Kyoto Onsen Guide to Enjoy a Hot Spring Bath in Japan

Last Updated: April 29,2024

Are there Onsen in Kyoto? This is a question that many tourists ask when planning a trip to Japan. Kyoto is known for its rich history and culture and is one of the top tourist destinations in Japan. In addition to temples, shrines, and monuments, there are also many Kyoto Hot Springs that allow visitors to relax while enjoying the natural beauty and historical immersion of the city. Here is a complete guide to Onsen Kyoto Japan, and contact us to help you plan a memorable Kyoto Onsen trip, featuring a tailor-made itinerary free of charge, private car, and private guide.

Table of Contents

1. 6 Best Onsen in Kyoto City

2. Top 3 Hot Springs near Kyoto

3. Tattoo-Friendly Kyoto Hot Springs

4. Kyoto Ryokan with Private Onsen

5. How to Enjoy Onsen Kyoto

1. 6 Best Onsen in Kyoto

There are so many sightseeing spots in Kyoto that even if you make good use of public transportation, you still may feel tired after your tour during the daytime. At this time, you'd surely love to soak in a hot spring to relieve the fatigue of the journey! Does Kyoto have good onsen? Which are the best hot springs in Kyoto? Here are 6 Kyoto hot springs in Kyoto city to satisfy your desire for dipping into the Japan hot springs Kyoto even on a tight schedule.

Kurama Onsen Kyoto: A Must-visit Kyoto Hot Springs in Japan

Kurama Onsen is a historic hot spring resort. It is located at the foot of Mount Kurama and is surrounded by beautiful nature, making it an ideal place for visitors to enjoy the Kyoto hot spring and nature.

Kuruma Kyoto Onsen is known for its unique hot spring water quality and onsen culture. The hot spring water comes from the underground of Mountain Kurama and is believed to have healing properties and skin-beautifying effects. There are a number of Kyoto hotels with onsen and public baths in the hot springs area, and visitors can choose from a variety of Kurama Hot Spring facilities such as saunas, open-air hot springs, or private onsen bath to enjoy a hot spring soak and relaxation. All in all, Kurama Hot Spring Kyoto is a tourist attraction that combines Kyoto hot springs, nature, and culture. Visitors can enjoy onsen soaking, hiking, visiting temples and shrines, and other activities to experience the wonders of traditional Japanese culture and nature in Kurama Onsen Japan.

Address: 520 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 601-1111, Japan

Phone: +81 75-741-2131

Sagano Onsen Tenzan no yu: the Ultimate Enjoyment of Kyoto Hot Springs

Tenzan no Yu Onsen contains large amounts of calcium chloride and sodium chloride, which react with the skin to make it smooth and delicate. It also has the effect of eliminating fatigue and dilating blood vessels. Tenzan no yu is very famous in Kyoto and is known to locals and tourists alike, so be sure to experience it if you have time. The environment inside is very nice and clean. For the outdoor hot springs of Sagano Onsen Tenzan-no-yu, when your body soaks in hot water and your head is still in the cold wind, this is really the ultimate enjoyment. And it is recommended to experience the outdoor hot spring pool of Tenzan no yu Onsen Kyoto. After the bath, remember to take a bottle of milk from the vending machine, which is standard in Japanese onsen.

Address: Japan, 〒616-8315 Kyoto, Ukyo Ward, 55-4-7 Enomiya Nonomotocho

Phone: +81 75-882-4126

Fee: 1,050 yen for adults; 200 yen for towels; 300 yen extra if you need clothes to take a break

Business Hours: 10:00-01:00 (daily)

Funaoka Onsen: Soaking in Daily Life in Kyoto at This Traditional Japanese Bathhouse

Among the sento baths in Kyoto, Funaoka Onsen in Nishijin is the most famous public bath. Funaoka Onsen, built in 1923, has always been a place for literati in Kyoto to eat and bathe during the Taisho and Showa periods. In 1947, Funaoka Onsen was opened as a "sento" that can be used by the general public. After it was designated as a "cultural property" by the Japanese government in 2003, its long history and its exquisite wall carvings and mosaic tiles, attract many tourists to come and enjoy this ancient bathhouse.

