Onsen (温泉) are a Japanese bathing culture, which is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. Japan has many famous onsen that you should visit to get the best experience.
Onsen are natural hot springs, which people can visit to enjoy a relaxing bath. These baths have become an important part of Japanese culture and many people believe that they offer health benefits such as stress relief and improved immune function. There are many different types of onsen, both indoor and outdoor, traditional and modern.
In particular, there are some famous onsen in Japan that visitors should not miss out on when they’re in the country – these include Shiraito Falls in Hokkaido; Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano; Kawaguchiko Onsen in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Shiraito Falls in Hokkaido.
The Shiraito Falls (白糸の滝, Shiraito no Taki) are located in the southwestern foothills of Mount Fuji. The 150m-wide cascade is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Japan, fed by spring water rising from a volcano. It flows in thin white streams like threads of silk, hence its name, which means “silk stream”.
There are several souvenir shops along the trail down to the falls. On the way, you can admire the 25 meter high Otodome Falls, another thundering waterfall. Summer is the best time to see the waterfalls, when the spring snowmelt from Mount Fuji has a chance to make the waterfalls sparkling, and autumn is when the leaves change color (usually from mid to late November).
Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano.
The Jigokudani Monkey Park (地獄谷野猿公苑, Jigokudani Yaen Kōen) offers visitors the unique experience of seeing wild monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring. It is home to Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys. It is located in the monkey’s natural habitat, the forests of the Jigokudani valley in Yamanouchi, not too far from the onsen towns of Shibu and Yudanaka.
There is one man-made pool in the park where the monkeys gather, a few minutes’ walk from the park entrance. You will probably already see monkeys along the way to the pool. It’s entertaining to watch the monkeys interact in large social groups. The monkeys have become accustomed to humans, and they are able to observe them very closely and almost completely ignore them. It is of course prohibited to touch or feed the monkeys.
Kawaguchiko Onsen in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Yamanashi Prefecture is a good place to visit if you want to see Mt. Fuji or pick fruit. You can also relax by visiting a hot spring. The Fuji Five Lake region offers public baths and ryokans with hot springs. Many of the baths in these ryokan and hotels along the northeastern shore of Lake Kawaguchiko provide views of Mount Fuji.
Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen is the closest hot spring to Mount Fuji. You can soak in the bath and see Mount Fuji from the bath while relaxing. There are calcium and sodium in the hot springs, which is known to relieve nerves and muscles pain, cold sensitivity, fatigue, and other ailments.