Have you been thinking about visiting a mountain onsen in Japan?
Well, you’ve come to the right place as I will be showing you some of the best places you can go to experience mountain onsen in Japan.
As an outdoor enthusiast myself, I am always on the lookout for some of the best places to unwind and relax after a long day of exploring and hiking.
One of the things that I love to do to recharge is to soak in an onsen, surrounded by scenic views.
If you are new here, Hi, I am Aisha Preece ! I am an avid solo female traveller and I LOVE hiking! It’s free, good for your health and you get to see so many exciting parts of the world, through hiking 🙂
Japan is known for its onsen, more commonly known as natural hot springs. Some of the most stunning onsen towns are located high up in the mountains. 7
Each onsen town is exceptional in its own way and a must-visit when you visit Japan! You can even spend the night there in a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn).
If this is your first time experiencing Japanese onsen and you’re not too sure what the rules are, fret not. Here’s a guide on Japanese onsen etiquette.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the best mountain onsen that you can visit!
13 Stunning Places for Mountain Onsen in Japan:
To help you get the best experience of a mountain onsen, I have compiled a list of the best 13 places for mountain onsen that you can choose from in Japan.
Not only that, I came across a beautiful mountain onsen in Australia which I included as a bonus at the end of this article!
Mountain Onsens In Japan:
11. Maguse Onsen
Mountain onsen in Australia:
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Some of the onsen tours that include sightseeing that you can explore:
Mountain Onsens In Japan:
Sainokawara Rotemburo is a truly natural outdoor bath located right in the center of Kusatsu town in Gunma Prefecture.
Kusatsu’s onsens are very popular amongst the locals due to its ‘Yubatake.’
The Yubatake is one of the main sources of hot spring water that supplies local public baths and ryokans.
Many of the ryokans are situated near the Yubatake. Try and get a glimpse of it. It’s located right in town!
What’s more incredible about this town is that it sits at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level in the mountains of Gunma prefecture.
If you’re staying a bit longer, you can explore the beautiful landscape of Joshinetsu Kogen National Park.
Sainokawara Rotemburo is one of the mountain onsen near Tokyo. To get here is pretty easy. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes by train from Tokyo to Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station.
Mountain Onsen: For those of you who are looking for a truly outdoor onsen experience. This is the place to go.
The large outdoor bath is separated for men and women. At a size of 500 square meters, they can comfortably accommodate a large volume of people.
From an altitude of 1200 meters, you’ll be surrounded by stunning mountain views and a natural landscape that will surely heal your tired soul and body.
Don’t worry. Visitors can wear swimwear or a towel to cover themselves up.
How to get here: 30 mins by bus from Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi station to this onsen.
Mountain Onsen Price: Adults – JPY700 (USD5)
Children ages 3-12 – JPY350 (USD2)
Operation Hours: Depending on the month:
- April 1st to November 30th: Open from 7:00 am–8:00 pm (entry closes at 7:30 pm)
- Dec 1st to March 31st: Open from 9:00 am–8:00 pm (entry closes at 7:30 pm)
Website: http://sainokawara.com/en/ (English available)
Hottarakashi Onsen is a scenic public onsen bath that is well known for its spectacular views of Mount Fuji. It is located in the mountains, north of Kofu.
If you’re looking to experience Mount Fuji on a day trip while soaking in a mountain onsen, this would be the perfect mountain onsen to go to.
This particular mountain onsen is located near Tokyo. You can get here from Tokyo by taking the limited express train from Shinjuku Station on the JR Chuo Main Line and getting off at Yamanashi City Station. It takes about 90 minutes.
From there, you have to take a taxi for about 10 minutes as there is no public transportation to the onsen.
Mountain Onsen: The outdoor public bath area is separated by gender. On a good clear day, you get a stunning view of Mount Fuji, about 40 km in the distance, and the quaint town of Yatsubo beneath it.
If you’re thinking of catching the sunrise, well, good news because this onsen opens just an hour early before the sunrise!
Catch the most spectacular view of Mount Fuji during the day while bathing in highly alkaline water that feels soothing to your skin.
Maybe even come back to catch the city lighting up at night.
How to get here: 10-minute taxi ride from Yamanashi station
Mountain Onsen Price: Adult – JPY900 (USD6)
Children – JPY 400 (USD3)
Opening Hours: Note that the opening time changes every month according to the sunrise time.