There are open-air baths, cypress baths, deep baths, shallow baths, hydrotherapy equipment, medicinal baths, saunas, water baths, and showers for you to experience the Onsen in Kyoto city. Enjoying an open-air bath in front of a small Japanese-style landscape, you will feel that the slightly cool breeze and the warm and clear hot water make all your fatigue turn into sweat and drain away.

Address: 82-1 Murasakino Minamifunaokacho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, 603-8225, Japan

Phone: +81 75-441-3735

Ohara no Sato Onsen: Enjoy 100% Natural Hot Springs from Ohara Onsen

I don't know if everyone is particularly fond of Japanese culture and the old-fashioned flavor of Kyoto, but if so, you can't miss Ohara no Sato. Here you will find cozy hospitality, delicious cuisine, and a special blue dye experience.

Ohara-no-Sato is a hot spring B&B located in Kyoto's Jakko-in Temple neighborhood, with hot springs, gardens, and gourmet food as its main features. The Ohara no Sato Onsen is an open-air bathtub hot spring in the style of Goemon's bathtub, and it contains weak alkaline, sodium, and bicarbonate ions, making it a beautiful Kyoto hot spring that softens the skin's keratinization and makes it soft and smooth.

Address: 41 Oharakusaocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 601-1248, Japan

Phone: +81 75-744-2917

Fufu no yu: Enjoy the Outdoor Bath of Arashiyama Onsen in Kyoto

Fufu no yu Kyoto is an authentic Japanese-style hot spring bath, which is conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Arashiyama Line, and a straight walk from the station. As it is located in the Arashiyama Scenic Area, the surrounding scenery of the fufu no yu onsen is stunning, and the Togetsukyo Bridge, a famous Arashiyama sightseeing spot, is just a short distance away. The spring water of Fufu no yu is the natural weakly alkaline spring water with a pH value of 7.8, and it is around 35.2 degrees, which is good for relieving neuralgia, muscle pain, and fatigue. When the hot springs water of the fufu no yu onsen Kyoto flows across your skin, it is like a gentle hand soothing your muscles. When you are immersed in the Fufu no yu hot spring water, every pore relaxes and stretches out, and the tingling sensation passes from every nerve to the whole body, which will make you feel immensely comfortable! In addition to indoor and outdoor hot springs, there are also saunas, plum salt baths, and other facilities. This open-air Fufu no yu onsen in Arashiyama is a place where you can enjoy a day trip onsen tour in Kyoto.

Address: 1 Arashiyama Kamikawaracho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0001, Japan

Phone: +81 75-863-1126

Hanano Yu: Super Public Bath in Kyoto, Japan

Hana no yu is the Onsen in Kyoto city that is blessed with many unique rocky hot springs (Iwafuryu). The open-air Hana no yu onsen つぼ湯 is also a must-see. Hana no yu onsen Kyoto offers a wide variety of indoor hot springs, including "sauna", "massage bath", "charcoal bath", taking into account the different preferences of its guests. The spring water used in the open-air hot springs at Hana no yu comes from "Moriyama Natural Hot Spring Hotaru Isen" in Moriyama City, Shiga Prefecture. The clear water and quiet environment of Hana no yu Kyoto allow you to enjoy the hot springs and forget about the worries of life. Hot spring baths in the Hanano Yu loosen muscles and joints to eliminate fatigue. For people who want to lose weight, the Hana no yu hot springs are even more useful. Onsen in Hana no yu can prompt the body cells to perform autogenous movements in the body's resting state, and this movement will burn fat.

Address: 15-3 Mibumatsubaracho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8823, Japan

Business Hours: 10:00-1:00 the next day

Phone: +81 75-813-2611

If you hope to experience the best private onsen in Kyoto, tell us your requirements in detail and we will arrange the private guided Kyoto Hot Springs tour for you.

2. Top 3 Onsen near Kyoto

Kyoto is located in the Kansai region, and many Kansai onsen are concentrated in Wakayama and Hyogo Prefectures. There are indeed many good hot springs in Kyoto, but if you want to experience more Japanese hot springs with different spring qualities and functions, the following 3 hot springs near Kyoto are highly recommended. Each of them has its own special features and is perfectly suited to the needs of tourists, without having to spend a lot of time on transportation.

