Hokkaido’s incredible natural environment makes it a hotbed for hot springs (no pun intended!). Known as Onsen in Japanese, it would not be an understatement to say that your trip to Japan’s North would not be complete without at least one visit to a hot spring. The cold climate especially makes warming up your body in an Onsen a special treat in Winter, though the spa-like experience is certainly enjoyable in the warmer months as well. Learn everything you need to know about Onsen in this complete guide on the subject!
Learn About the Many Charms of
Hokkaido’s Hot Springs
Hokkaido is blessed with many regions with bountiful hot springs. Below, you will find our detailed introduction to each area: Central, East, North, and South Hokkaido. You can enjoy all of these locations all year round, but some come with seasonal perks, such as being able to relax while enjoying a stunning display of Autumn leaves or tasting nostalgic foods while viewing a snowy landscape. Read on to find the hot spring resort perfect for your tastes!
Hot Spring Resort Introductions
How to Enter a Japanese Onsen
Step 1 Strip down naked and enter the bathing area.
Onsen are to be entered completely naked, so make sure you take everything off and bring only a small towel to the bathing area.
Step 2 Wash yourself thoroughly before entering the bath.
Wash yourself thoroughlybefore entering the baths (there will be showers available).This is customarily done while sitting. Be sure to rinse all of the soap thoroughly!
Step 3 Be respectful of others and mind your surroundings.
Before entering a bath or when rotating between them, it is also customary to rinse your body with a bucket. This is known as “Kakeyu”. In general, be respectful of others and mind your surroundings when in the bathing area.
Step 4 Enjoy your bath!
The simplest step of them all–enjoy your relaxing bath!
Other Points of Caution
- Be aware that most Onsen in Japan have a very strict no-tattoo rule. There are rare exceptions, but make sure to check in advance.
- Many Japanese Onsen only have limited experience in providing service for transgender, intersex, and genderqueer individuals. In general, the definition of gender separation is still based on what’s below the belt and not on an individual’s gender identity. Be sure to confirm ahead (one option is could be to book a private Onsen)!