The 8 Best Onsen in Osaka
Outdoor onsen | © mgerman / Shutterstock
The typical image of a Japanese onsen may evoke sweeping seaside views or picturesque snowy surroundings, complete with monkeys bathing side by side with humans. However, the country’s hot spring supply is so abundant that even the big cities are full of these spa-like retreats. Here are the best hot springs in and around urban Osaka.
Nobeha No Yu Tsuruhashi
This lavish spa, situated right in the middle of Osaka’s Koreatown
, is the perfect escape from the city without actually leaving it. Nobeha no Yu is a massive complex that includes multiple floors of spas, saunas, and baths, as well as dining and relaxation areas. There are both public and private baths for rent, all of which are opulent and indulgent without breaking the bank.
Taihei no Yu
(bathhouse) is conveniently located near Namba
, one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s actually a ‘super sento,’ a public bathing facility designed to function as an entertainment center. Taihei no Yu features the requisite baths (many different types, including outdoor, electric, and cold water tubs) as well as a food court, spa area, game center, and more. It’s also located right next to an early morning fish market
, perfect for those who love seafood
Amusement Park, Health Spa
If combining the relaxation of taking an onsen bath with the heart-stopping excitement of a water park sounds like your idea of a great time, then pay a visit to Spa World – the place that does both. Inside you’ll find a variety of themed baths, a lazy floating river, and a mega waterslide. Equal parts rejuvenating, bizarre and adorably kitsch, it’s definitely worth a visit for those wanting a more unique bathing experience.
Hinata no Yu
This bath is located on the north side of Osaka City on top of an apartment building, so bathers can marvel at the Umeda skyline
while they soak. Interesting features include a snack corner complete with a foot bath and a carbonated ‘soda’ bath said to improve blood flow. The facility is ¥800 ($7) to enter and extra spa treatments are available at additional costs.
Minoo Onsen Spa Garden
This is the largest onsen complex in Western Japan. Located in tranquil Minoo Park
, renowned for its natural beauty and gorgeous fall foliage, Minoo Onsen has numerous decadent baths, with waters said to have healing and beautifying properties. On the top floor is an open-air bath offering breathtaking views of Osaka City by day and night. Hotel guests can use the spa for free, otherwise it’s ¥,3500 ($32) for two hours.
Kamigata Onsen Ikkyu
This onsen boasts the largest rotenburo
(outdoor bath) in the Kansai
region. The pure, mineral hot spring water that services this rustic bathhouse draws visitors from all around the region. The onsen is split into two areas, the Wood Bath and the Stone Bath, each with their own aesthetic and with many different baths and saunas to enjoy. It’s conveniently located near Universal Studios Japan, perfect for anyone in need of a rest after waiting in line all day.
Niji no Yu
Niji no Yu is located in south Osaka, only 20 minutes by train from Namba Station (plus a 15-minute walk). The journey is well worth it, as this luxurious onsen also features an open-air bath offering amazing night views of Osaka, as well as a bath adjacent to a cascading waterfall. Adults can book private baths for families or couples. A Japanese restaurant is on site, so it’s easy to spend all day at this retreat.
Amami Onsen Nantenen
This incredible hot spring resort is located only 40 minutes from Osaka City by train. Designed by the same architect responsible for famous Tokyo Station
, the traditional and lush green environment allows guests to indulge in the experience of bathing in another time and place while actually near a major, modern city.
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These recommendations were updated on August 6, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.