Arima Onsen Hyogo

Arima Onsen is one of the three oldest hot springs in Japan (the other two being Kusatsu Onsen and Gero Onsen) and is famous for its "Kinyu" and "Ginyu" hot springs. "Kinyu" is a deep red colored hot spring rich in "iron-strength salts" with a water temperature of over 90 degrees Celsius, while "Ginyu" is a colorless and transparent hot spring rich in carbonic acid with a water temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. Both types of Arima Onsen Japan have high therapeutic value. As a hot spring resort in the heart of Kansai, you need to reserve a hotel room in advance.

Address: 790-3 Arima-cho, Kita-Ward, Kobe-shi, Hyogo, Japan

Arima Onsen from Kyoto: 1 hr 8 min (68.9 km) via Meishin Expressway/Nishinomiya Line and Chugoku Expressway/Chugoku Expressway/Suita Yamaguchi Line.

Kinosaki Onsen Hyogo

For the origin of the Kinosaki Onsen Japan, 1,300 years ago, Michichi Shonin accepted the oracles of the Four Myojin Gods and performed ascetic practices and worship. 1,000 days later, hot spring water emerged from the place where he practiced. The place where he practiced is now the "Mandarayu Bath" of Kinosaki Hot Springs. For more than a thousand years, it has been known as a place of leisure for famous nobles and now it is one of the best Onsen towns in Japan.

The town of Kinosaki Onsen Hyogo consists of 7 hot springs and 56 Onsen Ryokan inns, each of which provides a pair of wooden shoes. Unlike other Japanese hot springs, Kinosaki Hyogo treats the entire hot spring town as one large hot spring hotel. In addition to soaking in their own hot springs, tourists can also soak in the 7 hot springs in the town. The scope of activities has been expanded to the entire Onsen town.

Kinosaki Onsen is very convenient for Kansai and can be reached directly from Osaka and Kyoto:

For Kyoto to Kinosaki: 2 hours 20 minutes by Hashidate from Kyoto at the price of 5,370 yen.

Kinosaki Onsen from Osaka: Approx. 3 hours by Hamakaze or Tsuru at Umeda at the price of 6,140 Yen.

Shirahama Onsen Wakayama

When you think of Shirahama, the vast blue sky and white sandy beaches may come to mind. But Shirahama is also home to one of the oldest hot springs in Japan. The history of Shirahama Onsen dates back to the Asuka/Nara period. It has been visited by many members of the Imperial family, including Emperor Saimei, Emperor Jito, and Emperor Bunmu. Shirahama is surrounded by mountains and the seas, and the hot springs in Shirahama, including the Nanki Shirahama Onsen, take advantage of this. For example, Saki no Yu Onsen, which is very famous in the area, is connected to the sea, and the vast Pacific Ocean is right in front of your eyes, so you can touch the splash of the waves and experience the pleasure of being connected to the sea. Free footbaths can be found everywhere on the streets of Shirahama, so if you are tired of walking, you can sit down and soak your feet while looking out over the sea, healing both your body and your soul. And there are many Shirahama Onsen Ryokan, such as Musashi Shirahama Japan

Kyoto to Shirahama Hot Springs: 2 hr 50 min (198.4 km) via Kinki Expressway and Matsubara-Nachikatsuura Line

3. Tattoo Friendly Onsen Kyoto

There are some onsens that allow tattoos Japan. Does Kyoto hot springs allow tattoos? Can you use Onsen Kyoto if you have tattoos? Is there any Kyoto hot spring hotel that is tattoo-friendly? Yes, there are two choices for you to enjoy Onsen in Kyoto with Tattoos.

Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Kadensho

Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Kadensho is a Japanese-style Kyoto onsen Ryokan located in Arashiyama. It is conveniently located opposite Hankyu Mountain Station and surrounded by many scenic spots, such as Togetsukyo Bridge, Bamboo Forest, Tenryuji Temple, etc. The ryokan features a one night with two meals accommodation plan, including seasonal kaiseki cuisine and a sumptuous buffet breakfast, as well as five different styles of independent hot spring houses and a spacious public bath, allowing travelers to enjoy the beautiful scenery and culture of the mountain. In addition, there is also an indoor bathing area and a semi-open-air bath, which can be used free of charge without reservation. And this Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen allows Tattoos. You can check Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Kadensho official website for more details.

