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Hotels in Japan with Private Onsen

2023-12-06

Going to an onsen (hot spring) is the quintessential Japanese experience. Nothing relaxes the body like closing your eyes, submerging yourself in steaming hot spring water, and letting the time pass you by.

For centuries, people in Japan have bathed in onsen, including samurai who would stay at onsen bath houses for days and even sometimes weeks to heal after a battle. From increased blood circulation to reduced stress and even healing skin problems like eczema, many believe in the onsen's health benefits.

But if you feel hesitant about bearing it all and sharing an onsen with strangers, there is no need to fear— there are plenty of hotels in Japan where you can get your very own private onsen. Check out these seven hotels offering that unique solo onsen experience.

 

1. Niseko Konbu Onsen Tsuruga Besso Moku no Sho (Hokkaido)

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Niseko in the Hokkaido prefecture is one of the best places in the world for snow sports, famous for its powdery snow. And if you’re looking for a place to relax and pamper yourself after a long day of skiing and snowboarding (find our guide to Niseko Ski Resort here), take a look at Niseko Konbu Onsen Tsuruga Besso Moku no Sho.

The waters of the Konbu hot springs are said to be smooth and velvety and have natural healing properties for joint pain. This quietly luxurious hotel at the foot of Mount Yotei is a peaceful getaway tucked away in the forest. For nighttime hours, the swanky Apeso lounge is the perfect place to listen to jazz, have a drink, and unwind by the fireplace.

 

2. Yusen Shidate (Iwate)

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Located right by a mountain stream in Hanamaki, a hot spring resort in the countryside of the Iwate Prefecture, Yusen Shidate is the perfect peaceful mountain getaway where you won’t feel overcrowded by tourists. Every room has an open-air traditional rotenburo bath with scenic views— some even come with a private garden area. You can add a Japanese-style breakfast and dinner to your stay, served in the hotel’s beautiful dining room. You’ll hardly have to leave the hotel premises, since they have so much to offer: a spa, a communal bathhouse in the hotel garden, a library and more.

 

3. Hakone Gora Karaku (Kanagawa)

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Hakone Gora Karaku combines the calm Japanese atmosphere of Gora with modern comfort. Located in Gora, Hakone Town, it's about a three-minute walk from Gora Station, making it easily accessible by train.

All guestrooms come with a private onsen, with a choice of Western or Japanese style. The rooms in the West Buildings are closely surrounded by the beautiful trees, offering a lush green scenery from the window, while the rooms in the East Building offer breathtaking views of the valley.

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If you're comfortable using the communal bath, it's worth checking out as it offers magnificent views of Sagami Bay and the nearby mountains.

 

4. Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen Hotel Konanso (Yamanashi)

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Located along the shore of Lake Kawaguchi, Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen Hotel Konanso is conveniently located just about a 10-minute walk from Kawaguchiko Station. The hotel offers great views of both the lake and Mount Fuji. Some of the guestrooms include a private open-air bath with Mount Fuji views.

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You can also soak your feet in the rooftop footbath while getting a great view of Japan’s iconic mountain.

 

5. Suiran Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto (Kyoto)

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Suiran Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto is a riverside resort with an array of amenities and facilities to ensure your stay is unlike any other. Yuzunoha rooms include a private cypress wood bathtub and guests can choose from the twin-bedded room or the king-bedded room.

The hotel also offers free-flowing champagne service from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily at Cafe Hassui, where you can also enjoy the views of the surrounding Arashiyama area.

 

6. Ryotei Tanokura (Oita)

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Yufuin Onsen in Oita Prefecture, located in the Kyushu region, is a famous hot spring resort at the foot of the scenic Mount Yufu. Ryotei Tanokura is located quite close to Lake Kinrin, which has cold and hot spring waters flowing into the lake, keeping the water temperature quite warm throughout the year— even in the wintertime, when you’ll see beautiful morning mist appearing on the surface of the lake from the heat.

Each room in Ryotei Tanokura is beautifully furnished with traditional Japanese futons and tatami floors and some even come with a balcony and private garden.

 

7. Shin Kaikatei-Izumi (Shizuoka)

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Conveniently located just a two-minute walk on foot from the ferry terminal in Toi, Shizuoka Prefecture, Shin Kaikatei-Izumi is a good option for those looking for a quick weekend getaway from Tokyo.

Rooms at this hotel come with sweeping views of Suruga Bay and some include open-air private onsen, with a range of room types to choose from. And if you’re looking for some exciting sightseeing, the town of Toi is famous for the centuries-old Toi Gold Mine, which offers tours of its tunnels and a gold panning experience. For a quick day trip, you could even hop on the ferry and travel to Shizuoka city.

 

8. Akakura Kanko Hotel (Niigata)

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Akakura Kanko Hotel is located in the heart of Mount Myoko on the border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures. Standing 1,000 meters above sea level, it has an unparalleled view of the mountain ranges surrounding the hotel, and some of the guestrooms include an onsen bath which you can relax in while enjoying the magnificent views.

Whether it’s the lush greenery of the summer or the snowy peaks of the wintertime, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vista from the comfort of your room. Although the location is fairly remote, you won’t have to worry about going too far for meals— the hotel boasts an elegant French restaurant, a bakery to fulfill all of your breakfast needs, and a bar with great views.

And when you want a bit more activity, you can hit the hotel’s gym or even their tennis courts. For a more relaxed outing, take a stroll through their art gallery or treat yourself to a massage at their spa.