When it’s cold outside, especially in late fall and winter, there is nothing better than soaking in onsen. If you live in Tokyo, you might be thinking that you have to travel a bit to have some onsen experience. However, there are indeed quite a few good bathhouses in Tokyo as well, so let’s take a look at some of them.
Located in Ueno, Tsubame-yu is an old bathhouse that is registered as a tangible cultural property by the country. Its springwater is famous for being hot but soothing, approximately 45°. So if you enjoy onsen with hotter than average water, this is the right place for you.
There is a bizarre wooden board hanging from a wall at the entrance that says “わ” (wa) or “ぬ” (nu). わ means 湧いた (waita: boiled), which means it is open. ぬ means 抜いた (nuita: drained), which means it is closed.
Upon entering the bathroom, you’ll notice there are big chunks of rock that are stacked at a corner of the bath, those are actually made out of lava from the Fuji Mountain. There is also a large painting of the mountain on the wall on the bath’s side, which will make you feel like soaking in an onsen located within mounatains.
Another feature is that it opens early in the morning already at 6 am, which means you could even enjoy a soak before going to work!
3-14-5 Ueno, Taitou-ku, Tokyo
[Business hours] 6am ~ 8pm / Closed on Mondays
[Fee] Adults: ¥460
Elementary School Kids: ¥180 / Kids under Elementary School: ¥80
[Access] 4 minute walk from the South Exit of Okachimachi Station
★東京染井温泉SAKURA (Tokyo Somei Onsen Sakura)
Located in Sugamo, Tokyo Somei Onsen Sakura is a modern and hi-end bathhouse that is especially popular among women. It has a variety of baths such as a regular indoor bath, jet bath, open-air bath, and bedrock bath. The water is pumped up 1800 meters from an underground natural hot spring and contains a lot of minerals. Therefore, it is good for moisturizing your skin and also expected to ease nerve and joint pain.
Facilities include a spa where you can get massages, a hair salon, and a restaurant, if you want to take a nap, a relaxation room full of reclining chairs is available as well.
5-4-24 Komagome, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
[Business hours] 10am～11pm (Last check-in 10:30pm)/ Opens everyday
[Fee] Adults: ¥1296 / Children: ¥756
[Access] 8 minute walk from Sugamo Station.
★豊島園 庭の湯 (Toshimaen-Niwanoyu)
Toshimaen-Niwanoyu is a bathhouse located in Toshimaku. Like other bathhouses, it has a wide variety of bathing facilities such as a regular indoor bath, open-air bath, jet bath and steam sauna etc. However, the most interesting feature of this place is its thermal pool, inspired by a German traditional thermal bath style. Just like the German ones, you can get into this pool in a swimsuit. In the pool, there’s several sources of water-streams that massage your body and ultimately help improve your health.
3-25-1 Kouyama, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
[Business hours] 10am～11pm (Last check-in 10pm)/ Opens everyday
※it is closed for maintenance during November 6 ~ 10th, 2017.
[Access] 2 minute walk from Toshimaen Station.
★大江戸温泉物語 (Ooedo Onsen Monogatari)
The Ooedo Onsen is more like a theme park with onsen facilities than just a bathhouse. It features the Japanese Edo period, so people can experience not only the baths, but also what it would feel like to be in the period.
It has a variety of baths, 13 kinds in all including an open-air bath, mist sauna, foot bath etc. The water for all the baths is pumped up 1400m from an underground natural hot spring.
After checking in, you’ll choose your favorite Japanese yukata, which you will wear throughout the hours spend there. After putting on a yukata in a locker room, you got the chance to visit an enormous area decorated to look like an Edo town. This area is huge and has everything from a food court, restaurants, cafes to carnival-style games and a souvenir shop. There is also a big tatami relaxation area to lie down and having a snack. You can go back and forth between this common area and any of the baths many times as you want. You could also chose to stay overnight at an additional cost.
The payment system is quite unique and simple. After checking in, you’ll get assigned a locker, in which you store your personal belongings. The key to your locker is in the form of a wristband, with which all your purchases can be done and registered by scanning it and you’ll do the final payment on it when checking out. There are also ATM’s and foreign money exchanges in case you need to withdraw money.
〒135-0064 2-6-3 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
11:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m (next day), 7 days a week / Last entry: 7 a.m.
●Adult（Over age 12）¥2,612（Sat. & Sun. ¥2,828・Special Day ¥2,936）
- Children（Age 4 〜 12）
- No fee for a child under age 4
[Access] 2 minute walk from the South Exit of Telecom Center Station
These are some of the best bathhouses I know in Tokyo, but there are many more to be explored! Soaking in a nice big bath doesn’t need a long trip necessarily, it might be available in your neighborhood!
Yoshi / Japan