The hot spring in the Kadensho Arashiyama Onsen Kyoto is a slightly alkaline hot spring, which can relieve neuralgia, muscle pain, and joint pain, benefit the blood vessels, relieve fatigue, and promote blood circulation.

Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Kadensho is a hotel suitable for travelers who want to experience Japanese style and mountain scenery, especially for travelers who like enjoying hot springs and kaiseki cuisine.

Address: 5-4 Arashiyama Nishiichikawacho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0003, Japan

Phone: +81 75-863-0489

Biwako Hanakaido

Biwako Hanakaido is known for offering a traditional Japanese experience, complete with kaiseki meals (multi-course dining featuring seasonal and local ingredients), and, some Biwako onsen facilities. The ryokan's location near Lake Biwa provides a scenic and peaceful setting.

Biwako Onsen is tattoo-friendly. Ogoto Onsen Biwako boasts a variety of rejuvenating hot spring baths, encompassing both indoor and outdoor options, as well as private and communal settings. Each type of bath exudes its own unique charm, with the outdoor baths providing picturesque views of Lake Biwa. For those seeking a more intimate experience, private baths can be reserved in advance. Elevating the relaxation experience, the inn also houses a spa. Additional facilities include a souvenir shop and a charming café.

Address: 1 Chome-1-3 Ogoto, Otsu, Shiga 520-0101, Japan

Phone: +81 77-578-1075

In addition, the Funaoka Onsen and Kurama Onsen introduced above are also Onsens in Kyoto that allow tattoos.

4. Kyoto Hotels with Private Onsen

What is the best Ryokan in Kyoto with private onsen? Here are our top 3 Kyoto hotels with private onsen recommended for you to enjoy the Kyoto hot springs in the city.

Togetsutei: A Century-old Traditional Japanese Kyoto Hotel with Private Onsen

Togetsutei Hotel, one of the best Onsen hotels in Japan, is located at the southern end of the famous Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama and is close to many attractions, such as Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, Okouchi Sanso Garden and Tenryuji Temple. Togetsutei features fine Kyoto cuisine and hot spring bath with a river view, allowing travelers to enjoy the scenery of Arashiyama while enjoying a meal and a soak in the Arashiyama Onsen. The Togetsutei ryokan's guest rooms are all traditional Japanese-style rooms (wabi-sabi) with exquisite decorations and a relaxing atmosphere, and some rooms are equipped with semi-open-air baths or open-air baths, allowing travelers to enjoy hot springs in a private space. The Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Togetsutei is simple hot springs, with separate public baths for men and women and hot springs available for private rental. The hot spring baths in the large bath halls of Togetsutei Kyoto face the river and offer a beautiful view of Arashiyama, which is especially beautiful during the Japanese cherry blossom season and red leaf season. Togetsutei is a Kyoto Ryokan with private onsen for travelers who want to experience a traditional Japanese hot spring Ryokan, especially those who like the natural scenery of Arashiyama in autumn when it is the best time to enjoy the fall foliage in Kyoto.

Address: 54-4 Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0004, Japan

Phone: +81 75-871-1310

Hanaikada: A Kyoto Onsen Hotel to Enjoy Arashiyama Hot Springs and Stunning Views

Arashiyama is best known for its half-board hot spring hotel, in addition to the World Heritage Tenryuji Temple. Arashiyama onsen is hypotonic and weakly alkaline hot springs that are effective in relieving neuralgia, muscle aches, joint pains, frozen shoulder, chronic digestive organ disorders, and have skin whitening properties. In addition to indoor and outdoor hot springs in Arashiyama Onsen Saishiki no Yado Hanaikada, chartered hot springs are also available, but reservations are required. For the Hanafari's "View Bath" which is a semi-open-air hot springs located on high ground in the Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen Ryokan Hanaikada, you can soak in a bath while taking in the surrounding scenery. Surrounded by the famous Arashiyama, you can enjoy the scenery that changes throughout the seasons in Hanaikada Kyoto Japan. The best view of Arashiyama and the comfortable hot spring in Hanaikada Ryokan will surely satisfy you.

