indian-style curry after a dip in the bath.

Whether it’s this coming winter vacation or next year, we highly encourage you to check out one of the above or hundreds of other hot springs dotting the country during your next sojourn to Japan.

Source: TripAdvisor Japan via ITMedia Inc.
Featured image: Twitter/@tripadvisorjp