- January to July: Open between 4:00 – 6:00
- August to December: Open between 4:30 – 5:30
Website: http://www.hottarakashi-onsen.com/ (English available)
Senkyo Inn Ginzaso is a traditional ryokan that can be found in the Ginzan onsen district within Obanazawa City in Yamagata Prefecture.
The town is known for its wooden hot spring inns that line each side of the Ginzan River.
Mountain onsen: Senkyo Inn Ginza offers a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn) that has a family-friendly environment.
Senkyo Inn onsen is nestled in the mountains, and as a guest, you can soak your body while being surrounded by the stunning mountains of Yamagata.
There is also a large outdoor public bath, which is separate for men and women.
Privacy Room: If you want more privacy, you can also book the deluxe rooms, which have an additional attached hot bath facility.
With this facility, you can enjoy the mountain landscape scenery from the comfort of your own room.
How to get here: From Tokyo, it will take approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes via the JR Yamagata Shinkansen.
Mountain Onsen Price: Standard room – JYP 19,800 (USD132)
Deluxe room – JYP 23,100 (USD154)
(To Note: The prices listed above are approximate. It can change according to the season and will get cheaper if you were to book more than 2 people.)
Website: https://www.ginzanso.jp/english/ (English available)
Taking bathing to a whole new height, Takamine Onsen is a traditional Japanese Inn that is located at an altitude of 2000 meters above seawater.
It is one of the highest hot spring inns that you can find in Japan! It is located deep in the mountains of Takamine Highland in the Nagano Prefecture.
This traditional onsen is open all year round, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Takamine Highlands, which changes seasonally.
Takamine Onsen is very popular for hikers as there are nearby trails that start right in front of the hotel. It’s perfect for those who are looking to do some hiking!
The most convenient way to get here is by taking the direct express highway bus from Shinjuku Bus Terminal, Tokyo.
There is a bus that leaves Shinjuku at 10:35 am and arrives at Takamine onsen at 2:30 pm every day.
Mountain onsen: Takamine Onsen offers therapeutic outdoor baths that can take up to 4 people.
As opposed to their outdoor bath, the indoor bath is slightly bigger and is made out of comfortable cypress baths that are separated for men and women.
All of the baths provide stunning views of the mountains and panoramic views of the Takamine Highlands.
During the winter time, the scenery drastically changes, and you can spot the Northern Japanese Alps covered in snowy mountains. It’s a scene that you need to experience once in a lifetime!
How to get here: By a direct express highway bus from Shinjuku
Mountain Onsen Price: Adults – A standard package costs between JPY10,000 and JPY15,000 per night. (USD67 – USD100)
Opening Hours: It depends on the season –
Winter: 12:00 – 17:00
Spring: 8:00 – 18:00
Summer and Fall: 7:00 – 20:00
Website: https://www.takamine-onsen-hitou.com/ (English available)
Located in Noboribetsu onsen town, Daichi Takomoton is situated in the mountainous area of Noboribetsu city.
Noboribetsu onsen town is one of the most popular places in Hokkaido and has been used by the indigenous Ainu people for healing.
Daichi Takomoton is just about 6 kilometers from the city center. The majority of Noboribetsu city is covered by forests and mountains.
The highest mountain peak that can be found here is Mount Raiba, which stands at 1040 meters.
Mountain onsen: Noboribetsu’s hot springs water comes from Jigokudani (Hell Valley), which displays active volcanic activity.
With 5000 square meters of space, Daichi Takomoton offers the largest onsen in Hokkaido.
You will get to bathe in soothing mineral spring waters that overlook Jigokudani or “Hell Valley” which is situated just above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen.
It has 5 different sources of mineral spring that feeds their baths. Each water type has different beneficial healing properties that will surely leave you feeling energized!
The best time to come here is mid-October, when autumn colors start to appear, adding more scenic views while you bathe in the natural hot spring.
How to get here: From Tokyo, take the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, which takes about 4 hours.
From there, transfer to the Hokuto Limited Express to Noboribetsu Station, which will take 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Mountain Onsen Price: Adults – between JPY10,000 – JPY30,000 (USD67 – USD200)
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Website: https://takimotokan.co.jp/en/ (English available)
Yufuin Baien Garden Resort is a charming hot spring resort that lies in the town of Yufuin. Yufuin is known for its intricate traditional Japanese architecture as well as shooting onsens.
Just around the corner, you will also find Beppu, Japan’s capital city of hot springs.
