Seeking Snowy Onsen Experiences? Look No Further

Seeking Snowy Onsen Experiences? Look No Further Excursion

Have you ever experienced the comfort of bathing in warm water while gazing at a snowy landscape in the freezing cold? For many Japanese people, too, a hot spring bath in a snowy landscape is a dream come true. Onsen with a view of snow is at the top of my list of things I would like everyone to experience in Japan in winter. In this article, I will recommend some onsen where you can see the snow and give you some pointers on how to choose the right one.

Recommended Snow Viewing Hot Springs

Nyuto Onsen (Akita Prefecture)

Nyuto Onsenkyo is a hot spring resort with a history of over 350 years located in Senboku City, Akita Prefecture. It is located at the foot of Mt. Nyuto in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, which straddles Akita, Iwate, and Aomori. Seven hot spring resorts are scattered throughout the area, protected by virgin beech forests. There are more than 10 different types of hot springs in the hot spring village, each with its own unique source. The accommodations still retain the atmosphere of a tasteful, retro hot-spring resort. This is the most famous and most popular of the Snow View hot springs, so reservations as early as possible are recommended.

Tsuru no Yu Onsen


The atmosphere of a retro therapeutic bathhouse remains strong. Accommodations are also different from Japanese-style ryokan, closer to the atmosphere of a more popular mountain lodge. This inn is recommended for advanced travelers in Japan. The white water and old snow-covered buildings are probably close to what many people imagine as a “Japanese hot spring”.

TSURUNOYU ONSEN|秋田県の秘湯、乳頭温泉郷の鶴の湯温泉
Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of eight hot-spring baths that belong to Nyutou Onsenkyo which is located near the foot of Nyutou...

Tokachidake Onsen (Hokkaido)

Located in Kamifurano Town, Hokkaido, Tokachidake Onsen is the highest hot spring resort in Hokkaido at an elevation of 1,280 meters. The hot springs are located in the mountains in the midst of nature, offering a sense of openness. There are few lodging facilities, and access is somewhat inconvenient due to its location in the mountains, but this is one of the reasons why you can enjoy this extraordinary hot spring.

Yumoto Ryounkaku

A hot spring resort in the sky where you can spend a quiet time in the embrace of nature. Located at an elevation of over 1,000 meters, the hotel offers spectacular views from the windows of the guest rooms and the open-air baths. The contrast between the snow-covered mountains and the brownish-brown water containing iron is beautiful.

十勝岳温泉 凌雲閣

Hanamaki Onsen (Iwate Prefecture)

Hanamaki Onsen in Iwate Prefecture is home to 12 hot springs, known as the Hanamaki 12 Hot Springs. There are a wide variety of hot spring resorts, including a rustic hot spring resort town lined with old-fashioned inns, quaint therapeutic bathhouses and onsen ryokan, and modern hotels where you can enjoy a resort-like atmosphere.

Osawa Onsen

A hot spring located along a mountain stream with a record of being discovered approximately 1,200 years ago. With six baths on the premises, visitors can enjoy a variety of baths at a single house. In addition to Sansuikaku, which is equipped with modern facilities, there are also facilities for long-term stays for the purpose of hot-spring cures.


Points to consider when choosing a snow viewing hot spring

  • The best time to visit is from January to February, when there is the most snow.
  • Hot spring resorts in Hokkaido, inland Tohoku region, Niigata and Nagano prefectures, and along the mountains.
  • If your main purpose is to visit a hot spring, you should avoid areas near large ski resorts.
  • If your main purpose is to visit a hot spring, you should avoid areas near large ski resorts.
  • Check in advance if your accommodation has an open-air bath.
  • Driving on snowy roads is dangerous even if you are used to it. Choose a place that can be reached by public transportation.

For those who say, “I can’t go to a public bathhouse! 

In Japan, to go to an onsen, you need to be naked in the presence of other people. For those who are not comfortable with this, there are two options for private baths.

(1) Choose a guest room with an open-air bath

If you have an open-air bath in your room, you can enjoy the hot spring without worrying about other people’s eyes. You can truly enjoy your own private snow viewing onsen.

Miyakowasure(Akita, Japan)

A hot spring inn located in the mountains about 30 minutes by car from Kakunodate Station in Akita Prefecture. It is a small inn with a total of 10 rooms, and each room has its own outdoor hot spring bath. You can enjoy the snowy hot spring as much as you like in the natural surroundings. In winter, the surrounding roads are closed to traffic, so take advantage of the free shuttle service from Kakunodate Station.


(2) Renting a bath by the hour

Many onsen hotels offer a service that allows guests to rent a hot spring bath for an hour or so. This is a bath designed for a family or other group, and you can enter the bath on your own during that time. This service is less expensive than rooms with open-air baths, so it can be easily enjoyed.

Yumoto Kissho (Miyagi Prefecture)

Naruko Onsen is a representative hot spring resort in Tohoku with a history of over 1,000 years. It is within walking distance from Naruko Onsen Station. The inn features four private baths that you can enter whenever you like and for as long as you like. It is free of charge and easy to enter as long as they are available. Each of the private baths has a different atmosphere.

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