6 Recommended Onsen Resorts in Nikko | FAST JAPAN
Kawaji Onsen

6 Recommended Onsen Resorts in Nikko

Nikko is good place for sightseeing and well known for Onsen such as Kinugawa Onsen, Kawaji Onsen, Yunishihawa Onsen and any more. You can enjoy Onsen there after seeing autumn leaves, skiing and going sightseeing.

From the accessible Kinugawa Onsen to one of the most rustic outdoor baths in the Kanto Region, Okukinu Onsenkyou, Nikko can offer you abundant hot spring selections and numerous must-see spots to go with it. Whether you wish to enjoy the Autumn leaves in the overwhelming nature, go skiing/snowboarding, go sightseeing the World Heritage site or maybe experience the local food by the “Irori” fireside, you can experience them all in Nikko. Let’s take a look into 6 of Nikko’s best onsens.


#1. Kinugawa Onsen

Kinugawa Onsen
Photo Credit: asaya-hotel.co.jp

Kinugawa Onsen is a hot spring district with more than 80 hotels and ryokans located alongside the Kinugawa River and offers in addition to the onsen, many amusements such as Nikko Edomura theme park where you can see Ninja shows and time travel into the Edo period. You can take the train or a bus to one of the most well-known locations in Nikko, the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a gorgeous shrine established in 1617 to enshrine Tokugawa Ieyasu, registered as a world heritage site in 1999. The boat tours at Kinugawa River are especally popular during the Autumn season to view the Autumn leaves alongside the river. Being just a couple of hours away from Shinjuku and Asakusa, Kinugawa Onsen can be a good place to overnight.
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Kinugawa Onsen

Address: 1404-1 Oohara, Nikko City, Tochigi

Access: 5 minutes walk from Kinugawa Onsen station

Phone: 0288-22-1525 (Nikko Tourist Information Center)

Website: Kinugawa Onsen


#2. Kawaji Onsen

Kawaji Onsen
Photo Credit: kai-ryokan.jp

Fifteen minutes train ride from Kinugawa Onsen will bring you to Kawaji Onsen nestled in the valley where the Kinugawa and Ojika Rivers meet, having about 10 ryokans and hotels popular for its open-air baths. Within walking distance from Kawaji Onsen there is the Ryuoukyou valley. Ryoukyou has its name because the form of the valley resembles a wriggling dragon, and with the Autumn leaves covering the landscape you will be taken into the magnificent view. There is a 7km hiking course to enjoy the scenery. After your walk you may want to enjoy the onsen at a public bath house “Yakushi no Yu”, where Toshizo Hijikata of Shinsengumi is said to have healed his wounds.
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Kawaji Onsen

Address: 129-1 Kawaji, Kawaji Onsen, Nikko City, Tochigi

Access: 10 minutes walk from Kawaji Yumoto Station

Phone: 0288-22-1525 (Nikko Tourist Information Center)

Website: Kawaji Onsen


#3. Yunishigawa Onsen

Photo Credit: yunishigawa.co.jp

In a remote valley in the mountains there is a village of thatched-roof houses, Yunishigawa Onsen, which is said to have been founded by the Taira (Heike) clan, which members fled into hiding after being defeated by the Minamoto (Genji) clan in the Battle of Dannoura. You can enjoy “Irori Ryori” local dishes by the fireside and the famous open-air baths in the rustic beauty. Yunishigawa is known for its Kamakura festival, registered as the Japan Night Scene Heritage in 2008, held from the end of January to the beginning of March every year. Hundreds of snow domes light up at night creating a magical atmosphere. During the day you can BBQ inside the snow domes and enjoy snow activties.
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Yunishigawa Onsen

Event: Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival (Held from January 28 to March 5, 2017)

Address: Yunishigawa, Nikko City, Tochigi

Access: 50 minutes bus from Kinugawa Onsen Station

Phone: 0288-97-1126 (Nikko Tourist Information Center)

Website: Yunishigawa Onsen


#4. Kawamata Onsen

Kawamata Onsen
Photo Credit: kawamata-ichiryukaku.jp

Kawamata Onsen is popular for its open-air baths, located close to the scenic spot Setoaikyo valley, a steep-sided valley the height of 100m going on for 1km which magnificent view can be best viewed from the “Irasshai bashi” (welcome bridge) suspension bridge. The Kawamata Onsen Soba Festival is held in Autumn where you can enjoy the “Shin-soba” (new cropped soba) and freshly made local dishes. There is a public bath “Jyonin Ikkyu no Yu” close to Setoaikyo valley and Kawamata Lake where they offer an open-bath and a lounge to rest at a reasonable price of 500 yen.
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Kawamata Onsen

Address: Nikko City, Tochigi

Access: 85 minutes by bus from Kinugawa Onsen Station 

Phone: 0288-97-1126 (Nikko Tourist Information Center)

Website: Kawamata Onsen


#5. Okukinuonsenkyou

Photo Credit: 8tyo-no-yu.co.jp

Upstream the Kinugawa River there is Okukinuonsenkyou, nested far back in the remote mountains. The Okukinuonsenkyo is formed of four remote hot spring ryokans, Kaniyu, Hacchounoyu, Teshirozawa Hot Spring and Nikkouzawa Hot Spring. Cars and buses can only proceed to the entrance of the Okukinu area, and from there, you need to arrange to be picked up by the ryokan van or hike up the valley for nearly two hours. The open-air baths are hidden in beautiful rustic nature and in the winter season you can enjoy yukimiburo (bathing while enjoying the snow scenery). Once you reach the Okukinu area it is highly recommended to enjoy all four of the hot springs since it is one of the hardest places to visit!
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Address: Nikko City, Tochigi

Access: 75 minutes bus from Kinugawa Onsen Station

Phone: 0288-97-1126 (Nikko Tourist Information Center)

Website: Okukinuonsenkyou


#6. Okunikko Yumoto-onsen

Okunikko Yumoto-onsen
Photo Credit: nikkoyumoto.com

Okunikko Yumoto-onsen is a quiet town of hot springs surrounded by mountains located in the center of the Nikko National Park. You can go hiking to Senjogahara Plateau, registered under the Ramsar Convention as “Oku-Nikko-shitsugen” (the marsh in Okunikko), or you can enjoy camping and fishing around the Yunoko Lake. In winter you can go skiing or snowboarding, or perhaps you would like to explore the world of white snow in a Snowshoes tour as an unforgettable experience. At the end of the day you can relax in the milky colored bath which is emerald green at the source of the spring but mystically changes color once touching the air.
[map lat=”36.806863″ lng=”139.424570″][/map]

Okunikko Yumoto-onsen

Event: Snow Festival (Held from January to February)

Address: Yumoto, Nikko City, Tochigi

Access: 75 minutes bus from Nikko Station

Phone: 0288-62-2570 (Okunikko Yumoto-onsen Ryokan Union)

Website: Okunikko Yumoto-onsen 


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