Anything that you can think of, Beppu has a wide range of baths that you can indulge in.
Mountain Onsen: Yufuin Baien Onsen is relatively pretty big compared to other ryokans. The spacious open-air design makes it very family-friendly.
From the open-air baths, you will have an excellent view of the twin peaks of Mount Yufu. Such stunning scenery to be surrounded by while you soak in the onsen!
How to get here: The onsen is accessible by train, which takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Fukuoka City. From there, you have to take a taxi from Yufuin station, which is only a 5-minute ride.
Mountain Onsen Price: Free for hotel guests in the large communal bath and private family bath
Ryounkaku Onsen is a serene hot spring that is located in Tokachidake Onsen on the southern side of Daisetsuzan National Park.
Tokachidake Onsen is a small backcountry where you will find 4 traditional Japanese onsen, more than halfway up the slopes of an active volcano, Mount Tokachidake.
Ryounkaku Onsen is popular for hikers as there is a nearby trailhead for hiking excursions that go into the Daisetsuzan National Park.
The perfect time to visit this onsen is in late September and early October when you will experience the autumn colors.
Winter is also a good time to come as the landscapes are equally breathtaking!
Mountain onsen: The cozy Ryounkaku onsen sits at the very end of the mountain road and features isolated outdoor baths that overlook spectacular views of Tokachidake Mountain.
Located at 1,280 meters above sea level on a magnificent clifftop, the open-air bath looks over the spectacular panoramic view of the Tokachi-dake Volcano.
The baths are gender separated, and the natural hot spring is sourced from the nearby mountain.
There are 2 types of hot spring water: reddish-brown water, which contains plenty of iron, and acid-hot water, which has high levels of calcium.
Both of them have healing properties for your body and beauty properties as well.
If you’re planning to come to Hokkaido for a day trip, consider coming here as they are open for day guests as well.
How to get here: With public transportation from Furano, it will take about an hour to reach Tokachidake Onsen and about 45 minutes from JR Kamifurano Station by bus.
Mountain Onsen Price: Adult – JPY800 (USD6)
Children from 6-12 years old – JPY400 (USD3)
Opening Hours: Day guests can use the public bath from 8:00 to 20:00
Ever wonder what is the highest onsen in all of Japan? It is none other than Mikurigaike Onsen, which is located at 2410 meters above sea level!
Mikurigaike Onsen is located just about a 15-minute walk from the Murodo bus terminal along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
To get to Mikurigaike Onsen is pretty tricky – there are a lot of changes and you will be on different modes of transportation, from trains, buses, and cable cars.
So, it is not recommended for people with young families with kids and elderly people, but if you do, it will be a story to tell later on.
Mountain Onsen: The water source comes from Jigokudani Spring (Hells Valley), which gives milky white water that is great for relieving muscle soreness after a day of traveling.
What’s even more impressive is that the hot spring baths here are 100% fresh: the water isn’t added with anything else, not heated and not reused.
There is only 1 indoor bath that separates the men and women. Although they only provide indoor baths, you can still enjoy the endless scenic views through the windows.
Apart from the hotel guests, a day trip guest is welcome to bathe here as well, but keep in mind, depending on the situation, it can be canceled without any notice.
How to get here: Tokyo > Toyama > Dentetsu Station > Tateyama Station > Cable car to Bijodaira > Murodu
- From Tokyo Station, take the bullet train to Toyama, which takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- Then, it is just a short walk from the JR station to the Dentetsu Station. From there, take the Toyama line to Tateyama station, which will take about an hour.
- At Tateyama station, transfer to the cable car that heads towards Bijodaira for 20 minutes.
- Transfer to the Murodo bus, which will take around 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Once you arrive at Murodo, Mikurigaike Onsen is 15 minutes away.
Mountain Onsen Price: Adults – JPY1,000 (USD7)
Website: http://www.mikuri.com/english/ (English)
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Hakuba Highland Hotel is located in Hakuba, in the city of Nagano, near Nagano Prefecture.
Nagano is known as one of the world’s greatest ski destinations, and everyone gathers here, be it for the mountain slopes or onsens.
Did you know that Nagano was the site of the Olympic Winter Games in 1998? Some of the remaining facilities are still there to this day.
If you’re a ski lover and want to experience onsen with mountain views at the same time? Nagano is the place to be.
It’s easy to get here from Tokyo by train and by bus via Nagano.
