Onsen Hot Springs – Relaxing Like the Locals

The Onsen (温泉) is a Japanese bathhouse that sources its water from a local hot spring. It is the quintessential vessel of relaxation in Japan. So much so that even the local monkeys partake in soaking in the warm mineral-rich water from the surrounding volcanoes.

From refined bathhouses of treasured onsen towns to natural onsen baths hidden in the countryside, Japan has no shortage of amazing hot spring experiences! See for yourself why public onsen are a way of life in Japan.

Iron-rich onsen on Mt Akagi on Day 6 of Tour of the North Alps – Sacred Lakes and Volcanoes

Soak it all in

Onsen come in a variety of styles, aesthetic designs vary from beautiful masonry and stonework to traditional woodwork. Further, different regions contain distinct minerals in their water; it is thought that each mineral mix offers unique healing properties.

A seaside rotemburo bath on day 7 of Tour of the Setouchi Sea – Hiroshima’s Islands of Peace

Unique onsens of Japan’s countrysides

Bathhouses often host multiple baths of varying design, materials, and temperature. The art of moving from one bath to another creates a wonderful relaxing experience. Warm baths for long soaks, hot baths to warm the body, cold baths to contrast, and my personal favorite, out door baths known as the rotenburo.

Three rotenburo from Yumoto on Day 2 of Tour of the North Alps – Sacred Lakes and Volcanoes

The rotenburo (露天風呂) is the perfect smore of an onsen experience. Cool air and warm water sandwich together the beautiful gardens, nature, and breathtaking views of the bath.

Rotenburo with views of Mt Norikura, the highest road in Japan, on Day 2 of  The Japanese Alps

Ride, relax, repeat

At Bike Tour Japan, we believe that each day deserves an incredible onsen experience, so we make sure that all of our ryokan have fantastic baths for our guests to relax in. It’s the perfect way to unwind after several hours in the saddle.

Below are a few more of the different types of baths that we visit on our tours.

Rotenburo from Kirifurikogen on Day 4 of Tour of the North Alps – Sacred Lakes and Volcanoes

Look for the symbol ♨ on a sign or map to lead you to your next onsen experience

Historic Rotenburo with garden in Ikaho Onsen Town on Day 7 of Ashikaga Training Camp
2,000m elevation at the Utsukushigahara Highlands. This is Day 3 of The Japanese Alps

Come on tour with and see why the onsen experience is one that can’t be missed!

A day on tour 2

ryokan 2

ready to ride 2