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3 Onsen hot springs that allow bathing suits

One of the oldest elements of Japanese culture is Onsen, or public bathing areas. From around 1000 years ago, Onsen became a cultural mainstay. Onsen are areas that bring together communities, as well as acting as therapeutic areas to relax, and are an indispensable element of daily life for many who live in Japan.

There are several rules which are important to know when entering an Onsen. These include the separation of men and women in the bathing areas, and not putting your towel in the water. One of the most important rules in Onsen ordinarily is that everyone enters with no clothing item on.

You may be thinking “even in single sex areas, I could never go somewhere naked in front of strangers”. But don’t worry, there are actually many Onsen where you can wear your bathing suit or swimming costume like you would in a swimming pool. This article introduces some of those areas.

1) Toshima-en Niwa no Yu (Tokyo Prefecture)

Toshima-en Niwa no Yu is an Onsen where you can enjoy the beauty of a Japanese garden in the middle of the city. For an additional fee, you can also enter the Onsen and bask in the atmosphere of a Japan of times past. The Onsen is just 40 minutes away from Tokyo station for easy access, so we highly recommend it for a relaxing evening after a tiring trip.

Toshima-en Niwa no Yu

Address: Koyama 3-25-1, Nerima-Ku, Tokyo  176-0022
Tel: +81-3-3990-4126
Opening Hours: Open from 10:o0 a.m to 11:00 p.m
Entrance Fee: 2310 Yen

Home Page: http://www.niwanoyu.jp/niwa/index.html

2) Hakone Kowakien Yunessan (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Yunessan is an Onsen theme park that features water slides as well as an outside bath, and perhaps even more uniquely a wine Onsen bath! This Onsen is found in Hakone, one of the most famous towns for Onsen in Japan, and is accessible by bus, around 1 hour from Tokyo station.

Hakone Kowakien Yunessan

Address: Ninotaira 1297, Hakonemachi,  Ashigarashimogun Kanagawa  250-0407
Tel: +81-460-82-4126
Opening Hours: Open from 9:o0 a.m to 6:00 p.m
Entrance Fee: Adult: Adult (12 and over):2900 Yen Child (Under 12):1600 Yen 

Home Page: https://www.yunessun.com/

3) Katsuura Hotel Mikazuki (Chiba Prefecture)

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Katsuura crescent moon hotel features a unique Onsen with a neck massaging “neck shower”, siesta bath where one can take a well earned rest, and a massage area that improves blood circulation. This Onsen is around 1.5 hours from Tokyo station.

Katsuura Hotel Mikazuki

Address: Tona 820, Katsuura-shi, Chiba  299-5225
Tel: +81-470-73-1115
Opening Hours: Open from 10:o0 a.m to 10:00 p.m
Entrance Fee: 
- Weekday: Adult: Adult (12 and over):1000 Yen Child (Under 12):600 Yen 
- Holiday: Adult: Adult (12 and over):1500 Yen Child (Under 12):800 Yen 

Home Page: http://www.mikazuki.co.jp/katuura/

Generally in most of Japan’s Onsen, people enter completely nude, but there are a surprising amount of Onsen that allow bathing suits, such as the three introduced in this article. For those that are hesitant to go to Onsen, we would highly recommend you to try, and hopefully not entering completely naked will make it easier! Just one final point though, make sure you don’t go in naked into an Onsen where swimming costumes are allowed!

If you are interested in Onsen that allow tattoo wearers around Tokyo, feel free to check out this article!