If you’re coming from Nagano, there is an express bus to Hakuba Station, which takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
From Tokyo, you can take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano, which takes only 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Mountain onsen: Hakuba Highland Hotel offers a large open public bath measuring 10 meters long with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Northern Alps!
The bath is segregated by male and female and day guests are also welcome to bathe here.
If you’re coming from Tokyo, you can easily purchase the “Hakuba Valley Ticket” which only costs JPY7600 (USD50) for a day trip.
To get the most out of this onsen, visit the hotel during the autumn season, where you will find the most stunning views of Mount Goryu, with some remaining snow from the Northern Alps.
Private Onsen: If you prefer a private bath, there’s an option to rent, but this option is only for guests staying overnight.
The fee is JPY3,000 for 50 minutes, and reservations can be made on the same day at the front desk.
How to get here: 15 minutes walking distance from JR Hakuba Station (free pickup available by the hotel)
Mountain Onsen Price: Junior high school students and older – JPY800 (USD6)
3 years old to elementary school students – JPY400 (USD3)
Opening Hours: From 11.00 – 24:00 for hotel guests
From 11:00 – 19:00 for non-staying guest
Situated 1800 meters above sea level, Nisshinkan can be found in Manza Onsen on the slopes of Mount Shirane in Gunma Prefecture.
Manza onsen has the highest level of sulfuric water, making it one of the most excellent hot spring waters in all of Japan.
The highly acidic water comes from Mount Shirane and is sourced to the town’s onsens.
Mountain Onsen: Nisshinkan hot spring bath has indoor and outdoor bath areas that are separated by male and female.
To enhance the experience, this onsen facility is built with Japanese cypress that gives the authentic traditional onsen atmosphere.
With the perfect onsen atmosphere in place, imagine bathing in such a spectacular panoramic view of the mountains all around you!
Private Onsen: If you prefer a little bit of privacy, the private indoor onsen can be rented for JPY2,000 (USD14).
You will be able to reserve it for 45 minutes from 7:00 – 22:00 only.
Mountain Onsen Price:
The Nisshinkan ryokan is not only open for staying guests but also for daytime visitors.
Daytime admission: JPY1000 (USD7)
Overnight stay: from JPY12,000 (USD14) per person including 2 meals
How to get here: It will take approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes from Shibuya Bus Terminal to Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal.
From there, it is just a 5-minute walk to Nisshinkan Onsen.
Opening Hours: Daytime hours: 10:00 to 15:00 (until 14:00 on Saturdays)
Website: https://www.nisshinkan.com/hotel-eng/hotsprings/ (English available)
Maguse Onsen is one of the famous hot springs in the east of Japan, located in a natural park near Nagano, overlooking the stunning Japanese Alps.
The hot spring is well known for its stunning picturesque winter scene that you can experience from their outdoor onsen. This is an onsen that you don’t want to miss out on!
Mountain Onsen: Its unique location on a hilltop that sits in between the mountains of northern Nagano provides expansive views of the surrounding mountains.
On a clear day, the gender-separated baths allow you to soak in the view of the surrounding mountains while being surrounded by Japanese cypress trees.
The onsen water is a 100% natural Naturium bath that has remedial properties for skin problems and helps to ease all the muscle tension in your body.
How to get here: For those coming by train from Tokyo, you can take the Hokuriku Shinkansen and get off at Iiyama station.
Once you’ve arrived, it will be a breeze 15 minutes walk from Iiyama Station.
Mountain Onsen Price: Adults – JPY500 (USD3)
Elementary school students: JPY200 (USD2)
Opening Hours: From 8:00 to 20:00
Website: https://maguse-onsen.com/ (English available)
Hotel Kazurabashi is located in Iya Valley, which resides in the mountainous valley in western Tokushima Prefecture. The remote valleys are known for their steep mountain slopes and rocky nature.
Due to its remoteness, the only way that you can reach Hotel Kazubarashi is through a cable car. You heard it right, a cable car!
Mountain Onsen: After riding the cable car, you will be greeted with the most stunning views of Iya Valley’s steep mountain slopes.
Kazubarashi’s high-altitude onsen is especially known for its Tenku open-air bath that has an unparalleled view of the surrounding mountain.
The gender-segregated bath operated from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Day visitors are allowed to use the bath from 10:30 to 16:00 only.
