Let's enjoy the Atmosphere, Relaxation and The best hot springs! | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

The Japanese
"hot spring culture"
lies in the core of travel

We encounter many hot springs during a travel. There is a far-stretching ocean, lakes and mountains as well as beautiful scenic hot springs along the Tokaido line that runs outlining the Pacific coast. Let's take a look at the relationship between travel and hot spring, which always come together for the Japanese people when it comes to traveling.

Atami Onsen Otsuki Hotel Wafuukan



Why do the Japanese love hot springs?

Open-air baths to enjoy the season like snow and cherry blossoms or to feel the local atmosphere and air by just looking at the natural scenery and star light. A combination of rich spring quality that is effective for moisturizing skin and healing sickness with a beautiful view is a unique trait of Japanese hot springs. It is not too much to say that the Japanese established the "hot spring culture" by evolving the habit of washing and bathing everyday to pleasure.

Inseparable connection of Tokaido and hot spring

After roads to Edo (Tokyo) such as Tokaido and Nakasendo were developed during the Edo period, it is said that people carried hot spring water to the Edo castle from Atami and Kusatsu so that the "okumiyu" can be reheated for the Shogun to bathe in. In addition, staying over night at hot spring inns on the way to and from visiting temples such as Ise and Konpira became popular among common people. Many stayed overnight at the seven hot spring sites called "Hakone Shichitou" for a "Ichiya-toji" (one night hot spring treatment). In the Meiji period, Atami Onsen and Hakone Onsen were developed as a place for holiday homes, and hot spring also changed from a place for medical treatment to a resort spa. Even now, hot spring continues to develop as a healing place for the Japanese.

Hamanako Hotel Kikusuitei

Atami Onsen Hotel Micuras





How to enjoy Tokaido

Tokaido have seen so many travelers go by, including daimyo processions, samurais, high priests, and common people. Many hot spring towns today still preserve the historical traces, and are perfect places for strolling and shopping. Enjoying hot spring at the end of the day is how to enjoy Tokaido. Find a hot spring inn to suite your style, from a prestigious, long-established ryokan to a luxurious modern hotel!






Hot spring is entertainment!

Recently, there are innovative ways to enjoy hot springs. Some hot springs set the eye level on the horizon to provide the sense of floating in the sky, while others provide deep relaxation with indirect lightings. There is even an amusement facility where you can dig hot springs and enjoy bathing, eat and watch shows. How would you like to enjoy hot springs? You will definitely find your favorite hot spring in Tokaido.

Atami Onsen Hotel Micuras

Hakone Yumoto Onsen Hakone PAX Yoshino

Arashiyama Onsen Saishiki no yado Hanaikada

Hamanako Kanzanji Sago Royal Hotel



Hot spring guide

  • A prominent hot spring site in Japan,
    which is also one of the
    perilous passes in Tokaido


    • Odawara Station
    • Hakone Onsen

    Hakone Onsen has flourished as a post town since the Edo period. Today, 17 hot springs exist over the Hakone


    mountains, and are called the "Hakone Jushichitou". The hot spring yield is fifth in Japan, and there are approximately 20 types of spring quality including simple alkaline hot spring, sodium chloride spring, and calcium sulfate spring. Many hot spring ryokans have a long history, offering the joy of relishing seasonal scenery of nature of Owaku Valley and Lake Ashi.

  • The best coast side hot spring of Izu
    that was loved by
    many writers and artists


    • Atami Station
    • Atami Onsen

    A thousand and few hundreds of years ago, this place was called "Atsuumigasaki" because a hot spring gushed


    out in the ocean. The name gradually changed to the current name of "Atami". Many hot springs in Atami is featured by its high-temperature of 42℃ or above. Ieyasu Tokugawa once visited for a medical treatment and liked the water very much. The fourth shogun, Ietsuna, had the hot spring carried to the Edo castle. Furthermore, in the Meiji period, many writers and artists visited Atami and created famous works. Atami was also a popular place for holiday homes of politicians and business elites.

  • A hot spring site of scenic beauty
    nestled in the Lake Hamana


    • Hamamatsu Station
    • Kanzanji Onsen

    Kanzanji Onsen is located on the east coast of the Lake Hamana, a famous scenic site. The hot spring is high in


    salt concentration, which is said to have effects on neuralgia, rheumatism, poor blood circulation, and fatigue recovery. The town is an excellent mixture of leisure facilities including the amusement park, zoo, and flower park, and historical streets that run from the Soto Buddhist temple, Kanzanji, established by Kobo Daishi approximately 1200 years ago.

  • A hot spring site of Arashiyama,
    the famous scenic spot of Kyoto


    • Kyoto Station
    • Arashiyama Onsen

    There are hot spring in the ancient capital, Kyoto. The small town of Arashiyama Onsen at the foot of the


    Togetsu bridge on the bank of Oi River is a hot spring site for adults to embrace the blend of old capital and nature. The milky hot spring is said to be good especially for beautifying the skin. After enjoying seasonal events of Kyoto like wakaayu matsuri, ukai and momiji matsuri, why not visit a traditional Japanese ryokan to relieve your travel fatigue?

updated on Dec 10, 2014