For more information about Hanaikada Kyoto:

Address: 57 Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0004, Japan

Phone: +81 75-861-0228

Fee: 870 yen for adults, 440 yen for children (towel included)

Business Hours: 11:00-17:00

Hatoya Zuihokaku: A Kyoto Hot Spring Hotel near the Kyoto Rail Station

To enjoy the onsen in Kyoto city, Kyoto hot spring Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel is one of the best choices. Kyoto Hatoya hot spring hotel, a 5-minute walk from Kyoto Station, was established in 1950 at the current location. It has been renovated several times and features a Western-style simple design with a Japanese flavor. This Kyoto hotel with onsen is the only hotel around Kyoto Station with natural hot springs, with a hot spring 910 meters below the ground to create a large hot spring bath. Kyoto hot spring hatoya zuihokaku hotel not only provides natural hot springs to heal the body and mind, but also maintains a good relationship with temples and shrines in Kyoto City. Travelers staying at the hotel can use the hotel's assistance to book rare experiences, such as attending morning classes and dining at Chishaku-in Temple, or making reservations for meals at Myōshin-ji Temple, Tōfuku-ji Temple, and Konkai Kōmyō-ji Temple, to experience a different kind of in-depth Kyoto Onsen tour.

Address: Japan, 〒600-8234 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Minamifudodocho, 802番地

Phone: +81 75-361-1231

To pick the best Kyoto Ryokan with private onsen, you can also choose from Kyoto Ryokan Kinoe, Gion Ryokan Karaku, Seikoro Ryokan, or onyado nono kyoto shichijo natural hot spring for more choices.

5. How to Enjoy Kyoto Hot Springs

It is known to all that Japan Onsen plays a significant role in Japanese culture and is popular for relaxation and health benefits. Here are how to use the hot springs facility to enjoy the Kyoto Onsen, including Japanese Bathing Etiquette:

Arrival and Check-in:

-When you arrive at a Kyoto onsen facility, you'll check in at the reception or front desk.

-If you're staying at a hot spring Ryokan Kyoto, access to the onsen might be included in your stay.

Separation by Gender:

-Most Hot Springs in Japan have separate bathing facilities for men and women. This is a common practice to maintain modesty.

Undressing and Showering:

-Before entering the public Onsen Kyoto, it's customary to thoroughly wash and rinse your body at the shower stations provided.

-It's crucial to ensure that you are completely clean before entering the Japan public baths to maintain the water's cleanliness.

Entering the Onsen:

-After showering, you can enter the hot springs. Take note of the water temperature and choose a bath that suits your comfort level.

-It's customary to keep your hair out of the water, tie it up if necessary, and avoid submerging your towel in the onsen. You may wonder that are bathing suits allowed on Onsen in Kyoto? The answer is no, and keep naked when soaking in the public onsen Kyoto.

Relaxing in the Onsen:

-Once in the Onsen Kyoto, enjoy the warm and soothing water. Keep noise to a minimum, as onsens are places of relaxation.


-After enjoying the Kyoto hot springs, rinse off again at the shower stations to remove any residual minerals from your skin.

-Dry yourself thoroughly before returning to the changing area.

Use of Towels:

-Many onsen facilities in Japan provide small towels. You can use these towels to modestly cover yourself as you move between the changing area, showers, and the onsen. However, keep the towel out of the water when you are dipping in the hot spring in Kyoto.


-Avoid bringing large towels into the onsen water.

-Tattoos are often associated with the yakuza (Japanese organized crime), and some onsens may have restrictions or may ask you to cover them. However, attitudes are changing, and some places are becoming more accepting. There are more and more Kyoto hot springs that allow Tattoos.


The above is the hot spring travel guide of Kyoto, and I hope it can provide valuable information for your onsen trip to Japan. Although Hakone Onsen and Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen are very popular among tourists, a hot spring tour in Kyoto will not only provide you with the comfort and relaxation of the Japanese Onsen, but also the traditional culture of Japan, such as geisha performances and tea ceremonies and kimono experiences, as well as authentic cuisine, such as Kaiseki cuisine. If you are planning a trip to Japan, contact our travel experts to tailor your itinerary to enjoy the best Onsen tour in Kyoto.

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>>>Best Onsen in Nozawa

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>>>Best Bath in Takaragawa Onsen

>>>Best Onsen in Noboribetsu

>>>Best Onsen Resort in Hokkaido

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