Private Onsen: The hotel offers a private bath facility as well as the option to rent a Goemonburo (a large iron kettle-shaped bathtub). These are only available for hotel guests.
How to get here: Just a 60-minute bus ride from Oboke station
Mountain Onsen Price: Adult – JPY1,200 (USD80)
Children from 6 years old – JPY600 (USD4)
Website: www.kazurabashi.co.jp (English available)
Yumoto Honzawa or “Honzawa Onsen, a bath above the clouds” is a traditional mountain hut nestled in the Yatsugatake mountains in Nagano Prefecture.
Sitting at an altitude of 2150 meters, this secluded hot spring is Japan’s highest outdoor hot spring (rotenburo)!
If you’re coming from the foot of the mountain while hiking, it will take approximately about 4 hours to reach the hot spring.
Being situated at such a high altitude, it is not the most accessible but it is certainly worth the trek once you reach here.
Mountain Onsen: Honzawa Onsen’s cozy outdoor open-air bath sits on the slope of a river valley with spectacular views of Mount Ioudake.
The outdoor hot spring can only accommodate up to 5 adults but the stunning backdrop makes the journey all worthwhile!
It is a mixed-gender bath, which can be awkward at first if you’re not used to it but you can use a towel to cover your body while bathing.
The light-blue natural hot spring water has a sulphuric smell but it is rich in calcium, sodium, and hydrogen which have healing properties for your body.
This hot spring is the go-to place for hikers and mountain climbers as it opens all year round.
If you’re planning a visit here, autumn is a popular season as you will get to witness the stunning autumn leaves around Honzawa.
Due to its remoteness, I would recommend that you have an overnight stay here or at the Honzawa Onsen campsites, which also offer a women-only tent site.
How to get here: From Tokyo > Asama Shinkansen, Sakudaira Station > JR Koumi Line, Koumi Station Shinjuku.
- From Koumi Station, it takes about 30 – 40 minutes by taxi to Honzawa Onsen entrance.
- From the Honzawa Onsen entrance, it will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes by taxi to reach the hot spring.
Mountain Onsen Price: Adults – JPY7,000 – JPY12,000 (USD47 – USD80)
Elementary Student – JPY 3,000 – JPY8,000 (USD20 – USD54)
Dayguest – JPY1,000 (USD7)
Website: https://www.yatsu-honzawaonsen.com/ (English available)
Mountain onsen in Australia:
Now that we have seen all the stunning mountain onsens in Japan, let’s head over to New South Wales, Australia where there is a unique gem waiting for you.
A Japanese onsen in Australia?
Yes, you heard that right. There is a Japanese onsen in Blue Mountain in New South Wales!
The Japanese Bath House is located at the foot of the Blue Mountains in South Bowenfels, near Lithgow in New South Wales.
Blue Mountain is known for Japanese onsen because it is the only Japanese onsen in New South Wales that you can visit to fully experience the Japanese onsen culture!
Mountain Onsen: The Japanese Bath House offers a range of traditional and modern indoor and outdoor bathing areas.
The source of the natural mineral spring water comes from 300 meters below the mineral-rich layers of the land itself.
While soaking in the outdoor baths, the Blue Mountain onsen offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Lyell and the surrounding landscape!
If you need a break from the heated pools, they also offer cold plunge pools for you to take a refreshing break.
Private Onsen: You may book a private bath for an hour to experience true relaxation, surrounded by the lake and mountain views.
How to get here: The Japanese baths in the Blue Mountain are only accessible by car. It takes around 2 hours from Sydney and around 40 minutes from Katoomba.
Mountain Onsen Price: Single entry – AUD95 (USD60)
Day Pass – AUD190 (USD120)
Opening hours: Friday: From 14:00 – 21:00 (Last entry for day visit guests is 19:00 and for in-house guests is 20:15)
Saturday: 12:00 – 21:00 (Last entry for day visit guests is 19:00 and for in-house guests is 20:15)
Sunday: 11:00 – 18:00 (Last entry is at 16:00)
Website: Japanese Bath House
Ready to Explore All the Mountain Onsens in Japan?
Now you have seen and got an idea of some of the best mountain onsen in Japan, which one is your favorite?
I hope my list of some of the best mountain onsen will help you to decide your next mountain onsen to experience!
Now, the only thing to do is to book your choice of stay, and feel free to let us know your best pick.
I hope you have a wonderful time exploring all the mountain onsens in Japan!